We look ahead to the weekend's fixture at Highbury StadiumFLEETWOOD TOWN v GILLINGHAM
npower League Two
Saturday March 30, 2013
Martin Allen has a fully fit squad to choose from ahead of Saturday’s trip to Fleetwood.
Myles Weston (ankle) has now fully recovered from his injury and could be in line to start at Highbury Stadium. However Andy Frampton (suspension) will serve the second of a three match ban after being dismissed against Rochdale at Spotland.
Josh Hare, Devante McKain and Sam Muggleton have all been added to the match day squad.
Fleetwood Manager Graham Alexander will have experienced midfielder Paul McKenna available for selection as he returns following suspension.
However defender Dean Howell has been struggling with a leg injury while Steven Gillespie (hamstring), Youl Mawene (foot) and Andy Mangan (knee) are back in training and closing in on match fitness.
The Gills boss is refusing to look beyond Saturday’s game and is aware that Fleetwood will come out looking to win the game as they need the points to stay in the hunt for an automatic promotion place.
He said: “They have got to win, but that’s them. All I am focussed on is us – I haven’t spoken to anybody about Monday yet, that’s not even in my plans, it’s just concentrating on Saturday and preparing the team I have picked and doing the job.
“As soon as this game is finished we will move on to the next one and that’s it.
“We won’t change our tactics, we have been doing OK away from home but I want to win. We have drawn three away, have played solid but we can do better.
“And we will do better; I’m not changing our tactics for anyone.”
THE SEASON SO FAR…
After last weekend’s home game against Dagenham & Redbridge, the ‘Cod Army’ were lying eighth in the League Two table, three points off a play-off place, having accumulated 58 points (15 wins and 13 draws) from their 40 games.
Fleetwood came from a goal down to beat the Daggers 2-1 last Saturday to give their play-off hopes a boost. Just a minute after going behind Junior Brown’s cross somehow found its way into the net before Gareth Evans netted the winner seven minutes after the break with a cracking strike from 20 yards.
Speaking after the game boss Alexander said: "I though the lads deserved it. We went behind to an early penalty, from a breakaway we didn't defend properly. The response from the lads was great.
"We talked about the need to fight back and that's what we did. We responded in the right way.
"The win was important because we've taken a few punches over the last few weeks. This game was about doing things and not just talking about them. The lads showed they care about the team and their careers."
Previously at Highbury this season Town have won six, drawn eight and lost on five occasions, just Accrington Stanley (3-1), Bristol Rovers (3-0), Burton (4-0), Port Vale (5-2) and Wycombe Wanderers (1-0) have returned home with all three points.
THE LAST TEN GAMES…
Over the course of the last ten League Two fixtures, the Gills have picked up 17 points compared to the 11 points earned by Fleetwood over the same period.
Gillingham – DWWLDWDDDW
Fleetwood - WLLDLDWLLW
Matt Fish’s left-footed strike, the winner against Accrington Stanley last weekend, took his tally to three for the season.
The Gills goal scoring list is still headed by Danny Kedwell with 13 goals, two more than fellow striker Deon Burton while both Myles Weston and Chris Whelpdale have netted seven apiece.
At the top of Fleetwood’s scoring chart are Jon Parkin and Junior Brown with both having hit the net a dozen times so far this season. Next is David Ball on eight, Steven Gillespie has notched four while Alan Goodall and Jamie McGuire have both grabbed three.
Following Fleetwood’s promotion in to the Football League at the end of last season, the game here at Priestfield back in December was the only previous meeting between the two sides.
In that game the Gills found themselves two-down against a spirited Town side, performing under new boss Graham Alexandra, before battling back to claim another important point.
It was the visitors that took a surprise lead in the 20th minute, Steven Gillespie’s blocked shot fell kindly to David Ball and his low cross-shot found Junior Brown at the far post and he forced the ball home from close range.
Seven minutes later Town increased their lead, Alan Goodall rising to meet a Barry Nicholson corner and netting with a powerful header.
The comeback started four minutes from the break, Danny Kedwell flicked Charlie Allen’s corner across goal and there was Charlie Lee to stab the ball home.
With the Gills now bossing the game it was little surprise when they levelled matters in the 65th minute. This time Lee was a provider, his throw was nodded towards goal by Romain Vincelot and there was Myles Weston to smack the ball home.
Martin Allen’s side continued to pour forward in search of the winner but were unable to further penetrate a workmanlike Fleetwood rear guard.
Gillingham: Nelson, Fish, Martin, Frampton, Barrett, Payne, Allen (Strevens 90+1), Lee (Montrose 87), Vincelot, Kedwell, Burton (Weston H/T) Unused subs: Forecast, C. Davies, Jackman, Birchall
Fleetwood Town: S. Davies, Beeley, Howell, Milligan (Johnson 64), Nicholson, Brown, Goodall, Gillespie (McGuire 75), Atkinson, Ball (Titchener 88), Marrow Unused subs: McNulty, Maxwell, Barkhuizen, Obeng
Referee – Scott Duncan
Assistant Referee’s – Mark Astley and Richard Barnett
Fourth Official – Lee Metcalfe
Scott has refereed 31 matches so far this season and in that time has produced 79 yellow cards and seven red. One of those was given to Stuart Nelson when Duncan officiated in the 1-1 draw against Accrington Stanley at the Crown Ground.