We look ahead to the Easter Monday fixture at PriestfieldGILLINGHAM v ROTHERHAM UNITED
npower League Two
Monday April 1 2013
MEMS Priestfield Stadium
Martin Allen is hoping to welcome back Charlie Lee for Monday’s game against the Millers. The midfielder was due to start Saturday’s game at Fleetwood but suffered with sickness the night before so he was left out of the squad to enable a recovery.
Andy Frampton serves the final game of a three match suspension so either Callum Davies or Steven Gregory will adopt the holding midfield role, with Charlie Allen likely to keep his place after scoring at the weekend.
Rotherham boss Steve Evans was able to welcome back defender Kari Arnason for the club’s 1-0 win over AFC Wimbledon on Friday.
Daniel Kearns is likely to keep his place on the left hand side of midfield with Ben Pringle taking a place on the subs bench against the Dons.
Goalkeeper Scott Shearer is fit again after several knee and elbow injuries during the last few months and is expected to keep his place between the sticks after stepping in for Andy Warrington on Good Friday.
Mark Bradley (foot) is the only definite absentee and will be out of action for the next couple of weeks.
The Gills boss was clearly looking forward to the game after Saturday’s result and is calling on the supporters to be on their best form too to encourage the players as much as possible.
He said: “It’s my responsibility to help our players put on the best performance possible from the very first minute, I saw them play at Oxford the other week and they were 4-0 up at half time so they are dangerous.
“They have good players and we have got to be right on it from the first moment.
“We are taking on a big team, a good team. Everyone from the players, the staff and the supporters - we will have to be on our game on and off the field because they are dangerous, and we will be ready.”
THE SEASON SO FAR…
Rotherham come in to Monday’s game 6th in the npower League Two table and four points shy of an automatic promotion place.
Their victory on Good Friday propelled them above Exeter City and, with a game in hand, are very much still in the hunt for a top three place.
Previously on their travels this season the Millers have won at Accrington Stanley (2-1), AFC Wimbledon (1-0), Aldershot (3-0), Bristol Rovers (2-1), Exeter (1-0), Oxford (4-0), Rochdale (2-1) and Torquay (3-1) while picking up further points following draws at Barnet, Chesterfield, Fleetwood, Southend, Wycombe and York.
As for their progress in cup competitions Rotherham were eliminated in the first round of the Capital One Cup after losing to Hull City courtesy of a penalty shoot-out.
The match had finished 1-1 after extra time but Steve Bruce’s Hull side kept their nerve from the spot to advance.
In the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy United were again knocked out in the first round, this time by York City who came away 1-0 winners in a tight affair at New York Stadium. Matty Blair’s 80th minute strike preventing the tie from going in to extra time.
In the FA Cup Rotherham progressed a little further, this time advancing to the third round and were drawn against fellow League Two side Aldershot Town at the EBB Stadium.
However the visitors would leave empty handed as the Shots won the game 3-1 thanks to a Danny Hylton hat-trick.
Danny Kedwell’s precise finish at Highbury Stadium against Fleetwood on Saturday increased his tally to 14 for the season. He is three ahead of Deon Burton who has 11 to his name; Myles Weston and Chris Whelpdale are fighting it out for third place on the chart with seven each.
Former Manchester United striker Daniel Nardiello is the Millers leading goal scorer this season with 18 in total. He is followed by a pair of midfielders, Ben Pringle having netted eight times and Lee Frecklington one behind him on seven.
Another midfielder Michael O’Connor has scored five and he is joined on that total by former Barnsley striker Kayode Odejayi.
RECORD IN LAST TEN GAMES…
The visitors come in to the game with a slightly better record in the last 10 games having amassed 18 points from their matches. However the Gills are unbeaten in their last seven, while in that time United have suffered defeat twice.
Gillingham: WWLDWDDDWD (17 points)
Rotherham: WWWDDWLDLW (18 points)
EARLIER THIS SEASON…
Two goals from former Miller Deon Burton helped the Gills to a great win at the New York Stadium back in December and helped quieten the many taunts aimed at him from a majority of the 8,000+ crowd.
The opening goal came in the 12th minute when Charlie Lee’s long throw was helped on by Danny Kedwell which allowed Burton to slot past Andy Warrington.
Stuart Nelson made good saves to deny Michael O’Connor and Jason Taylor while Kari Arnason and Daniel Nardiello spurned other chances for the home side before Gillingham went two up with 57 minutes on the clock.
Lee and Romain Vincelot, on loan from Brighton at the time, were involved in the build-up but the experienced Gills striker still had to shrug off two defenders before finding the far corner much to the delight of the 511 travelling supporters.
Nelson pulled off a brilliant point-blank save to thwart Alex Revell but Rotherham did cut the deficit in the 69th minute when Taylor fired home from distance.
Lee Frecklington twice went close and Jack O’Connell hit the bar with a header but the Gills held on despite 11 minutes being added on following an injury to on-loan Vincelot.
Rotherham United: Warrington, Mullins, Sharps (O’Connell 18), Arnason, Ridehalgh, O’Connor (Cameron 64), Taylor, Frecklington, Nardiello (Odejayi 89), Pringle, Revell.
Unused subs: Shearer, Hunt, Agard, Rooney
Gillingham: Nelson, Fish, Martin, Frampton, Payne (Montrose 70), Allen, Lee, Burton (Weston 70), Kedwell, Barrett, Vincelot (Bradley Dack 83).
Unused subs: Forecast, Birchall, Jackman, McKain
The Gills and Rotherham have met 53 times previously, of which Gillingham have won 22 and drawn 15 which date back to the first in the 1968-69 campaign.
In the first game at Millmoor on August 27 it was the Millers that took the points following a Jim Storrie effort in a 1-0 win, but the return here on October 9 saw the Gills win 2-0 thanks to goals from Carl Gilbert and Brian Yeo.
In a season of great inconsistency, Basil Hayward’s team put in a fine team performance to beat Rotherham when the two sides first met here at Priestfield back on the 9th October 1968.
Second-half goals from Carl Gilbert and Brian Yeo – his seventh goal in six games- proved enough to give the Gills a deserved victory over Tommy Docherty’s side in this Division Three clash.
Our last meeting at MEMS Priestfield on February 21 last year saw the sides contest a 0-0 draw.
Referee – Oliver Langford
Assistant Referees – Lee Betts & Stuart Burt
Fourth Official – John Magill
The West Midlands based official has officiated in 32 games so far this season. In that time he has produced 57 yellow cards and four red.
This will be the first time he has refereed a game involving Gillingham since December 17 2011 when the Gills beat Bristol Rovers 4-1 at Priestfield thanks to goals from Lewis Montrose, Danny Jackman and Danny Kedwell (2).