We look ahead to Saturday's `Kids for a Quid` fixtureGILLINGHAM V PORT VALE
Sky Bet League One
MEMS Priestfield Stadium
Saturday February 1
Charlie Lee (knee), Chris Whelpdale (ankle) and Danny Kedwell (hernia) remain the only absentees for the home side.
Jack Marriott will not feature as he has returned to parent club Ipswich Town, while Antonio German has extended his deal at League Two side Northampton by another month.
Gary Borrowdale and Joe Pigott, who both signed for the club on Thursday afternoon, are both eligible to play if picked.
As for Port Vale they will be able to include midfielder Billy Knott in their match day squad. The on-loan Sunderland player has not yet featured for the club having been ineligible for the club’s FA Cup game against Brighton, before seeing the Valiants fixture against Crawley postponed midweek.
Defender Joe Davis, who has recently returned from a loan spell at Luton, could also feature after missing the cup game due to ineligibility. Carl Dickinson however will miss out as he serves the final game of a two match suspension.
Florent Cuvelier, a midfielder on loan from Sheffield United, is also unavailable having been ruled out for the remainder of the season with knee ligament damage.
Rob Taylor (knock), Richard Duffy (ankle) and Liam Chilvers (groin) may all miss out.
Peter Taylor, who knows Micky Adams well, is hoping his side can continue their strong form at home and maintain an unbeaten run at MEMS Priestfield Stadium which stretches back to Boxing Day.
Speaking to the club’s official website he said: “They are always hard working and very organised at set pieces – Mick knows the level and a lot of players that have done well in League One.
“He has always had good strikers, we know it will be a difficult match and we felt as though we played very well up there in the first 45 minutes and hopefully Mick will see us an improved side when they come here Saturday.”
Micky Adams added: “The boys are looking good. We are disappointed the match was off on Tuesday night but we are looking forward to what is coming up.”
The Gaffer – Micky Adams
Micky won’t need much of an introduction to Gills fans having played in 92 league games for the club between 1979 and 1983 at left back. His consistent performances alerted the notice of Coventry City who signed him for a fee in the region of £85,000.
A spell at Leeds was followed up with a prolonged stint at Southampton where he played in over 150 games before finishing his career at Stoke and Fulham.
After deciding to take up a career in coaching, having been Player/Manager at Fulham, Brentford and Swansea, Micky got his first full time role at Brighton in 2001 via short spell as Nottingham Forest’s caretaker boss in 1999.
At Brighton he achieved promotion to Division Two before stepping in to the hot seat at Leicester where he guided the club back to the Premier League at the first time of asking before immediately being relegated to the second tier a year later.
A stint at Coventry was followed by spells at Colchester and Brighton before being unveiled as Vale’s new Manager for the first time in 2009.
In December 2010 he left Vale to join Sheffield United with the Valiants second in League Two. His spell at Bramall Lane would only last a matter of months though before returning to Vale Park where he achieved promotion last season.
The Skipper: Doug Loft
The 27-year-old midfielder, born in Maidstone, is a familiar face at Vale Park having joined the club in the summer of 2009 from Brighton via a loan spell at Dagenham.
Should he stay injury free Loft could rack up 200 appearances for the Valiants before the end of the season.
Being 6’0 he has a natural aerial threat in the centre of midfield, and is more than capable of getting a goal having scored four so far this season.
Star Man: Tom Pope
The clinical forward has picked up where he left off from League Two. Tom was the division’s top scorer last season as Vale secured automatic promotion, and this season has 11 to his name in all competitions.
Pope scored on his last visit to MEMS Priestfield Stadium in January 2013, and then netted in the last meeting between the clubs at Vale Park in October as the hosts came from a goal down to seal a 2-1 win.
The striker, now 28, is in his third season with the club having signed from Rotherham in 2011.
Port Vale – the season so far
Vale’s start to the season wasn’t as strong as they may have liked with the team winning just one of their first six fixtures in all competitions.
However they quickly turned results around, having a productive September which saw them win four from five matches – their only defeat coming at Leyton Orient in a 3-2 loss.
Coming in to Saturday’s match they currently sit 9th in Sky Bet League One with 41 points (12 wins, three draws and 11 defeats), just seven points shy of a play-off position.
In the cup competitions, Vale were knocked out of the Capital One Cup in the first round by Walsall after a 2-1 defeat. In the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy the team progressed to the second round of the northern area stage, only to be beaten 1-0 by League Two side Rochdale.
In the FA Cup they were defeated by Brighton last Saturday in a 3-1 loss at Vale Park in the fourth round.
Current Form (last six league games):
Gills: LDWLWL (7 points)
Port Vale: LWWLLW (9 points)
For the Gills to record their third straight home victory of 2014, Sky Bet, the official sponsor of the Football League, are offering odds of 7/5.
Cody McDonald has been on the score sheet four times in the last five outings, and you can get odds of 5/1 for him to score first.
If you fancy Michael Harriman to get successive goals at home, the odds on him are 20/1.
For Craig Fagan to score first and the Gills to win 3/1, you can get a price of 100/1!
To create an account and register your bets for the game click here.
Referee – Darren Deadman
Assistants – Andrew Aylott & William Bull
Fourth Official – Robert Whitton