Gills boss Neil Harris returns to the dugout for the visit of Robbie Stockdale's Rochdale at ME7.
Gillingham v Rochdale
Sky Bet League Two
MEMS Priestfield Stadium
Saturday August 6th
Lewis Walker (awaiting international clearance) could make his home debut if the relevant paperwork comes through in time. Stuart O'Keefe (knee) is unavailable so Dom Jefferies or Ben Reeves are likely to come into the starting XI in his place.
As for Rochdale, they will be without former Gills striker Tahvon Campbell as he continues rehab from an injury setback. A couple of other players will undergo fitness tests.
Neil Harris - “We can’t make any promises that we will win every home game but they [the fans] will see a team who tries to get a balance between moving the ball at the right time and passing the ball and also having the capabilities of being aggressive and playing forward at the right times.
“Every game lends a challenge at home and we have to make sure we have that unison between the terraces and the pitch and that we are together as one football club to help us get over the line."
Robbie Stockdale - “They’ve got a player I know very well in Mika Mandron who I brought through at Sunderland in the under-18s and 21s. He’s a really athletic striker, a handful, so we’ll need to be careful of him.
“They’re another club who came down from the division above last year. They’ve kept a fair few of that squad together and we’re expecting a very difficult game."
Gillingham’s last fixture against Rochdale ended in a 2-2 draw in January 2021 at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium. Vadaine Oliver gave Gills the lead just a couple of minutes before half-time as he managed to bundle the ball beyond Gavin Bazunu.
Gills remained in front until the 69th minute before Jimmy Keohane turned the game on its head. He brought Rochdale back on level terms as he got in behind the Gills' defence before firing across Jack Bonham from a tight angle to find the bottom corner. He scored his second six minutes later as his shot from just inside the penalty area left Bonham rooted to his spot.
Despite falling behind, Gillingham had one final sting in the tail as John Akinde scored in the dying moments of the game. Rochdale were unable to properly clear a Ryan Jackson long throw, and the ball was headed back into a dangerous position. Akinde managed to keep himself onside as he hooked the ball on the volley into the back of the net.
A memorable win against Rochdale at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium came in January 2018. Andy Cannon put Rochdale in front just before the half-hour mark as his left-footed effort somehow beat Tomas Holy.
Gills were level a few minutes before the break as Bradley Garmston managed to drill a free-kick into the bottom corner. Lee Martin gave Gillingham the lead, and it proved to be the winning goal as his emphatic volley from inside the box rifled into the side netting.
Both sets of fans (Rochdale supporters online only) can buy tickets for the match up until kick-off. Gills fans can buy online or in person with the main ticket office open at 9am and closing just after kick-off.
Remember, U14's go completely free when accompanied by a full paying adult, young adult or senior citizen.
BUY TICKETS | GILLINGHAM V ROCHDALE
Gillingham to win - 23/20
Draw - 23/10
Rochdale to win - 11/5
Jordan Green to score first and Gillingham to win 2-0 - 55/1.
Referee - Will Finnie
Assistants - Anthony Da Costa and Michael George
Fourth Official - Nicholas Dunn