Gills head to the Eco-Power Stadium at the weekend looking to retain their place at the top of Sky Bet League Two.
Doncaster Rovers v Gillingham
Sky Bet League Two
Saturday 23rd September
There are no new additional injury concerns for Neil Harris to contend with this weekend, as the Gills head into their first away fixture in four matches after a run of three home wins.
Dom Jefferies edges closer to a first-team return, having trained on grass this week and recovering his fitness. The trip to Doncaster may still come slightly too soon for the midfielder, however.
Oli Hawkins featured for the Gillingham `B` Team in a match versus Millwall on Tuesday this week, however he was taken off inside the first half an hour and is set for an extended period in the treatment room.
Tim Dieng remains side-lined as he works to recover from an ankle injury sustained during the club's last away trip against Grimsby, George Lapslie will be assessed ahead of kick-off.
As for Donny, manager Grant McCann has his fair share of early season injuries to manage within the Doncaster squad.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the manager confirmed that Goalkeeper Ian Lawlor and defender Jack Senior will be late calls to face the Gills, as will Richard Wood.
Defender James Maxwell and Midfielder Jon Taylor will not feature as they continue to recover from long term injuries.
Neil Harris: “Three home wins and some strong performances which I think give us a lot of positives to take with us as we head back out on the road.
“It’s going to be a tough fixture which I think will really sum up League Two this season, Doncaster are a good side. If anybody is looking at the league table coming into this one, don’t be fooled by Doncaster.
“We’re fully expecting a tough encounter with a side that may have picked up some confidence now. They’ve got a good, experienced manager in Grant McCann and some great players that have played well in the games I’ve seen.
“We’ve got to be as consistent as we can be in the league this year, we must find ways to win these tight games.”
Gills and Donny met in League Two last season, each taking three points at home by a 1-0 score line.
Doncaster came to Priestfield back in April this year for what would be an even contest on the day. The visitors saw slightly more of the ball in that fixture, but the Gills did more with it when in possession. After a tight first half that saw both sides have their chances on goal, an acrobatic Tom Nichols strike in the 44th minute would ultimately be the difference.
After winning a throw in deep in Doncaster’s half, a long ball into the box would be helped on by the head of Oli Hawkins, before falling perfectly for an unmarked Tom Nichols who proceeded to lash it past Jonathan Mitchell in the Doncaster goal and into the top corner.
Doncaster pushed for an equaliser late into the second half and came close to getting their leveller. A well worked string of passes put Kyle Hurst in with a half-chance on Glen Morris’ goal. The forward couldn’t keep his cool however and under pressure from the Gills backline, put his chance just wide of the post.
Gillingham – 37
Draw – 20
Doncaster – 15
The Gills head to the Eco-Power this weekend with a strong past record when facing Donny. Gillingham have taken 37 wins from 72 meetings across all competitions. Our hosts this weekend have notched 15 wins against the Gills.
The two clubs have played out a stalemate in 20 of our past match-ups.
Gills fans can purchase on the day of the game, but a small price increase does apply. If you requested tickets to be posted and they hadn't arrived by Friday September 22 then fans were encouraged to call the club so duplicates could be made up.
If tickets were purchased in the last 48 hours then these will be taken up on the supporters' coach. The Doncaster Academy Reception will be open two hours prior to kick-off for collections,
Doncaster Win – 2/1
Draw – 11/5
Gillingham Win – 13/10
Special Bet: Tom Nichols to score and Gillingham to win – 4/1
Referee – Tom Parsons
Assistants – Abbas Khan & Jack Forder
Fourth Official – Danny Jarvis