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Gillingham (Emirates FA Cup) match preview

30 November 2019

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Rovers travel to take on Gillingham in the Emirates FA Cup second round tie this weekend.

Darren Moore’s side progressed to this stage of the competition after beating AFC Wimbledon 2-0 in a replay at the Keepmoat Stadium on November 19.

The Gills also needed a replay to get through, as they secured a 1-0 win over Sunderland after extra-time at Priestfield Stadium.

Gillingham’s recent form

Gillingham have had a hit and miss season in Sky Bet League One so far which showed in their results throughout October. The month began with a convincing 3-1 victory at home to Southend, before a battling draw at Portsmouth a week later. They tasted defeat at the hands of Peterborough United before two away games at the end of the month brought about a 1-1 draw at Shrewsbury before a solid 1-0 win at Accrington Stanley.

November began with a 3-0 home reverse to Rovers’ South Yorkshire rivals Rotherham United, before they drew 1-1 at Sunderland in the FA Cup first round to secure a replay later in the month. They picked up another three points a week later with a 1-0 win at home to Lincoln, before Brandon Hanlan’s finish was enough to beat Sunderland in the second game between the two sides. Their last league fixture resulted in a narrow 1-0 defeat at AFC Wimbledon last weekend.

Who’s the gaffer?

Former Rotherham United, Leeds United and Peterborough manager Steve Evans was appointed as Gills’ new manager in the summer. Evans was the man in charge at London Road last season before being released from his contract in January – he spent a few months out of the game before becoming the new man in charge at Priestfield Stadium.

Since taking charge, Evans has taken charge of 24 games in all competitions, winning seven, drawing eight and losing nine, giving him an overall win percentage of 29.2%.

Ones to watch

Max Ehmer

The German centre-back initially joined Gillingham on loan midway through the 2014/15 campaign, before making the move permanent in the summer of 2015. Since arriving at Priestfield, Ehmer has gone onto make 200 appearances for the club, and was also named as club captain by former manager Ady Pennock in January 2017. The 27-year-old has a good scoring record from the back, and had his name on the scoresheet in the 3-3 draw between Rovers and the Gills at the Keepmoat Stadium last season.

Stuart O’Keefe

An experienced midfielder, O’Keefe arrived at Gillingham in the summer after leaving Sky Bet Championship side Cardiff City. Having started his career with Southend United, O’Keefe signed for Crystal Palace in 2010 but his time at Selhurst Park was hampered by injuries and he would go on to make just short of 40 appearances in five years at the club. He signed for Cardiff in 2015 and after an impressive first couple of seasons, went out on loan to the likes of MK Dons, Portsmouth and Plymouth Argyle before his move to Priestfield.

Alex Jakubiak

A product of the Watford youth setup, Jakubiak has spent plenty of time away from Vicarage during loan spells throughout the EFL. Now at the age of 23, he spent last season at Bristol Rovers, making the majority of his appearances from the substitutes bench. He made the move to Priestfield Stadium and got off to the perfect start with a goal on his debut against Rovers on the opening day of the Sky Bet League One season. He is the Gills’ leading scorer with five goals in all competitions so far this campaign.

Who’s the ref?

Darren Handley will be the man in the middle when Rovers take on Gillingham on Sunday, and you can find out more about him here.

Last time out

The two sides played out a 1-1 draw at the Keepmoat Stadium on the opening day of the season. Alex Jakubiak’s tap-in was cancelled out by a Kieran Sadlier volley just before half-time to secure a share of the spoils.


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