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Gillingham (A) match preview

14 February 2020

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Rovers hit the road in Sky Bet League One on Saturday as they travel to face Gillingham.

Rovers will be looking to make it back-to-back wins in the league following Tuesday night's 2-1 win over Bolton Wanderers at the Keepmoat Stadium.

They will also be looking to get back to winning ways on the road after they lost 2-1 at Fleetwood Town in their last away outing.

Gillingham's recent form

The Gills come into the weekend's game in high spirits having scored a 95th-minute winner in mid-week at Blackpool to secure a 3-2 victory at Bloomfield Road. Armand Gnanduillet put Blackpool ahead before two goals in three minutes from John Akinde and Regan Charles-Cook turned the game on it's head.

Blackpool levelled on 91 minutes through Nathan Delfouneso though there would be even more late drama as Brandon Hanlan popped up with a header five minutes into added time.

The Kent outfit are unbeaten in 12 in League One, last being defeated by AFC Wimbledon at the end of November.


Who's the gaffer?

Steve Evans will be the man in the home dugout when the two sides meet on Saturday at the Priestfield Stadium. Evans won promotion from League One in 2014 via the play-offs with Rotherham United, having been promoted with the Millers from League Two the previous season.

Evans has five promotions under his belt as a manager, with success at Boston United and Crawley Town amongst his other achievements. After spending time with Mansfield Town and Peterborough United, Evans took the reins at Gillingham in June 2019 ahead of the current campaign.

He has overseen 38 Gills' games so far, winning 13, drawing 15 and losing 10, leaving him with a win percentage of 34.2 per cent.


Ones to watch


JOHN AKINDE

The big frontman signed for the Gills last month from League One rivals Lincoln City. Akinde helped fire the Imps to the League Two title last season, having scored 17 goals in all competitions at Sincil Bank. Akinde was previously on the books at Barnet where he shared the Golden Boot with John Marquis in the 2016/17 season. Akinde fluctuated between the Football League and non-league in his early career, going between Ebbsfleet United, Bristol City and Aldershot Town amongst other clubs, though he has certainly now found his feet at EFL level.


BARRY FULLER

The experienced full-back re-joined the Gills at the start of the 2018/19 season following his departure from AFC Wimbledon. This is Fuller's second spell with Gillingham, having previously made over 150 appearances at the Priestfield Stadium, captaining them to promotion from League Two in 2009 via the play-offs. Fuller also had League Two play-off success with Wimbledon in 2016, again with the captain's armband in a 2-0 victory over Plymouth Argyle at Wembley Stadium. Fuller scored a long-range effort against Rovers in last season's 3-3 draw at the Keepmoat Stadium.


BRANDON HANLAN

The forward joined the Gills in 2018 following his departure from Charlton Athletic. Hanlan came up through the youth ranks at The Valley, though spent much of his time there away on loan at Colchester United and Bromley. He signed a two-year deal in the summer of 2018, winning the club's Young Player of the Year in his first season at the Priestfield Stadium. Hanlan scored the third goal in the Gills' 3-0 win over Rovers in this season's Emirates FA Cup second round, and also scored a late winner last time out at Blackpool.


Who's the ref?

Josh Smith will be the man in the middle when the two sides meet on Saturday, and you can read more about him here.


Last time out

It was the Gills who ran out 3-0 winners when the sides met at the Priestfield Stadium in the FA Cup second round, with goals from Mark Byrne, Olly Lee and Brandon Hanlan seeing them progress through to the next stage of the competition. Rovers' last visit in the league was a lot better though, winning 3-1 on December 29, 2019 thanks to goals from John Marquis, Mallik Wilks and Danny Andrew.

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