Gillingham have finished midtable for the past three seasons and find themselves in the rather unusual position of 20th heading into Tuesday evening’s game.
Registering consecutive tenth placed finishes in the Sky Bet League One and the signings of defender Rhys Bennett and highly touted Chelsea goalkeeper Jamie Cumming (on loan) over the summer, it was no surprise that manager Steve Evans and his staff were confident of a strong league performance this year.
Things haven’t quite gone to plan and neither the Gillingham attack nor the defence has been what manager Evans or Gills supporters have been accustomed to during Evans’ tenure at Priestfield Stadium. Already in 17 matches this season, the Gills have been hit for two or more goals in a game on seven occasions, with five of those contests coming against league opposition. Compare this to the fact that the Gills defence was breached for multiple goals in a game 23 times last season in its entirety across all competitions.
The Gills hit opposing defences for two or more goals 21 times last campaign but have only scored more than one goal in a game just three times so far.
Gillingham have just two clean sheets but have failed to score four times. In a 2-1 home loss at the hands of Sunderland over the weekend, it was the first goal scored by the Gills since producing a 2-0 win over Cambridge United on 28 September.
Since that time, a total of eight goals have been scored against them, while managing to score just the one themselves. In the last 10 games, Gillingham has allowed 24 goals, and scored 16. On the whole, the team has scored seven of its 16 goals at the friendly confines of Priestfield Stadium.
Many pundits and preseason predications had Gillingham to finish at or near the middle of the League One table once again this season. However, the Gills enter Tuesday’s match against Doncaster Rovers sporting an overall record of just three wins, seven draws and seven losses in all competitions. In their last 15 games, the Gills have won three, drawn five and lost seven. In League One matches, Gillingham has won three, drawn four and lost five entering Tuesday evening’s matchup.
The last time Gillingham finished below the top 15 in the League One table came when the Gills were 20th at the end of the 2016/17 season, as the team went through two head coaches that season in the form of Justin Edinburgh and Adrian Pennock.
Since the 2014/15 season, there have been seven draws in 15 games played but only two were goalless both coming in the 2017/18 season.