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In opposition: Gillingham - ones to watch

11 March 2022

Having established themselves as a solid outfit in Sky Bet League One in recent seasons, more of the same was expected from Gillingham this term.

Retaining the services of top scorer Vadaine Oliver was a major factor in that but the striker’s goals this season have been crucial in keeping the Gills in the race for survival in the division. They arrive at the Eco-Power Stadium leading Rovers by a single point in the standings. 

The experienced Max Ehmer continues to headline the defence for Gillingham with Queens Park Rangers loanee Conor Masterson and the up-and-coming Jack Tucker. 

Midfielder Ben Thompson – who worked under boss Neil Harris at Millwall - arrived at the club in January and has been an important addition both on and off the pitch with his experience. 

Danny Lloyd-McGoldrick 

The midfielder arrived at Gillingham last summer having turned down the opportunity to remain with Tranmere Rovers. 

The 30-year-old started his career with non-league Southport before moving into the EFL with Peterborough United in the summer of 2017, leaving behind a career as a business development manager with a waste management company. 

Having failed to secure regular playing time with Posh, Lloyd-McGoldrick returned to the National League with Salford City in July 2018. He spent two years with Salford, helping them reach the EFL for the first time in 2019. In total he scored five goals in 39 appearances. 

Lloyd-McGoldrick has netted five goals and provided two assists for Gillingham this season. 

Robbie McKenzie 

The former Hull City defender is in his second season at Gillingham, having spent the three previous campaigns with the Tigers where he emerged through the youth set up after joining at the age of nine. 

His senior debut for Hull came against Rovers in the Carabao Cup, where goals from Alfie May and Tommy Rowe saw Rovers progress. 

McKenzie’s Hull career brought 34 appearances before he was released in the summer of 2020. 

The 23-year-old has so far made 79 appearances for Gillingham, scoring five goals. 

Vadaine Oliver 

Last season’s top scorer Oliver once again leads the way for the Gills. Adding to the 20 goals he netted last term, the Sheffield-born 30-year-old has scored eight times this season. 

A run of eight goals in eight games earned him the League One player of the month prize last March. 

Oliver began his career with Sheffield Wednesday but he did not make a senior appearance with the Owls. 

His senior career began in earnest with Lincoln City before joining League One side Crewe Alexandra in 2013 for his first taste of EFL action. 

Alongside permanent spells with York City – where he won the FA Trophy – and Morecambe, Oliver had loans at Mansfield Town and Notts County. 

He joined the Gills from Northampton Town in the summer of 2020. 

Ben Thompson 

Thompson was the first signing made by Neil Harris when he took charge of Gillingham in late January, with the tenacious midfielder joining on deadline day after his contract with Millwall was cancelled. 

The Sidcup native spent the entirety of his career with Millwall, having signed his first professional contract ion 2014 following two years in the club’s Academy. 

The 26-year-old made 175 appearances for Millwall and netted 12 goals. 

Thompson spent half a season on loan at Portsmouth during the 2018/19 season, making 26 appearances with three goals before being recalled by Millwall. 

He has made seven appearances so far for Gillingham, scoring one goal and providing an assist.

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