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Club News

The inside track on Gillingham

28 October 2022

Club News

The inside track on Gillingham

28 October 2022

Rovers go up against Gillingham in this weekend looking to get back to winning ways in Sky Bet League Two.

Danny Schofield’s side put in a dominant display against Stevenage on Tuesday night but came away empty handed after Jordan Roberts’ first half goal for the visitors.

Here we provide all the details on our latest opponents.

Manager

Neil Harris was appointed as Gillingham boss in January, succeeding Steve Evans in the role.

Harris is a former team mate of Danny Schofield, with the pair spending two years together at Millwall during their playing days. 

After several stints as caretake at the Den, the 45-year-old was named as permanent Millwall manager in the summer of 2015. In his first full season in charge, he led them to the Sky Bet League One play-off final, but saw his side beaten 3-1 by Barnsley at Wembley.

They used that as motivation the season after though, as they again made it to the home of football, this time beating Bradford 1-0 to secure promotion to the Championship. During his time at the club, he also led them to the Emirates FA Cup quarter-finals, beating Premier League sides Bournemouth, Watford and Leicester City before being beaten by Spurs. 

Harris resigned from his role in October 2019 and joined Cardiff just over a month later. He spent 14 months in charge of the Bluebirds before departing and having a year out of the game prior to joining Gillingham.

Form

Gillingham have drawn four of their past six league games stretching back to a stalemate against Hartlepool United at the end of their September.

They picked up a crucial victory against Sutton United at Priestfield Stadium in their first league game of the month, before battling to a 1-1 draw at Crewe Alexandra.

They picked up two more points with creditable results against both Stevenage and Barrow on home soil, but were beaten 2-0 by league leaders Leyton Orient in their last outing on Tuesday night.

Key men

The experienced Stuart O’Keefe joined Gillingham in the summer of 2019 and has since made 115 appearances for the club. After coming through the ranks at Southend, O’Keefe joined Crystal Palace in 2010 and spent five years at Selhurst Park which also included a loan spell at Blackpool.

He signed for Cardiff in 2015 but started just 26 league games in four years in South Wales, again spending time away from his parent club with the likes of MK Dons, Portsmouth and Plymouth Argyle. He has been a key component wearing the armband for the Gills with his knowhow becoming valuable to the younger players around him.

Winger Hakeeb Adelakun joined Gillingham on loan from Sky Bet League One side Gillingham in the summer. The 26-year-old made his name with Scunthorpe United in the EFL, making almost 170 appearances in six years with the Iron, before being snapped up by Bristol City in 2018.

Adelakun spent much of his time at Ashton Gate out on loan though, with spells at Rotherham United and Hull City. He joined Lincoln last summer but was limited to just 12 league starts in his first campaign at the LNER Stadium.

Striker Lewis Walker has been handed league starts recently in a bid to get the Gills firing in front of goal.

The 23-year-old arrived at Priestfield Stadium in the summer and has scored three times in the Papa John’s Trophy for Neil Harris’ side, but is yet to find the net in League Two. He joined QPR after coming through the ranks at Derby, and had a loan spell with Aldershot earlier in his career.

He started Tuesday night’s game at Leyton Orient and will be competing with Mickael Mandron for a place in the starting XI on Saturday.

Last league meeting

Charlie Kelman scored the only goal of the game inside the opening minute for Gillingham when the two sides last met at the Eco-Power Stadium in March.

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