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Club News

Since we last met: Gillingham

26 April 2024

Club News

Since we last met: Gillingham

26 April 2024

Rovers are on the road for the final time in the Sky Bet League Two regular season as they take on Gillingham at the Priestfield Stadium.

A point is needed for Rovers to make sure of a top seven finish while host Gillingham have just missed out, with only pride to play for on the final day.


Rovers recorded their first home win of the season when the two sides met at the Eco-Power Stadium back in September with Ben Close taking centre stage on that occasion.

The midfielder put the hosts ahead on 12 minutes in South Yorkshire after Zain Westbrooke laid off from an indirect free kick and the 27-year-old lashed home at the near post.

Conor Masterson had the Gills level just before the break but Close followed up with a stunning late winner for the second week running to secure back-to-back victories for the first time this term.


The Gills have suffered a slump towards the end of this season having won just twice in their last ten games.

Both of those two wins have come in the last six with the that run starting with a late 3-2 success at Morecambe before a goalless draw with Crewe.

Back on the road Gillingham suffered 5-1 and 1-0 losses at Harrogate Town and Bradford City respectively before their most recent win in a 3-0 thumping of Barrow.

Last time out the Medway side fell to a late comeback from already-promoted Mansfield Town as the Stags ran out 2-1 winners.


Mansfield Town 2 Gillingham 1

Sky Bet League Two, Saturday, April 20, 2024.

Line-up: Turner, Clark (Malone 76), Masterson, Ehmer, Hutton, Coleman, Dieng, Williams (McKenzie 59), Jeffries (Ogie 70), Mahoney (Walker 70), Andrews (Hawkins 76). Subs not used: Morris, Clarke.


Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Stephen Clemence took to the helm at Gillingham in November 2023 following the departure of Neil Harris and has since maintained a 36 per cent win ratio.

His only previous experience in the dugout came on a temporary basis with Sheffield Wednesday but he has also operated as assistant to Steve Bruce at Aston Villa, Newcastle United, West Brom and the Owls.


Goalkeeper: Jake Turner

Shot-stopper Turner joined the Gills in 2022 after leaving Newcastle United.

The former England youth international had loan spells away from the Magpies with Morecambe and Colchester United and has kept 19 clean sheets in 57 appearances on Medway.

Defender: Conor Masterson

Centre-half Masterson made the permanent switch to Gillingham in 2023 having already played for the club on two separate loan spells from Queens Park Rangers.

The former Liverpool youth only made 21 appearances for QPR but he has proven reliable for the Gills having scored eight goals in 85 appearances.

In the middle: Jonny Williams

Former Wales international Williams has spent the majority of his career operating between the Premier League and the Championship but joined the Gills at the start of this season.

The midfielder won Crystal Palace’s young player of the year award in 2013 and also has two play-off successes to his name with the Eagles and Charlton Athletic. Williams has featured in 41 of Gillingham’s 45 league matches this season.

Up top: Josh Andrews

A familiar name to Rovers fans, Andrews joined the Gills on a permanent move during the January transfer window having spent the first half of the season on loan at Accrington Stanley.

The towering forward joined Rovers at the start of last term but only featured five times in the red and white before his loan spell was curtailed.


Formed in May 1893 under the name New Brompton, Gillingham first competed in the Football League in the 1920/21 campaign but finished in last place before exiting in 1938. Since then the Gills re-gained their spot in the EFL and climbed as high as the second tier in 2000.

Rovers first met Gillingham in the 1959/60 Division Four season and ran out 3-0 winners at Belle Vue on the Good Friday of that campaign but the Gills would take a 2-1 success in the return fixture three days later. The sides have met 73 times in total and Gillingham lead the head-to-head rivalry with 37 wins in comparison to Rovers’ 16.

Rovers last win at the Gills came in December 2019 when goals from John Marquis, Mallik Wilks and Danny Andrew secured all three points in League One.


Swedish goalkeeper Pontus Dahlberg featured for both Rovers and the Gills during the 2021/22 League One campaign having joined on loan from Watford.

He joined Rovers at the start of that campaign and collected four clean sheets in 20 appearances as well as saving three penalties in a shootout win over Walsall in the Carabao Cup.

He headed back to Watford in the January transfer window before linking up with Gillingham where he only made a further six appearances – keeping two clean sheets. Both sides were relegated at the end of that campaign.

Now 25-years-old, Dahlberg features for Swedish top division side IFK Goteborg where he has kept 15 clean sheets in 81.

Contributor: Jefferson Hall-Nolan


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