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Gillingham Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 31/10/2002

AFTER that fantastic 6-5 victory over Burnley on Tuesday night, Town will go into Saturday’s game against Gillingham with confidence and with the signing of ex-midfield star John Oster, the fans will hope for an entertaining afternoon.

Home > 2002-2003 Season > Previews > Gillingham (h)

The Bottom Line

Say it quietly, but the Mariners are now rapidly improving at home and although a win is not essential on Saturday, three points are not impossible especially given a decent crowd like on Tuesday evening.

The Opposition - Any Good?

Gillingham had a fantastic start to the season and like Town did last season, were sitting on top of the table much to the surprise of the rest of the league. Since then, their form hasn’t been as good but has seen them pick up some excellent results. A 1-0 win at Ipswich last Saturday certainly stands out, as does their triumph against Watford only a couple of weeks ago. In their team, watch out for unpredictable ex-Scunny striker Guy Ipoua, Mali forward Mamady Sidibe and midfield warhorse Mark Saunders (left) all of whom have contributed greatly to Gillingham’s current 11th position in the table.

Recent Form



Players To Watch



Alan Pouton

Guy Ipoua

After most fans had conceded that he would not play on Tuesday night, the all action midfielder played despite having three stitches in his heel and had a cracking game in the centre of midfield. The current captain always gives 100% and in recent games has lead by example in the engine room, bagging four goals in the process.

The former Scunthorpe United striker, born in Cameroon was snipped from under the noses of our local rivals for a measly £25,000 - a move that illustrates the wonderful transfer skills of our ex-manager Brian Laws! The gangly forward has ambitions to follow his brothers footsteps and feature for his country - a claim that could easily come true, with Ipoua sitting proudly at the top of the Gills scoring charts with 4 goals.

Top Scorers



Kabba 6
Pouton 4
Barnard 2

Ipoua 4
Shaw 4
James 3
Sidibe 2

Team News



  • Manager Paul Groves has a pleasant selection problem in midfield and will have to decide between keeping the impressive Terry Cooke in midfield or putting new signing John Oster straight into the side.

  • There are though, real problems in defence, meaning that Town will have to stick with the back four that looked so rocky on Tuesday against Burnley with Iain Ward at right back, Simon Ford in the middle with left back Tony Gallimore and Darren Barnard reverting to full back.

  • Paul Groves and John McDermott are back in training but are not fit enough to play. Steve Chettle is still recovering from injury while Paul Raven is both suspended and injured.

  • One option for Grovesy may be to put Steve Livingstone at centre back, however, it would be unlikely to split up the Kabba/Livingstone partnership that looked so good on Tuesday night.
  • No knocks were picked up after the Gills 4-0 defeat to Wolves, however Marlon King, who has returned after a recent jail sentence could make the bench despite persistent problems with his knee.

  • Rod Wallace is still expected to be too short of match fitness after picking up a hamstring injury just over a week ago. The former Leeds striker has been plagued by injuries since his arrival at the Priestfield stadium and will be hoping to resume fitness to get a decent run in the side.

  • Also short of match fitness is Tommy Johnson but he will be fit enough to take his place on the bench with Sidibe and Ipoua up front.

  • Elswhere, the Gills have no other worries apart from the long term injuries to the likes of Simon Osbourn and Ty Gooden.
  • Probable Starting XI's


    Danny Coyne
    Iain Ward
    Simon Ford
    Tony Gallimore
    Darren Barnard
    John Oster
    Stuart Campbell
    Stacy Coldicott
    Alan Pouton
    Steve Livingstone
    Steve Kabba
    Jason Brown
    Nyron Nosworthy
    Chris Hope
    Barry Ashby
    David Perpuituini
    Andy Hessenthaler
    Paul Smith
    Mark Saunders
    Paul Shaw
    Guy Ipoua
    Mamady Sidibe



    Wes Parker
    Darren Mansaram
    Terry Cooke
    Jonathan Rowan
    Sean Allaway (GK)
    Vince Bartram (GK)
    Tommy Johnson
    Leon Johnson
    Danny Spiler
    Kevin James

    Last Time Out

    The last meeting between the two sides was in March when the Kent side won 2-1 with their goals coming from Paul Shaw and Guy Ipoua after Michael Boulding had given Town the lead. The defeat became Towns only one in eight games and was in the middle of the run that kept the Mariners in the first division.

    Town Team: Coyne, McDermott, Smith, Todd, Groves, Pouton, Campbell, Burnett, Butterfield, Boulding, Allen.
    Subs: Chapman, Coldicott, Ford, Jevons, Croudson. Attendance: 7,025    Report

    Gillingham Head-to-Head (14th on The Opposition Ladder).


    Fishy prediction: 2-1 to the Mariners! Reader's POMs


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