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Gillingham Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 13/02/2003

TOWN fans can now breathe a sigh of relief after last week’s much needed win against Stoke, but the hard work must still go on and the Mariners will be looking to collect three more points this weekend against a Gillingham side who agonisingly lost to a late goal on Monday evening to Reading.

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

The Bottom Line

Town need to keep picking up points and although Gillingham have a strong side, realistically, it is a place that the Mariners ought to be looking to take something away from. Especially with this game being followed by an even tougher looking game at Ipswich next Saturday, Town cannot rely on home wins and so therefore, an away victory needs to come from somewhere soon.

The Opposition - Any Good?

Despite their relatively small size as a club, Gillingham make up for it in ambition. This was shown in the summer when they landed former Leeds and Rangers forward Rod Wallace (left) who scored in midweek. It was hoped that he would help the Gills to play off place this season, but injuries to him and the rest of the squad have hampered those chances. In defence they call upon ex Scunthorpe captain Chris Hope while in midfield they have the ever reliable Paul Smith who scored for the Kent club when the two sides met at Blundell Park. Up front will be Mali international Mamady Sidibe.

Recent Form


LBurnley (Cup)(a)0-4
LLeeds (Cup)(a)1-2
DLeeds (Cup)(h)1-1

Players To Watch



Danny Coyne

Mamady Sidibe

Kept his first clean sheet for ten games in last week’s 2-0 win over Stoke. The Wales stopper who has won the player of the year award for the past two seasons at Blundell Park and has been a regular in the Wales squads since the summer when Mark Hughes rewarded him for some spectacular performances in the Grimsby Town goal.

The 6 foot 4 striker joined the Gills from Swansea at the start of the season when negotiations for a new deal at Vetch Field fell through. He is an international for Mali who has shown many first division defences that he is not afraid to put himself about and run at people. His hard work has been rewarded this season with four goals and many admirers in the division.

Top Scorers



Kabba 6
Campbell 5
Oster 5
Pouton 4

King 7
Ipoua 7
Shaw 6
Wallace 5

Team News



  • The Mariners are sweating over the fitness of Alan Pouton who of course, returned to the side in last Saturday’s victory and had a massive influence on the game. His ankle injury has been niggling him all week and it means he may miss out.

  • If Pouton fails to make it then the returning Stacy Coldicott or Chris Bolder will replace him.

  • Elsewhere, unless the Mariners make any signings before Friday’s deadline they will be unchanged from last weekend, with Chris Thompson resuming his partnership with Michael Boulding up front.
  • For perhaps the first time this season, Town are playing someone with worse injury problems than themselves!

  • Andy Hessenthalar has doubts of the fitness of Kevin James, Chris Hope, Nyron Nosworthy and himself, but expects all of them to keep their places and shake of their knocks in time for the game.

  • Midfielder Simon Osborn who has been out with a ruptured achilles since the start of the season played 45 minutes of a reserve game in midweek but will not be fit enough to return. However, after missing the last two games, Paul Shaw is in full training again and could make the bench.

  • They will also be without long term injury victims Tommy Johnson and Marlon King.
  • Probable Starting XI's


    Danny Coyne
    John McDermott
    Simon Ford
    George Santos
    Tony Gallimore
    Stuart Campbell
    Terry Cooke
    Paul Groves
    Stacy Coldicott
    Michael Boulding
    Chris Thompson
    Jason Brown
    Nayron Nosworthy
    Roland Edge
    Chris Hope
    Leon Johnson
    Kevin James
    Andy Hessenthaler
    Paul Smith
    Nicky Southall
    Mamady Sidibe
    Rod Wallace



    Chris Bolder
    Darren Barnard
    Jonathan Rowan
    Iain Ward
    Sean Allaway (GK)
    David Perputini
    Guy Ipoua
    Paul Shaw
    Danny Spiller
    Richard Rose

    Last Time Out

    The last meeting between the two sides ended in a 1-1 draw, when John Oster and Jason Gavin made their Town debuts and Steve Kabba played his last game for the Mariners. Town dominated the match and should have won when they took the lead through John Oster. However, a goal late on from Gillingham midfielder Paul Smith meant there was a share of the spoils.

    Town Team: Coyne, McDermott, Gallimore, Gavin, Ford, Coldicott, Campbell, Oster, Pouton, Livingstone (Mansaram), Kabba.
    Subs (not used): Ward, Cooke, Barnard Allaway.

    Attendance: 5,715    Report

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


    Fishy prediction: 1-1 draw. Reader's POMs


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