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Grimsby v Gillingham Preview

By: Sam Kinnaird
Date: 20/03/2009

GRIMSBY are fast running out of chances to avoid the unthinkable drop and with five games left at home of out a total at eight it doesn't take a genius to realise that results at Blundell Park are the key to staying up - forget about other teams getting yet more points deductions.

Home > 2008-2009 Season > Previews > Gillingham (h)

The Opposition


Chairman Paul Scally became a Gills legend when he rescued the club from near certain extinction in 1995 when they were at the depths of the then Division Three. In 1999 they reached the Division Two play-off final in dramatic circumstances to Manchester City. Gillingham were 2-0 up with just 2 minutes left but the game went to extra time and penalties when City fought back, city then went on to win 3-1 on penalties and break Gills hearts. They went one better the next year however, beating Wigan at the old Wembley 3-2 under Peter Taylor and then player-manager Andy Hessenthaler, they then went on to finish 11th in Division One which is Gillingham’s highest ever League finish. They managed to remain in Division One for 4 seasons until they were relegated in 2005, with Hessenthaler being replaced by Stan Ternant who as unable to keep them in the division. A few seasons of mid-table mediocrity then followed until they were related again last season with 46 points, 4 points from safety. Current manager Mark Stimson (left) was plucked from the Conference in the November of the relegation season after building up a good reputation with Grays Athletic and then a short stint with Stevenage. He has since brought a number of Stevenage players to the Priestfield Stadium including Adam Miller and the aptly named John Nutter. This season started with no wins in the first 3 games and Gillingham went into Christmas looking by no means a certainty for the play-offs. However things have soon picked up and the club have been in devastating form since the turn of the year picking up 9 wins since. They are currently unbeaten in 8 games and last time out scraped a 1-0 win at Notts County to take them up to 2nd in the table, 6 points behind leaders Brentford.

The Team

The Gillingham squad is full of good players at this level with many playing at higher levels than League Two. Town fans with remember Nicky Southall (left) from his days at Blundell Park, the 37 year old played 72 times for town in the 90s but has played over 300 games for the Gills in 3 spells becoming a club favourite in the process. Veteran goalkeeper Simon Royce was player of the year at the club last year and has been equally as impressive this season. Club captain Mark Bentley was signed on a free from Southend United in 2006 and has played 39 games this season. 25 year old centre back Simon King signed for Gillingham for £200,000 from Barnet and has played nearly 80 games for the club over 2 seasons, and has become a rock at the heart of the defence. Winger Andy Barcham was signed on a free from Spurs after a successful loan period last year, he has already scored 4 times in his 12 appearances this season and is doubtless one of the more talented players in League Two.

Key Player

Jamaican frontman Simeon Jackson signed for Gillingham for £150,000 from Rushden & Diamonds last season and has been a revelation. His pace and power have brought him 17 league goals already this season to add to last season’s tally. His performance in the cup against Aston Villa in January where he scored an equaliser led to rumours of a £1,000,000 move to Villa Park which never materialised. He scored in the 3-0 win over the Mariners earlier in the season and scored against us for Rushden in the league game in 2005. The striker has the ability to tear defences to pieces and Bennett and Atkinson will have to be at their best to keep him out.

Recent Form

Currently 23rd in League Two.
WNotts Co(a)1-0
Currently 2nd in League Two.

Top Scorers

Jar man5

Team News


  • Jean-Paul Kalala is a doubt with a groin problem and will undergo a fitness test. Danny Boshell is unavailable with a hamstring problem picked up at Chester.

  • Phil Barnes, Gary Montgomery and Tom Newey have been told they can leave.
  • Gillingham are unbeaten in eight games and manager Mark Stimson is set to name an unchanged side.
  • Squads

    1GKPhil Barnes
    2DFRobbie Stockdale
    3DFTom Newey
    4DFRyan Bennett
    5DFMatthew Heywood (c)
    7MFPeter Till
    8MFPaul Bolland
    9MFAdam Proudlock
    10MFChris Llewellyn
    11MFDanny Boshell
    12DFJamie Clarke
    13GKGary Montgomery
    14MFJames Hunt
    15DFMatthew Bird
    16MFJean-Paul Kalala
    17MFNick Hegarty
    18MFPeter Bore
    19FWDanny North
    20FWAndy Taylor
    21DFJoe Widdowson
    22FWNathan Jar man
    23MFGrant Normington
    25MFRob Atkinson
    26FWJean-Louis Akpa Akpro
    27MFMickael Buscher
    28GKLeigh Overton
    32FWAdrian Forbes
    1 GKSimon Royce
    2 DFBarry Fuller (team captain)
    3 DFJohn Nutter
    4 MFStuart Lewis
    5 DFSimon King
    6 DFGarry Richards
    8 MFMark Bentley (club captain)
    9 FWGary Mulligan
    10 FWSimeon Jackson
    11 MFNicky Southall
    14 MFAdam Miller
    15 DFRene Steer (on loan from Arsenal)
    21 FWDennis Oli
    23 GKAlan Julian
    26 MFCurtis Weston
    28 DFJack Payne
    29 MFTom Murphy
    30 FWMark McCammon
    31 MFAlbert Jarrett
    32 FWAndy Barcham
    33 DFLuke Rooney
    35 MFDean Rance
    36 MFCharlie Stimson

    Head to Head

    Grimsby have a surprisingly good record against Gillingham, although they have lost six out of the last seven games against the Gills.

    P 35 W15D9 L11F40A36

    Gillingham Head-to-Head (21st on The Opposition Ladder)

    Last Meeting

    Gillingham 3 Grimsby 0 (Sat 06th Sep 2008)

    A match best forgotten



    The Fishy Prediction

    Town have it all to do to get anything out of an in-form Gillingham side, a draw would be a great result.

    Mariners 1-1 Gillingham

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