Gillingham v Bristol Rovers Match Preview
By Simon Gray
With just four games to go in the Sky Bet League One season, two teams in very different circumstances meet at Priestfield.
Relegation-threatened Gillingham entertain play-off chasing Bristol Rovers this Good Friday in a match where both sides really need all three points.
Gillingham go into the match having not won in five and are in 20th place sitting precariously above the relegation zone but manager Ady Pennock is ready to go to war.
“We are building a bit of momentum and are on our front foot,” Pennock told KentOnline.
“We have got four massive games and hopefully we turn up. We can’t not.
“There were a lot of words said the week before after MK Dons and at half-time.
“A lot of harsh words were said by myself – honest words – because we are in a dogfight. We are at war, at war against every team we play.”
The Gills could be without central defender Zesh Rehman for both of their Easter matches after he picked up a hamstring injury in the draw with Millwall last time out. Bradley Dack is serving the second of his two-game suspension so will miss the match against Rovers.
Bristol Rovers go into the game on the back of a 2-0 win over Shrewsbury Town and now sit just four points behind sixth place Millwall and although a chance of a play-off place is slim, it is still in reach.
But manager Darrell Clarke has said that his side are not looking at the league table.
“We don’t worry about league tables, we know where we are and we know what we’ve got to do so we’ll concentrate on our own business,” Clarke told the Bristol Post.
“Gillingham are fighting for their lives and I’d imagine it’ll be another difficult surface and the pitch will probably be quite lively.”
Clarke also, although not naming any individuals, admitted that a few players have picked up knocks this week so his team selection could prove to be an interesting one, especially with Oldham’s visit to the Memorial Stadium on Easter Monday.
“We’ve picked up quite a few knocks, to be honest with you, so we’ll assess that and see where we are come the weekend,”
“Unfortunately it’s not a good time for us to pick up injuries but we’ll get on with it. No excuses, we’ll pick a team for a busy Easter period starting with Gillingham away.”
The last time the two sides met was in October where a late Rovers comeback ensured they took all three points. The goal scorers that day were Chris Lines and Ellis Harrison after Josh Wright opened the scoring for Gillingham.
Rovers have had two previous visits to Priestfield to forget, losing 4-1 in 2011 and 4-0 on their last visit in 2012.
Rovers’ last away win at Gillingham came six visits ago, in 1999. They have lost all five away matches since.