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PREVIEW: Sky Blues Travel To The Priestfield Stadium

The Sky Blues look to bounce back...

24 August 2018

Factfile
Founded: 1893 as "New Brompton"
Stadium: Priestfield Stadium
Capacity: 11,582
Address: Priestfield Stadium Priestfield Road, Gillingham ME7 4DD
Pitch Size: 114 x 75 yards
Club Nickname: the "Gills"
Year Ground Opened: 1893 

Famous Game: 2000 Football League Second Division play-off Final vs Wigan Athletic

In the 1999 play-off final, Gillingham threw away a two goal lead, as opponents Manchester City denied the Gills promotion to the first division with a 3-2 victory after extra time.

Redemption came the following year, as manager Peter Taylor guided the Gills back to Wembley where they faced Wigan Athletic.

Roles were reversed as the Gills came back from 2-1, eventually defeating Wigan Athletic 3-2 in extra time.

Goals from 38 year-old Steve Butler and Andy Thomson helped the Gills gain promotion to the second tier of English football for the first time in the club's history.

Club Legend: Andy Hessenthaler

Midfielder Andy Hessenthaler joined the Gills in 1996 for £235,000, a club record fee. He made 303 league appearances, scoring 20 goals.

While at the club, the Gills reached the FA Cup Quarter Final where they faced a star-studded Chelsea side. Though the Gills were defeated, Hessenthaler impressed with his high-energy performance. Consequently, Chelsea chairman Ken Bates joked that he had been keen to sign Hessenthaler, until he discovered that he was 35 years old.

After promotion in 2000, Peter Taylor left to manage Leicester City and Hessenthaler was appointed as player-manager.  In the 2001-2002 season, he led the team to their best ever finish in the football league, as the Gills finished 12th in the first division.

Though Hessenthaler would resign in 2004, he would remain at the club as a player until 2006. In 2010 he returned for a second spell in charge, twice leading the club to eight place finishes before leaving by mutual consent in 2012.

Other notable former players include Ron Hillyard, Steve Bruce and Tony Cascarino.

 

Last Six

Won - Eastleigh 0-4 Gillingham
Won - Accrington Stanley 0-2 Gillingham
Won - Gillingham 3-1 Burton Albion
Lost - Millwall 0-0 Gillingham (Milwall win on penalties 3-1)
Lost - Walsall 2-1 Gillingham
Lost - Gillingham 1-4 Sunderland

 

Head-to-head

Sky Blues (W): 27
Draw: 11
Gillingham (W): 19

 

Opposition

After finishing 17th in the 2017-18 season, Gillingham have had a mixed start to their 2018-19 campaign.

The Gills picked up maximum points from their opening two fixures after a 2-0 win away to Accrington Stanley and a 3-1 home win to Burton Albion.

However, in the Carabao Cup, the Gills were knocked by Millwall after a goalless draw sent the tie to penalties, where the Gills were narrowly defeated 3-1.

Cup dissapointment was followed by a 2-1 defeat away to Walsall and a 4-1 defeat at home to Sunderland, leaving the Gills in 9th position.

 

Last Time We Met

Coventry ran out 2-1 winners at the Ricoh Arena the last time the two sides met in 2017.

Kwame Thomas opened the scoring from close range in the 16th minute, before George Thomas doubled the Sky Blues' lead six minutes later.

A second half goal from Gillingham defender Max Ehmer gave the Gills hope, but was not enough as the Sky Blues took all three points.

Watch the highlights below...

 

Sky Bet Odds

The Sky Blues are favourites at 7/5, whilst the visitors are placed at 19/10 and the draw available at 23/10.

In the first goalscorer market, Amadou Bakayoko stands at 11/2, whilst Jordy Hiwula and Luke Thomas are 7/1.

All odds are subject to change, for further odds on other markets click here.


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