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Match Previews

Preview: Gillingham v Town

1 September 2017

With everything going rather swimmingly,  Shrewsbury Town take their unbeaten league run to Kent with a visit to Gillingham. The Gills haven't had a great start to the season really, they earned a point at Doncaster in a 0-0 draw on the opening day of the season and another in their 3-3 home draw with Southend last weekend are their only points so far. 1-0 defeats at home to Bradford and away to Milton Keynes make up the rest of their league results, they were put out of the League Cup by Reading but they managed to beat Southend at the second time of asking in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night.

The Manager
Ex Gillingham defender Adrian Pennock is the man in charge at Priestfield and has been since early January. Before signing up with the Gills he managed Forest Green Rovers but was replaced after three years despite taking them higher than they had ever been in the Conference. He's also coached at Welling and stoke where he was youth coach for Tony Pulis. His record at Gillingham isn't particularly spectacular but he was battling at the wrong end of League One for the first half a season and he did keep them up with just one point less than we managed to.

Top Scorer
Tom Eaves. We know Tom quite well after his time spent on loan here a few seasons ago from Bolton. I liked him, and I was pleased to see him sign for a second time after he'd scored six times in ten games, including three against Crawley. He'd previously been with Bristol Rovers and had scored seven for them in sixteen and I saw him as an impressive player who helped us a great deal in that first season. His second spell with us came in 2013/4 and wasn't as resounding a success as his first spell but nobody did particularly well for us that season. Since then he's had a season with Yeovil, another club during a difficult time, He scored seven in all competitions from around fifty games for Yeovil and moved on to Gillingham this closed season. He's played five times this season and scored a hat-trick last weekend against Southend.

Kevin Johnson from Weston-Super-Mare. Mr Johnson started the season with 2 red cards in Wigan's 1-0 away win at Milton Keynes but hasn't shown any since. His yellow card average so far this season is 3.8 over five games.

Assistants: Andrew Laver and John Farries.

Fourth Official: Graham Kane.

Squad News
Gills: Striker Conor Wilkinson who still has one game to go to complete his red card suspension. Midfielder Josh Wright has left the club and last night midfielder Sean Clare signed from Sheffield Wednesday. Goalkeeper Steve Arnold will be assessed after he sustained a broken nose and teeth in the Southend game.
Town:Dean Henderson still away with the England Under 21’s,

I've had a look at Gillinghams highlights from this season so far and although it you don't get a full picture of how a team plays, they do look vulnerable from the flanks.  Defensively I imagine they may want to improve their organization but going forward they look a danger but until their last two games they hadn't scored. They will certainly be buoyed by those last couple of results, five goals scored and two wins in a few short days shows they're more capable than their league position suggests. But we should also remember that this is a team that has conceded four goals against a Southend team that haven't won since the first game of the season. I'd be happy enough to draw this one but I think we can beat them if we play as we have been doing so far this season.

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