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22 December 2017 Venue Highbury Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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Match Previews

Preview: Fleetwood Town v Gillingham

21 December 2017

Fleetwood return to action on Friday night as they host Gillingham in Sky Bet League One.

Town are looking to return to winning ways after Sunday’s 3-2 defeat to Peterborough, while Gillingham will hope to continue their recent good form, despite being dumped out of the FA Cup at Carlisle on Tuesday night.

Uwe Rosler said…

“If we can limit our mistakes we have a good chance of winning the game. Gillingham have had some outstanding results this season, but we need to focus on ourselves, be good in both boxes and have that will to win. Now, we need the supporters when we aren’t going so well. Now we really need them, to help us and support us, and give the players confidence.”

Gills boss Steve Lovell said…

“With the amount of good balls our boys put into the box (on Tuesday), you would expect people to be on the end of them, but they weren’t. I don’t understand why they don’t do it (in matches) when we do it in training. Hopefully, we will get through to them and on Friday we will see a different outcome, with people throwing their heads in the box and putting their chances away.”

The Form Guide

In all competitions, Fleetwood have won two of their last five matches, whilst Friday’s opponents have won one of their last five.

Fleetwood Town: DWLWL

Gillingham: DLLWL

We’ve Met Before

Fleetwood fans will fondly remember last season’s away game at Priestfield, where a last minute Kyle Dempsey winner sealed a dramatic 3-2 victory to take Town’s promotion race to the very last day of the season.

Town have lost just once to the Gills, but that was 5-1, back in September 2015. Fleetwood also won the home fixture last season 2-1, thanks to David Ball and Ashley Hunter goals.

One to Watch

Antiguan midfielder Josh Parker has been impressing for the Gills this season, netting five goals so far, including one in their 4-1 win over Bristol Rovers last Saturday.

As well as playing for a host of English Football League clubs, Parker has had spells on the continent at Slovenian side Domzale, Serbian champions Crvena zvedza, Kazakh side Kairat Almaty, as well as Scottish side Aberdeen.

Fancy a flutter?

Sky Bet have released their odds for Friday’s big match, with just a selection shown below.

Uwe Rosler’s men are backed to win at home as they are priced at 19/20.

Gillingham are 3/1 to take all three points away on Friday night, with a draw between the two sides at 12/5.

The two sides met in this fixture last season in October 2016, with the game finishing 2-1 to the Cod Army, thanks to a late Ashley Hunter goal giving Town all three points. A repeat of that score line this Friday evening has odds of 15/2.

In Town’s last home match against Peterborough United, Amari’i Bell scored first. For the defender to net first for the second game running, the odds are priced at 14/1. Devante Cole is 4/1 to get on the score sheet first in the match.

Tom Eaves is priced at 11/2 to score first for the visiting team, with Gabriel Zakuani at 40/1 for an outside bet.

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Match Reports

Report: Early goals do the damage as Town lose out to Gillingham

22 December 2017

Two goals inside the first 15 minutes saw Fleetwood Town end 2017 at Highbury with a 2-0 defeat against Gillingham.

Josh Parker and Luke O’Neill’s strikes were enough for all three points for the visitors, despite Town dominating possession throughout the 90 minutes.

Jordy Hiwula had Fleetwood’s best chance three minutes from time, but shot wide from inside the area.

Uwe Rosler made two changes from the side that played against Peterborough last Sunday afternoon, with Hiwula and Baily Cargill coming into the starting eleven. Nathan Pond and Wes Burns dropped to the bench.

It wasn’t the start Rosler would have wanted with Gillingham taking the lead in just the second minute of the match. Parker was the goal scorer, with the midfielder managing to pick up the ball inside Fleetwood’s box, turn his man and place his left-footed shot past Alex Cairns at the near post.

Town didn’t let the early goal get them down. The next chance fell for the Cod Army when Amari’i Bell’s through ball sent Cole down away the left wing. The striker did well to break away from the chasing pack, but his shot at goal went wide of Tomas Holy’s right-hand post.

However, Gills doubled their lead on the quarter hour. O’Neill cut inside of his marker on the right flank, he tried his luck from distance and it paid off. His curling effort skidded off the surface just in front of the goalkeeper and into the far corner. A great start for Steve Lovell’s men.

The home side grew into the game and with patient build-up in the middle of the pitch; the ball was played out wide to Lewie Coyle. The wing back beat his man, whipped in a dangerous ball into the box to Hiwula, but it was Zakuani whose last-ditch challenge blocked the shot on target. 

With five minutes until the end of the half, Town continued to press the back line of the Gills. Cian Bolger did well to get down low to George Glendon’s corner, however the centre-half couldn’t direct his head goal wards.

The red waves of Fleetwood kept pushing against the Gillingham wall in the remaining minutes of the half, but they kept solid until the break.

The second half began with Jack Sowerby and Ashley Hunter being introduced into the match; with Aiden O’Neill making way along with Cargill.

The two substitutes linked up in the final third straight away. Hunter crossed the ball in from the left wing, with Sowerby millimetres away from connecting with the ball. If the midfielder did get contact on the ball, it would have been a certain goal.

Ten minutes into the half, Tom Eaves thought he had made it 3-0 to the visitors with his header back across goal. It was a well-worked move by the Gills, but the linesman’s flag saved Town.

It was the Cod Army who got on the front foot after that disallowed goal. The home side came close when Bolger beat his opposite number to the ball and despite his header on target, the blue shirts of Gillingham got in the way to deny the boys in red.

Bolger took a knock after his effort at goal, and was replaced by club captain Nathan Pond. That was Rosler’s last substitute of the match.

Fleetwood never gave up and kept going until the final whistle, with Hiwula going close near the end, but it was to be defeat in the final home match of 2017.

Town XI: Cairns (GK), Coyle, Bell, O’Neill (Sowerby 46’), Eastham, Hiwula, Dempsey, Bolger © (Pond 70’), Glendon, Cargill (Hunter 46’), Cole

Subs not used: Neal (GK), Burns, Maguire, Schwabl

Gillingham’s XI: Holy (GK), O’Neill, Ehmer, Zakuani, Wagstaff (Hessentahler 39’), Eaves (Wilkinson 82’), Martin ©, Ogilvie, Parker, Clare, Bryne

Subs not used: Arnold (GK), Lacey, Nugent, List, Cundle.

Referee: David Webb

Attendance: 2,088 (85 away)

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