Gillingham v Stevenage preview

Boro return to action for first league game since December 11

Gillingham v Stevenage

Saturday, January 1 – 3pm

It has been a while, but Stevenage return to league action against Gillingham on New Year’s Day.

Last in action on December 11, Graham Westley’s men will be hoping to put that result – a 1-0 home defeat to Northampton Town – behind them this Saturday but face tough opposition in the Gills who have won four league games in a row.

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Boro have played a couple of friendlies and a couple of games against the club’s youth side but Graham Westley, who played for Gillingham in the mid-80s, will be relishing getting his side back on grass after a three-week break.

Gillingham were in action last week and, according to Westley, were ‘tremendous’ in their 3-0 demolition of promotion candidates Port Vale, and Andy Hessenthaler’s team have moved into the top 10 after their recent good run of form.

Team news

Boro will have to make enforced adjustments following the departure of Chris Holroyd and Josh Walker – both of whom featured against Northampton – last week while defender Darius Charles and midfielder Michael Bostwick also miss out due to suspension.

Chris Beardsley could come back in up front for Stevenage in place of Holroyd while Joel Byrom, who has been out with both an eye and a foot injury, will be pushing for a first team return.

Lee Boylan and Darren Murphy are long term absentees.

Gillingham have a couple of injury concerns themselves with Jack Payne and Dennis Oli nursing ankle injuries while Chris Palmer (knee) and Joe Martin (head) could also miss out.

Danny Spiller is expected to start after the midfielder signed a new deal with the club last week.

Last five league games

Gillingham - last five league games (W4 D0 L1)

December 28 – Gillingham 3 Port Vale 0 (McDonald 2, Akinfenwa)

December 11 – Macclesfield 2 Gillingham 4 (Whelpdale, Gowling, McDonald, Akinfenwa)

November 23 – Barnet 1 Gillingham 2 (Whelpdale, Lee)

November 20 – Oxford United 0 Gillingham 1 (McDonald)

November 13 – Gillingham 1 Crewe 3 (Whelpdale)

Stevenage - last five league games (W1 D2 L2)

December 11 – Stevenage 0 Northampton Town 1

November 23 – Stevenage 1 Southend 1 (Long)

November 20 – Accrington 1 Stevenage 0

November 13 – Stevenage 1 Shrewsbury 1 (Holroyd)

November 2 – Barnet 0 Stevenage 3 (Mousinho 2, Roberts)

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