MATCH PREVIEW: Gillingham v Bristol Rovers

GasCast Match Previews by Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers head east to Kent this weekend buoyed by a midweek win over promotion contenders Portsmouth.

The Gas came out 3-1 winners over Pompey under caretaker boss Tommy Widdrington and now their attentions turn to Gillingham this weekend looking to build on the fine win and performance, with Widdrington set to take charge once again.

“I’ve been charged with taking the team for the weekend’s game,” Widdrington told BristolLive.

“That’s what we’re doing, we’re focused on that really.

“The other people in the board and above there will be continuing the process [looking for a permanent manager].

“Listen, at the end of the day you if go to work in football, no matter what your role is, you want to win football matches. It’s as simple as that.

“For the lads to get that feeling back… It was always coming, I trusted that myself, and it wasn’t me, it was them on the pitch.

“From that point of view everybody involved in the whole football club should have enjoyed it and hold that feeling, because it’s a feeling we want to repeat as often as we can between now and the end of the season.”

Team news for the Gas is that defender Max Ehmer and forward Sam Nicholson are available despite both carrying injuries. Caretaker manager Widdrington confirmed that Ehmer sustained a shoulder injury in training that may require attention in the summer. The same was also confirmed for Nicholson, who has had a hip complaint since November.

Gillingham go into the game having been on the wrong end of a 3-1 result in midweek, coming against high flying Peterborough at Priestfield.

Gills went ahead in the game after a very impressive first half but the pace and power of Peterborough’s front line proved too much for them in the second half and manager Steve Evans, who spent just under a year at Posh, was critical of his side’s display after half time.

“It was a game of two halves,” Evans told the club’s website.

“We were by far the better side in the first half. We were bright, error free, strong, committed and played with a real purpose. I think we dominated them.

“I spoke at half time to the team about they’ll get a reaction; teams at the top don’t need any help. They have a good manager with top players. We knew Dembele was coming on because we got the shout so we knew it was a tweak of the system, we prepared for when the lads went out, seemed in a good place.

“Two or three minutes into the second half we gift them a goal and a few minutes later we gift them another one. They gave us enormous problems in the second half because we gave them the opportunity. They took advantage of big errors.

“You cannot commit the big mistakes that we make in the first few minutes in the second half.”

Evans may be able to call on Jordan Graham from the start after the forward was only fit enough for a place on the bench in midweek following his recovery from injury. Callum Slattery is set to retain his place in midfield alongside captain Kyle Dempsey.

Lineup Predictions:

Gillingham Predicted XI (4-1-2-1-2): Bonham (GK), Jackson, Tucker, Cundy, Ogilvie, Slattery, O’Connor, Dempsey, Lee, Akinde, Oliver

Rovers Predicted XI (3-5-2):

Score Predictions:

Max and Mets: Gillingham 1-1 The Gas

Simon and Harley: Gillingham 0-1 The Gas

Jack: Gillingham 1-2 The Gas