Preview: Gillingham v Wycombe Wanderers
Wycombe Wanderers travel to Gillingham on Saturday for their 12th league game of the season.
The Gills are currently 17th in the table with 11 points from their opening 10 league games.
With a dreadful record on their travels, home form has been Gillingham's saving grace and 10 of their 11 points have been won at the Priestfield Stadium where they have only conceded 2 league goals so far this season.
After winning last season's League Two play-off final at Wembley, Gillingham have had a mixed start to life back in League One.
Optimism at the Priestfield was high when a stunning 5-0 win over Swindon Town on the opening day of the season was quickly followed by a Carling Cup victory over Championship side Plymouth Argyle.
Sadly for the Gills, their great start didn't last and a run of three straight league defeats and a Carling Cup exit at the hands of Blackburn Rovers soon brought their fans back down to earth.
Hope was resurrected when they won three games in a row at the beginning of September, but three defeats and a draw in their last four games have left the Gills in the bottom half of the table and out of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy as well.
The Gills are sweating on the fitness of leading scorer Simeon Jackson who has only just returned to training after suffering a hamstring injury. Defender Simon King will definitely be missing following an operation on his ankle, while Danny Jackman is doubtful with a shoulder injury.
If fit to play, Jackson will pose a real threat to Wycombe's porous defence having scored 9 goals in just 11 starts so far this season. The striker scored 18 goals for the Gills last term and it seems he's had no problem making the step up to League One.
Gillingham's last five games (All Competitions)
LG1: Millwall (H)..............Won 2-0
LG1: Leeds (A)................Lost 4-1
LG1: Norwich (H)...........Drew 1-1
LG1: Southampton (A).....Lost 4-1
JPT: Norwich (H).............Lost 1-0
Gillingham Goal Stats
League Goals Scored (Total).....16
League Goals Scored (Home)....11
League Goals Conceded (Total)....16
League Goals Conceded (Home)....2
Goal Scorers (All Competitions)
Striker: Simeon Jackson......9
Striker: Andy Barcham........4
Midfielder: Curtis Weston.....3
Midfielder: Luke Rooney......2
Midfielder: Mark Bentley......1
Midfielder: Adam Miller........1
Simeon Jackson........12 on-target...16 off-target...0 against woodwork
Andy Barcham............7 on-target...10 off-target...1 against woodwork
Curtis Weston.............5 on-target.....8 off-target...0 against woodwork
Wycombe Wanderers are currently 23rd in the table with 6 points from their opening 11 games.
Wycombe come into this game on the back of three successive defeats, two of which were at home to teams occupying relegation places at the time.
They are yet to win on their travels and have taken just 2 points from five away games.
The Chairboys have only scored 2 goals in their last 9 hours of football and would appear to be embarking on yet another low scoring campaign.
It seems that current boss Peter Taylor has been unable to reverse the Wanderers' goal-shyness which first became apparent under previous manager Paul Lambert.
Despite being automatically promoted last season, Wycombe were only the 16th highest scorers in League Two with 54 league goals.
In the previous two seasons under Lambert they were 13th highest scorers with 56 goals and 16th highest with 52 goals.
This season, Taylor has tried several different combinations up-front in a variety of formations, but still the Chairboys rarely look like hitting the net.
Yet to win a starting spot, on-loan striker Ashley Chambers was the last player to score for Wycombe and following his superb goal for the reserves in midweek he's sure to be in manager Taylor's thoughts for Saturday, but don't bet against Matt Harrold starting up-front on his own in a 4-5-1 formation with Stuart Green featuring somewhere in midfield.
Tommy Doherty is rumoured to be close to fitness and may make an appearance on Saturday, but Matt Bloomfield is still out injured.
Wycombe's last five games
LG1: Hartlepool (A)........Drew 1-1
LG1: Franchise (H) ..........Lost 1-0
LG1: Swindon (A)...........Drew 1-1
LG1: Tranmere (H)...........Lost 1-0
LG1: Orient (H)................Lost 1-0
Wycombe Goals Stats
League Goals Scored (Total)......9
League Goals Scored (Away).....6
League Goals Conceded (Total)....17
League Goals Conceded (Away)....11
Goal Scorers (All Competitions)
Striker: Jon-Paul Pittman......4
Midfielder: Chris Zebroski....2
Striker: Matt Harrold............2
Midfielder: Matt Phillips.........1
Striker: Stuart Beavon.........1
Striker: Ashley Chambers.....1
Stuart Green...........10 on-target.....9 off-target....0 against woodwork
Jon-Paul Pittman.....11 on-target.....7 off-target....0 against woodwork
Chris Zebroski........12 on-target.....5 off-target....0 against woodwork
League Form Guide
Wycombe....Pld: 11...W: 1...D: 3...L: 7....Pts: 6.....Pts per game: 0.54
Gillingham...Pld: 10...W: 3...D: 2...L: 5...Pts: 11....Pts per game: 1.1
Last Five Games
Gillingham:...WWLDL - 7 points
Wycombe:.....DLDLL - 2 points
Last Five Home Games
Gillingham:..WLWWD - 10 points
Last Five Away Games
Wycombe:..LLLDD - 2 points
Against Top Half Opposition
Gillingham...Pld: 6.......Pts: 8......Pts per game: 1.33
Wycombe....Pld: 7.......Pts: 5......Pts per game: 0.71
Against Bottom Half Opposition
Gillingham....Pld: 4......Pts: 3......Pts per game: 0.75
Wycombe.....Pld: 4......Pts: 1......Pts per game: 0.25
Last Season in League Two the teams drew 1-1 at the Priestfield Stadium when an own-goal gave Wycombe a half-time lead only for Curtis Weston to equalise for Gillingham with just 6 minutes of the game remaining. In the return match at Adams Park, Wycombe's on-loan striker John Akinde scored the only goal of the game with Gills striker Simeon Jackson missing a second-half penalty.
Altogether the two sides have met on 17 occasions with 4 wins for Wycombe, 6 for Gillingham and 7 draws.
At the Priestfield there have been 4 wins for Gillingham, 4 draws and just 1 win for Wycombe.
Previous Meetings at Priestfield Stadium
1932/33 FAC: Gillingham 1 Wycombe 1
1993/94 LG2: Gillingham 0 Wycombe 1
1995/96 FAC: Gillingham 1 Wycombe 0
1996/97 LG1: Gillingham 1 Wycombe 0
1997/98 LG1: Gillingham 1 Wycombe 0
1998/99 LG1: Gillingham 3 Wycombe 0
1999/00 LG1: Gillingham 2 Wycombe 2
2005/06 FLT:: Gillingham 2 Wycombe 2
2008/09 LG2: Gillingham 1 Wycombe 1
Quotes (from their clubs' official websites)
'Our position isn't very good and we need some wins from somewhere. Unfortunately we're not creating enough clear cut chances and we're not looking like scoring enough goals. I don't see us winning 3-0 or 4-0 at the minute, I see us winning 1-0. I'd love to be in a position where I felt we had that many goalscorers on the park or a main goalscorer that would help the team. The boys aren't having a great deal of luck at the moment. We must keep going, keep our heads up and get a result from somewhere.'
Paul Stimson (Gillingham manager):
'Wycombe won automatic promotion last year but haven't started as well as they would have liked this season. We're around the same area in the table so it's important we try and maintain our home form and take the game to them.'
The Man In The Middle
Saturday's referee is Phil Crossley from Kent who was promoted to the National List of referees in 2002. His most recent Wycombe game was the 1-1 draw at Port Vale in April of this year.
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