Match preview for Gillingham vs Cardiff City on 05 Jan 19

Match Previews

The Bluebirds travel to Priestfield Stadium this Saturday to face Gillingham for our Emirates FA Cup Third-Round tie.

The Opposition

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The Gills who play in the third-tier of English football host Neil Warnock’s men after back-to-back defeats against Doncaster Rovers and Southend United in League One. Their latter 2-0 away defeat at Roots Hall on New Year’s Day, leaves them in 18th position in the league standings and one point clear of the relegation places.

Despite this run of form in the league this season, the Kent-based club reached the Third-Round stages of this year’s Emirates FA Cup following successful triumphs over Hartlepool United after a First-Round replay and an away win at Slough Town in the Round Two.

The club’s leading goal-scorer this season is Tom Eaves who has netted an impressive 15 times in all competitions. He also holds three assists to his name.

In the hot seat

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The League One outfit are currently managed by Welshman Steve Lovell who took charge of the club on 12th October 2017. The Swansea-born manager however, has won 25 of his 72 games in charge during his reign so far, leaving him with a win percentage of just under 35%.

Prior to his managerial career, the 58-year-old ran out for a number of sides, with a total of over 450 appearances as a striker. This included representing Swansea City, Millwall, AFC Bournemouth, Stockport County and current club Gillingham.

The six-time capped former Welsh international was given the Manager of the Month Award in January 2018 after he guided the club to four consecutive wins.

Club Connections

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First Team Coach Ronnie Jepson (pictured above with Manager Neil Warnock, left, & Assistant Manager Kevin Blackwell, centre) was made manager of Gillingham FC on November 15th, 2005. Ronnie took charge of the club when they were in danger of relegation but guided them to safety, securing a 14th place finish during his first season in charge. He managed 86 matches.

Forward Chris Pike enjoyed a prolific four years at Ninian Park between 1989-1993, linking up superbly with Carl Dale (from 1991) in attack. The Cardiff-born striker won the top goal scorer award at Cardiff City for 1989/90, 1990/91 & 1991/92 (shared with Dale). He spent one season (1994/95) at Priestfield Stadium. Pike scored 91 goals in 261 appearances across his career for the likes of the Bluebirds, Hereford United and the Gills.

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Former Bluebird Adedeji Oshilaja signed his first professional contract for the Bluebirds in April 2012. The defender made his professional debut in our League Cup encounter with Northampton Town in August 2012. The Bermondsey-born defender made a second appearance for the Club away at Macclesfield Town on 5th January 2013. He signed a six-month loan spell with the Gills for their 2015-16 campaign and scored on his debut in a 4-0 win over Sheffield United in August 2015 on the opening day of the season. He officially departed Cardiff City in the summer of 2017 and joined AFC Wimbledon where he currently plies his trade.

Another Bluebirds defender to have ran out for both the Gills and Cardiff City is Ben Nugent. The 26 year-old appeared 14 times in all competitions during his time in the Welsh capital, netting once. He was awarded with the club’s Young Player of the Year Award during the 2012-13 campaign He departed the Bluebirds in 2015, joining Crewe Alexandra. In August 2017, the centre-back signed for our Emirates FA Cup opponents and made 23 league appearances during his stint at the club, before leaving to join League Two Stevenage in the summer of 2018.

Others players to have played for both Cardiff City and Gillingham include Aaron Morris & Leo Fortune-West.