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HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU: Gillingham

We take a closer look at tonight's opponents

19 December 2017

There’s more FA Cup action for United tonight as the Blues welcome Sky Bet League One side Gillingham in an FA Cup second-round replay.

The two sides couldn’t be separated earlier this month as they played out a 1-1 draw at Priestfield.

And now they’ll renew acquaintances as they battle it out for the chance to play Sheffield Wednesday at home in the Third Round.

We put Steve Lovell’s men under the spotlight ahead of their visit to Brunton Park:

Back To Winning Ways

It was a tough start to the campaign for Gillingham, who had to wait until the middle of September to pick up their first league win of the season.

Recent form had looked to be much better with a strong run of performances in November seeing the Gills go seven games unbeaten in all competitions.

But back-to-back defeats to Oxford and Plymouth, after the FA Cup meeting at Priestfield, looked to curtail the upwards momentum - only for Gillingham to bounce back in some style with a resounding 4-1 win over Bristol Rovers last time out.

Now, the Gills will be keen to build on that win at Brunton Park and secure their passage through to the third round.

FA Cup Record

Gillingham had to tackle non-league opposition in Leyton Orient in the first round of this season’s competition.

And they progressed as goals from Josh Parker and Tom Eaves sealed a 2-1 win over the ten-man O’s.

That first round victory was already an improvement on last season when the Gills crashed out at the first hurdle following defeat to Brackley.

The non-league outfit held Gillingham to a 2-2 draw at Priestfield before triumphing 4-3 on their own patch.

Lovell will now be looking to guide his side to the Third Round for the first time since 2012, when they were beaten 3-1 by Stoke.

What Does History Tell Us?

The two sides have met fairly regularly throughout history and it’s Gillingham who have the marginally better record.

Of the 49 times the pair have faced off, the Gills have claimed victory on 21 occasions with United triumphant in 17 games - 11 meetings have ended as draws.

The last time the two sides faced before off our recent FA Cup encounter was in Sky Bet League One back in 2013/14, when Gillingham ran out 2-1 winners at Brunton Park.

Solid Record

The Blues have home advantage in this replay, and that will likely be of great comfort given United’s strong home record against Gillingham.

While the Gills won the last clash between the two in Cumbria, that is their sole victory at Brunton Park in the last 20 years.

And in that time there were some memorable Carlisle victories, including a 5-0 triumph in 2007 which saw goals from Peter Murphy, Luke Joyce, Kevin Gall and a Danny Graham brace.

Ones to Watch

+ Max Ehmer - A familiar face to Untied fans having spent time on loan at Brunton Park, the centre back joined Gillingham on a permanent basis in 2015. The powerful defender made his breakthrough at QPR and went on to play for Preston, Stevenage and Yeovil during several loan spells away from Loftus Road. But it was at Prreistfield where the German found his home, and Ehmer has gone on to make nearing 150 appearances for the Gills.

+ Josh Parker - Capable of playing as a wing-back, winger or a striker, the lively Parker started his career at Queen's Park Rangers and recently spent time with Red Star Belgrade in the Serbian SuperLiga. He initially joined Gillingham on trial at the start of 2017 before earning a longer-term deal. Used mainly up top this season, Parker has caused plenty of problems for oppositions defences and has four goals to his name already.

+ Lee Martin - An experienced winger who is currently the Gills’ captain, ex-Manchester United man Martin moved to Priestfield in 2016. He missed most of last season through injury but returned in February and put in some dynamic attacking displays on the left hand side. A regular this season, Martin has already netted twice while laying on plenty of other chances for his teammates.


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