Writer: Gillingham Editor
Date:Friday January 18 2008
The Gills begin a spell of four games in 10 days with a home clash against Northampton - and an old friend in the shape of Danny Jackman.
The diminutive left-back left Priestfield for Northampton at the end of his contract in the summer, and comes up against his former employers for the first time.
But the Gills that Jacko left and the Gills he will face this weekend are two very different propositions.
The Gills go into the clash on the back of an impressive 3-1 win at Huddersfield last weekend - but they will need to be wary of taking Northampton too lightly.
Last month, the euphoria of an away win at Crewe quickly subsided with defeats to the bottom club in the table two weekends running, as Port Vale won at Priestfield and Bournemouth then beat the Gills at Dean Court.
Manager Mark Stimson will have warned his side against complacency ahead of the clash, especially as a home win could see the Gills climb into the top half of the table for the first time this season.
Northampton were considered in some quarters to have an outside shot at the play-offs this season after some good additions over the summer, but they have won just two league games since back-to-back wins over Cheltenham and Oldham at the end of October.
That run of form has seen them slip to 18th spot in the table, and they have won just twice away from home this season - at Oldham and Huddersfield - and have conceded the same number of goals on the road as the Gills - 25.
They actually have a good recent record at Priestfield, but the Gills will be hoping they can get a win and make it five League One games without defeat.
Gills boss Mark Stimson told the club's official website: 'We have put ourselves into a decent position through a lot of hard work and a lot of effort. We just have to take that into Saturday's game against Northampton I am sure if we do that, and with the way that we have played over the last four or five league games, we can cause them problems and hopefully get some points.
'I expect Northampton to try and play football. They have got a fantastic home pitch and when I have watched them at home, they try to get the ball down and play.
'They've got a couple of big lads in the team so we'll be tested but, once again, it is all about us. We just need to worry about what we are going to do. If we perform to our ability, like we have recently, I am sure that we'll ask them some big questions.'
Northampton defender Danny Jackman told PA Sport: 'I loved my time down there, it's a good club and the fans were always good to me. Things worked out that meant that I didn't stay there for whatever reason but hopefully I'll enjoy a win there on Saturday.
'Gary Mulligan was round my house on Sunday and we had plenty of banter but hopefully we'll keep him quiet. Our friendship goes out of the window during the game.
'Maybe earlier in the season I would have got some stick but now they've got a new manager and plenty of new players so the fans have probably forgotten all about me now.'
The Gills will almost certainly be unchanged from the side which beat Huddersfield last weekend after Adam Miller's red card was rescinded on appeal.
Miller was sent off at Huddersfield last weekend and faced a three-game ban, but the FA overturned the decision after an appeal from the Gills.
Stuart Thurgood and Dennis Oli should be included in the squad after recovering from illness, while Ian Cox could also feature after his thigh injury.
Efe Sodje is back in light training after his fractured eye socket but is unlikely to feature, while Adam Bygrave plays the final game of his current loan spell from Reading.
Man of the match at Huddersfield, and his red card being rescinded was great news for the Gills - and bad news for Northampton.
Northampton have allowed top scorer Andy Kirk to move to Yeovil, but are set to bring in two more strikers before the clash.
Another striker, Poul Hubertz, is out suspended, while captain Chris Doig is a long-term absentee and Liam Dolman could miss out after suffering an injury in last weekend's draw with Hartlepool.
On loan from Ipswich, the young striker scored the winner against the Gills on the opening day of the 2004/05 season.
Was highly thought of back then, but appears to have lost his way slightly since then, but is still a man to watch.
This is the 101st meeting between the two clubs, and the Cobblers have won 48 to the Gills' 35, with 17 draws.
The Gills have not beaten the Cobblers since February 1999 when a Paul Smith goal was enough for a 1-0 win at Sixfields.
The Cobblers have won two and drawn one of the three meetings since then, with the wins coming at Priestfield in the League Cup in 2004 and in August last year.
Andy Kirk scored the only goal that day, and that strike made it three wins in a row for Northampton in Kent, with them also claiming a 3-2 win at Priestfield in September 1998.
The Gills' last home win over the Cobblers was in February 1998 when a Guy Butters penalty secured all three points for the Gills.
Oldham Athletic (H),
Tuesday January 22,
Date:Friday January 18 2008
Experience Pair Wanted (Monday May 20 2013)
Pre-Season: Gills Add To Schedule (Wednesday May 15 2013)
Pre-Season: Lions Coming To Town (Tuesday May 14 2013)
Payne Set For Permanent Posh Switch? (Monday May 13 2013)
Former Loanee Opts For Portsmouth (Saturday May 11 2013)
That Could've Been Me (Friday May 10 2013)
Hessenthaler Leaves Priestfield (Tuesday May 7 2013)
Trio Honoured By Their Peers (Tuesday April 30 2013)
Gills Winners Named (Monday April 29 2013)
Gills End With A Rare Away Defeat (Monday April 29 2013)
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