Gillingham v Cheltenham preview
Last Updated: 05/08/11 11:27am
Birchall: Ruled out with a knee injury
Team news ahead of Saturday's League Two clash between Gillingham and Cheltenham Town at Priestfield Stadium.
Adam Birchall is the key omission from Gillingham's ranks as they prepare for their opening match of the season.
The striker, a summer signing from Dover, had not even been at Priestfield for a week when he had to be stretchered off during a 3-0 pre-season friendly victory over Welling.
He sustained damage to his cruciate knee ligament, subsequently ruling him out for at least the opening few months of the season and more likely until the new year.
Manager Andy Hessenthaler earlier this week handed valuable game time to strikers Dennis Oli and Stefan Payne - who have been suffering with niggling back and groin injuries - which could provide options for reinforcements to aid new arrival Danny Kedwell in attack.
However Kedwell has been used as a lone striker to good effect in pre-season and Hessenthaler has that option available to him.
Fellow new boy Andy Frampton has been handed the captain's armband for the forthcoming campaign and will skipper the Gills from the heart of defence against a Cheltenham side who claimed a 1-1 draw at Priestfield on the opening day of last season.
Andy Gallinagh is Cheltenham's only absentee as boss Mark Yates decides how many of his summer signings will make their debuts.
Defender Gallinagh has been ruled out for 10 days with a calf muscle strain and will miss the trip to Priestfield.
Midfielder Luke Summerfield became the club's 10th new addition of the summer when he penned a one-year deal on Thursday and the former Plymouth man will be hoping to make his bow.
As will the likes of striker Darryl Duffy, midfielder Russell Penn and centre-back Alan Bennett, who has been appointed as the club's new captain for the forthcoming campaign.
Teenage full-back Kyle Haynes has joined non-league Salisbury on a three-month loan deal and so will not be involved.
Sky Bet League 2
Sat 6th Aug
AFC W'don2 - 3Bristol R
Bradford1 - 2Aldershot
Gillingham1 - 0Cheltenham
Macc'field0 - 1Dag + Red
Morecambe0 - 1Barnet
Northamptn0 - 0Accrington
Port Vale2 - 2Crawley
Rotherham1 - 0Oxford Utd
Shrewsbury1 - 1Plymouth
Southend1 - 0Hereford
Swindon3 - 0Crewe
Torquay2 - 2Burton Alb
Sky Bet League 2
|8||Dagenham & Redbridge||0||0|
|14||Newport County AFC||0||0|