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Sky Bet League 2

Priestfield Stadium (ATT 5,360) 6th August 2011 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: L Collins

Gillingham Gillingham vs Cheltenham Town Cheltenhm

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L Rooney (S/O 83)

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Gillingham v Cheltenham preview

Last Updated: 05/08/11 11:27am

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Birchall: Ruled out with a knee injury

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.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet League 2

Sky Bet League 2
Pos Team P Pts
1 Shrewsbury Town 34 64
2 Burton Albion 34 64
3 Wycombe Wanderers 34 63
4 Luton Town 34 58
5 Bury 34 58
6 Southend United 34 58
7 Newport County AFC 34 53
8 Plymouth Argyle 34 52
9 Stevenage 34 52
10 Northampton Town 34 50
11 AFC Wimbledon 34 46
12 Morecambe 34 45
13 Portsmouth 34 44
14 Exeter City 34 44
15 Accrington Stanley 34 43
16 Cambridge United 34 41
17 Mansfield Town 34 41
18 Dagenham & Redbridge 34 40
19 Oxford United 34 39
20 York City 34 36
21 Carlisle United 34 36
22 Tranmere Rovers 34 34
23 Cheltenham Town 34 34
24 Hartlepool United 34 27