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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 Montrose (26)
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 Wycombe Wanderers 27 52
2 Shrewsbury Town 27 51
3 Burton Albion 27 51
4 Luton Town 26 47
5 Southend United 27 47
6 Newport County AFC 27 46
7 Bury 26 41
8 Stevenage 27 41
9 Exeter City 28 41
10 Plymouth Argyle 27 40
11 Morecambe 27 37
12 AFC Wimbledon 26 36
13 Cambridge United 25 35
14 Northampton Town 27 34
15 Accrington Stanley 25 33
16 Oxford United 27 30
17 Cheltenham Town 27 30
18 Portsmouth 26 29
19 York City 27 28
20 Mansfield Town 26 28
21 Tranmere Rovers 26 27
22 Carlisle United 27 27
23 Dagenham & Redbridge 26 26
24 Hartlepool United 27 18