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