Match Preview: Gillingham vs. Bolton Wanderers

Wanderers make the long trip down to Kent this weekend for their latest Sky Bet League One fixture against Gillingham at Priestfield invigorated by the recent takeover of the club by a consortium including Sharon Brittan and Michael James.

Priestfield has traditionally been a happy hunting ground for Wanderers with three wins out of their last four visits. Who can forget the 4-0 victory there in March 2017 as the squad looked to close in on what turned out to be an eventual promotion back to the Championship?

Steve Evans’ side are without a win in their opening four league fixtures and currently hover just above the relegation zone with just two points from a possible twelve. They will go in search of their first win of the campaign on their own patch this Saturday.

Team News

Liam Edwards suffered an ankle injury in the Carabao Cup first round defeat at Rochdale just over a fortnight ago, and speaking to at his pre-match press conference, Interim Manager Jimmy Phillips confirmed that he will continue to remain on the sidelines.

Dennis Politic has also been missing since the Rochdale cup tie with a hip flexor problem but Phillips confirmed that he has travelled to Gillingham and will be in the squad. A welcome return perhaps for the Romanian winger.

Jack Hobbs has returned to Wanderers this afternoon signing a contract that will see him remain at the club until at least the end of the season, and he will go straight into the squad this weekend.

Head to Head

Wanderers and Gillingham have faced each other on 17 occasions, with us coming out on top in 9 of those contents.

The two teams have drawn on 2 occasions and Gillingham have 6 victories to their name in clashes between the two sides. Their last win against Wanderers coming back in May 1987 in the old Third Division.

The last visit to Priestfield was a midweek trip with Wanderers about to pick up some real form that would ultimately contribute to promotion. Goals from David Wheater, Adam Le Fondre and Mark Beevers had Parkinson’s side three goals to the good at the break before a goal early in the second half from Josh Vela put the icing on the cake in an emphatic 4-0 victory.

Match Coverage:

As usual, match updates will be provided by the club’s official twitter account (@OfficialBWFC). We will keep you up to date with the action to ensure you don’t miss a kick – delivering a match report shortly after the final whistle with post-match reaction from the Interim Manager, Jimmy Phillips.

Live commentary will also be available by the iFollow BWFC channel (subscribe via the website), with the BBC Radio Manchester team providing the coverage.

Betting Odds

Gillingham are the favourites heading into this one. The home side are fancied to take all three points by Sky Bet and are priced at 1/3.

Wanderers are priced at 13/2 to register a first victory of the 2019/20 campaign and you can get the draw at 4/1.

Man in the Middle:

Robert Lewis will be the referee for tomorrow’s Sky Bet League One clash with Gillingham.

The Shropshire based referee has officiated four matches this season. One each in League One, League Two, Carabao Cup and Trophy. He took charge of Fleetwood Town’s opening day victory against Peterborough United and so far this season has dished out 19 yellow cards and 2 red cards.

The last time he was in charge of a Wanderers clash was back in February 2016 when Neil Lennon’s side were beaten 3-2 at Brighton & Hove Albion in the Championship. Emile Heskey and Jay Spearing were amongst the goals on that afternoon.

Andrew Aylott and Louis Marks will act as his assistants, with Gary Maskell the fourth official for Saturday afternoon’s fixture.

Key Men for the Gills:

Gillingham lost the services of former Bolton forward Tom Eaves who departed to sign for Sky Bet Championship side Hull City after a 22-goal haul for the Kent club last season. There is a void for someone to step into as a result of the forward’s move to East Yorkshire.

Alex Jakubiak has started the season brightly for Steve Evans’ side; the 23 year-old forward on loan from Premier League Watford with 3 goals in 5 appearances and in defence they have plenty of experience to call upon in the form of Max Ehmer, Lee Hodson and Barry Fuller.  

Mark Byrne is a tidy attack minded midfield player, also with a wealth of experience, as is central midfielder Stuart O’Keefe – a close season acquisition from Cardiff City.


Match tickets will be available to purchase direct from the away turnstiles at Priestfield Stadium, on the day of the fixture from 1.30pm. Tickets will be sold on a cash only basis, with no tickets available to purchase in advance of the fixture date.


Wanderers’ supporters are being advised to arrive as early as possible to avoid potential long queues.


Ticket Prices for the fixture are as follows:


Adults: £20.00

Senior Citizens: £15.00

​Under 18s: £5.00

Under 12s: Free of Charge (with a full paying adult) 

Additional Under 12s: £5.00


Wanderers supporters will be allocated in the upper tier of the Brian Moore Stand (which is open/no roof), this will be unreserved seating.


Official coach travel is available, costing £29.00 per person. Supporters must book their travel tickets direct with Tyrers Coaches by calling 01257 480 979, selecting option 2. All coaches depart from University Of Bolton Stadium at 7.30am.



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