PREVIEW: Gillingham v Bolton Wanderers

Wanderers travel to Gillingham bidding to close the gap on the play-off places.

The Whites are eight points outside the top six with 11 games to go and three of their next four fixtures at home after the trip to Kent.

Ian Evatt’s side will be chasing a sixth away victory of the season and looking to bounce back from last Saturday’s loss at MK Dons.

The Gills – 22nd in the table – have conceded the most home goals in League One but are improving under Neil Harris as they look for a fifth win of the season at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium.

Quotes from the managers

Ian Evatt: “We know what we have to do and that involves us winning games consistently. We’ve proven we can do that the last month or so and we have to go and do again.

“We’ve got to concentrate on ourselves. Everybody is scrapping for points at this time of year.

“Everyone has got something to play for. Gillingham are fighting for their lives and they’re going to play like that, so we’re going to have to match that.”

Gillingham manager Neil Harris: “Bolton are a big club at this level. They invested heavily, and well, in January and have had good results since.

“The crowd should hopefully improve again. It is a tough challenge we are looking forward to and it is a big game for both teams.”

Team news

Wanderers will be without vice-captain Gethin Jones, who is on compassionate leave.

Defender Adam Senior is added to the squad as cover after his re-call from a loan spell at Chorley.

Adam Senior action.jpg

Forward Mustapha Carayol could figure for Gillingham for the first time since the start of February.

Ben Reeves is also pushing for a start but midfield colleague Gerald Sithole remains an injury doubt with a hamstring problem that has kept him out since the end of January.


Wanderers’ fans are unable to buy tickets on the day at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium.

Form guide

Wanderers have won eight and drawn one of their last 11 games to stay on the fringe of the play-off race.

But Ian Evatt’s men will be looking for a first away win in three games and first since their dramatic 3-2 victory at promotion-chasing Oxford.

Gillingham have boosted their survival hopes since the appointment of Neil Harris as manager at the end of January.

The Gills are still in the drop zone but have lost just two of their seven games under the former Millwall and Cardiff City boss.

Harris’ side won at Lincoln City a week ago but have taken just one point from their last two home games.

Last meeting

Wanderers 2-2 Gillingham 2 | Saturday 23 October, 2022

Wanderers fought back with two late goals to end a run of three straight defeats.

The Gills looked on course for a first win at Bolton for 35 years when they led 2-0 at the break.

John Akinde fired the visitors ahead before Wanderers’ January signing Kyle Dempsey rifled home the second.

But the Whites made Gillingham pay for missing chances early in the second half with a storming late fightback.

Ian Evatt’s men piled on the pressure and were rewarded when Dapo Afolayan pulled a goal back with a superb strike in the 86th-minute.

And Kieran Lee then steered home an injury-time equaliser to give Wanderers an important point.

Match officials

Referee: Craig Hicks

Assistant referees: Stephen Brown and Anthony Da Costa

Fourth official: Ryan Whitaker


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