Cheltenham Town v Gillingham preview
Cheltenham Town v Gillingham preview

Gillingham will once again be short on numbers for the trip to Cheltenham Town this evening for their FA Cup First Round replay.

Both striker Vadaine Oliver and skipper Kyle Dempsey limped off during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend and the pair may be protected with a busy League One relegation battle ahead.

Meanwhile, manager Steve Evans must decide who he risks with a lengthening injury list.

Midfielders Dan Phillips and Stuart O’Keefe both came through ninety minutes at Hillsborough, with defender Ryan Jackson having done the same as the trio made their way back from recent injuries.

Both Mustapha Carayol and Alex MacDonald may be given some time against Cheltenham, but Evans may be forced to use the extent of his squad to progress for a Second Round tie at AFC Wimbledon.

Dan Adshead and Ben Reeves came off the bench at Hillsborough along with Gerald Sithole and the trio may be handed rare starts.

For Evans, the Gillingham manager knows his side are in for a tough game, but one he feels his side can progress to the next round though. He said: “It’s always a tough place to go, whatever level they’re at. It’s always a difficult game. We’ll assess who we have available and go from there.”

Never before have a thin Gillingham squad been so stretched for numbers and at the weekend Evans was only able to name five substitutes.

Once again a very short benched Gillingham will travel with hope and not expectation, but it is the FA Cup after all, so who knows?

Picture supplied by Gillingham Football Club.

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