We turn our attentions to the FA Cup with a full and in-depth preview of our trip to Priestfield Stadium.
Gillingham v Pools
FA Cup First Round
Saturday 10th November 2018, 3pm
After winning their opening two League One fixtures of the new campaign, Gillingham had to wait until the beginning of October to get another victory on the board.
Defeat at Plymouth Argyle just over a fortnight ago saw them drop to fifth bottom in the table and a subsequent team meeting saw several players told to stay away from the club by boss Steve Lovell.
It was a move which brought about a change in fortunes for the Kent outfit who then set about thumping Bradford City 4-0 before following it up with a 3-0 triumph over Fleetwood Town.
Tuesday evening’s 1-0 defeat to Blackpool was a setback but Lovell’s side will hope to return to form against Pools in what is their fourth in a run of five successive fixtures on home soil.
Tom Eaves is Gillingham’s chief goal threat and the 6ft 3in front man has been in fine form so far this season, helping himself to 11 goals in 19 appearances in 2018/19.
The 26-year-old was recently shortlisted for the EFL’s League One Player of the Month award after scoring four times during October, including a memorable strike against Portsmouth at Fratton Park.
Eaves – who scored against Pools whilst on loan at Rotherham United in 2012 – has hit the net four times in his last three games so will need to be well-marshalled at the weekend.
Head To Head
Saturday’s game will be the 35th competitive meeting between the two clubs but the first time they have played each other in a cup competition of any kind.
The last encounter came back in January 2010 when Neil Austin’s late goal rescued a point for Pools at The Vic after Simeon Jackson had put The Gills in front.
However, Pools’ last visit to Priestfield Stadium in the opening month of that 2009/10 campaign resulted in victory – James Brown scored the only goal of the contest just after the hour-mark.
Overall, Gillingham have the edge historically having won 15 times in comparison to Pools’ 11 triumphs in the fixtures over the years.
Brett Huxtable will take charge of his first-ever Pools game on Saturday when he’s the man in the middle for our FA Cup trip to Gillingham.
Now in to his third season on the EFL’s list of referees, Huxtable stepped up from the National League at the start of the 2016/17 campaign.
He has presided over 16 games so far this term – his most recent appointment was on Tuesday night when he oversaw Yeovil Town’s 4-0 win over West Ham United’s Under-21s in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Fans all over the world will be able to access live commentary of Saturday afternoon’s game at Gillingham with Mark Simpson by logging-on to Pools PlayerHD from 2.50pm.
Pools fans will be able to buy their tickets for the game on the day with cash-only turnstiles available at Priestfield Stadium prior to kick-off.
Gillingham have been installed as 2/5 favourites for FA Cup progress on Saturday, with Pools rated 13/2 to pull off the win and odds of 19/5 available on the tie going to a replay.