Match Preview | Gillingham (H)

Newport will look to return to winning ways on Saturday afternoon when they welcome Stephen Clemence’s Gillingham to Rodney Parade.

The Exiles will be looking to put Tuesday night's loss behind them, while the Gills will be looking to build on their 2-2 draw with Swindon Town midweek and maintain their spot in their playoff push.

Manager's Comments

Graham Coughlan is keen to see his side bounce back from their midweek defeat this Saturday and shared these thoughts in this morning's pre-match press conference: "We lost the game of football, obviously that is frustrating and disappointing," began the Gaffer.

"We have to be careful not to go overboard, the key is to understand why we lost the game and where we lost it, of course after the game that's easy, but before the game, I felt we were in a really good place.

"It's one of those things, it happened. We've assessed how it happened and now we move on from it."

Looking at Saturday's opposition, Coughlan was plenty complimentary of the Gills' recent performances: "They had a really good result last week [3-1 against Notts County] and another strong performance against Swindon Town to draw 2-2. 

"They are a really strong team with lots of experience in this division, and I think they'll fancy their chances in the playoffs too.

"They've had a bit of a turbulent time in the last 18 months, but this could be their time.

"It's a big game and a big opportunity for us to put a marker down, put that flag in the sand and show teams that we can compete with these big clubs, we can compete with these playoff teams," he concluded.

You can watch the full press conference online by clicking HERE.

Opposition Form 

Saturday’s visitors have had a topsy-turvy campaign so far as they seek to break into this year’s playoff race. 

The Gills have won two of their last six games, with both victories coming on the road. As chance would have it, Gillingham’s last three matches have been against the same opponents as our last three. They have registered two draws and a win, defeating Notts County 3-1 away from home and drawing 1-1 and 2-2 at home against Walsall and Swindon, respectively. 

Tuesday’s game against Swindon saw Harry McKirdy come off the bench to snatch an equaliser for the visitors in the 96th minute, a moment that will have no doubt frustrated Stephen Clemence as he looks to find some winning form. 

Clemence has started the same starting XI for the Gills in the last two games. Josh Walker, on loan from Burton, has started up top alongside Oliver Hawkins. Hawkins has grabbed three in five for Saturday’s guests, including two in his last two games.

Last Time Out 

We travelled to Kent at the end of October in what was one of the best away games of the campaign so far. Two first-half penalties from Omar Bogle saw us end a run of four games without a win and secure our first league away win of the season.

You can read more about the reverse fixture in our 'season rewind' feature by clicking HERE.

Ticket Info

You can find out more about Saturday’s game with Gillingham below.

Age Category  Price
Adult seated £26
Adult standing  £23
Senior 60+ seated £22
Senior 60+ standing £21
Young Adult 16-21 seated £20
Young Adult 16-21 standing £17
Under 16 seated £14
Under 16 standing £14
Under 12 seated £12
Under 12 standing £12

Secure your ticket for the tie HERE.

Head to Head 

Our first-ever match with Gillingham took place over 100 years ago in 1920. Since then, we have played each other 83 times. We have won 38 of those encounters, with the Gills winning 28 and 17 ending in a draw. The Gills have not defeated us in the league since 1986. 

Played for Both 

A player in the Gillingham squad with links to South Wales is Dom Jefferies. The midfielder was a product of our youth academy, joining us at 14 years old. He would leave in 2020, heading to London to captain the Brentford B team before joining the Gills in 2022. Unfortunately for Dom, he pulled his thigh at the start of the month and has been absent from the Gillingham side since. 

Another notable player to have swapped South Wales for Kent is Mark Byrne. Byrne left Rodney Parade in 2016, making over 130 appearances for Gillingham before leaving to play in his native Ireland in 2020.