Can Gillingham End Poor Run of Form and Make League Two Playoffs?

Throughout the recent January transfer window, the rumour mill was in overdrive for some of the planet’s top stars. Rumours such as a proposed deal that would take Darwin Nunez to Saudi Arabia were touted, but perhaps no addition has been more important as the Gills’ loan deal for Remeao Hutton from Swindon Town. The right fullback has played every minute of every game since signing from the Robins and his consistency has been one of the few positives at Priestfield as of late.

Recent Form 

At the beginning of the month, a 2-0 win away against the Class of ’92-owned Salford City moved the Gills into the playoffs for the first time in weeks. Goals either side of half-time from Shadrach Ogie and Timothee Dieng were enough to secure the victory and it looked as though the Kent outfit would press home their newfound position within the top seven. Unfortunately for them, things haven’t panned out as expected. 

 

Gillingham went four games without a win after the Salford victory. Stephen Clemence’s side followed up that result with a 2-0 defeat away at fellow promotion hopefuls Barrow just three days later, before rescuing a point at home to Tranmere Rovers thanks to Conor Masterson’s late equaliser. 

 

Further disappointment on the road would follow thanks to another 2-0 defeat to top seven contenders, this time the team in question being AFC Wimbledon. A 1-1 stalemate with Grimsby Town has only added to their recent woes.

 

The high-octane 3-2 victory over Morecambe was a huge boost and underscored the team’s resilience. The win away to Morecombe showed some grit and an ability to get it over the line, despite not having the best performance. With just 3 shots on target, all 3 were converted. Though, it’s difficult how much weight to put on the win given Morecombe’s poor run of form heading into the game.

 

Closest Playoff Race in Years

Since their introduction into the football league in the 1990s, the play-offs have given plenty of teams something to play for at the end of every season. This year, however, the race for the four spots in League Two could not be tighter. Currently, there are only seven points separating seventh-placed Wimbledon and Bradford City way down in 17th. The Dons and Morecambe down in 12th are separated by just three points and plenty could change between now and Gillingam’s final game of the season against Doncaster Rovers on April 27th. 

 

The path to the play-offs is challenging, with big matches against teams like Crewe Alexandra and Harrogate Town in the next few weeks. However, Gillingham have already played Crawley and Wimbledon twice, meaning there are no more fixtures against their closest direct competition. 

 

In other words, it may not be down to Gillingham, but some other teams, to help out and take points off them — particularly as Crawley has two games in hand. For Gillingham, it’s a matter of picking up three points where they can, consistently, particularly against weaker outfits like Doncaster and Bradford.

 

Even if they don’t make the top seven, they’d have snapped your hand off if you’d offered them this result last season. They were fighting off relegation just 12 months ago however, just like the UK economy, they have since recovered.

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