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Match Previews

Gillingham Preview

19 December 2014

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Chesterfield head to Kent for Saturday's League 1 fixture with Gillingham hoping to give their travelling fans an early Christmas present at Priestfield.

The Spireites lost last time out to Bradford City, with Sam Morsy's dismissal compunding the disappointment of losing the team's six-match unbeaten run.

Morsy's red card will see him miss the first match of his three-game suspension at Priestfield, while defender Dan Jones misses his final game after receiving a similar suspension, having been sent off at Crawley Town in late November.

Top scorer Eoin Doyle is also a major doubt for the match with a slight hamstring strain. Though he has travelled with the squad, manager Paul Cook revealed in his Friday press conference that he didn't want to put any undue pressure on the Irishman's injury ahead of the busy Christmas period.

Dan Gardner will also miss the Christmas period with a slight medial ligament injury likely to keep the tricky midfielder out for a fortnight.

The match with the Gills represents a milestone for two popular and long-serving Spireites. Tommy Lee will make his 250th league appearance for Chesterfield and will become the club's joint second most appearance-making goalkeeper in the process.

Manager Paul Cook is fully aware of the value of his number one, and not just for his playing skills.

He said: "We're lucky at this club - it's important to have a good dressing room and Tommy's a good lad, as well as being very willing in the community off the pitch.

"If you ally that to his goalkeeping ability, you can see that we're very lucky to have Tommy."

Meanwhile, Tendayi Darikwa - a product of the Chesterfield youth system - brings up his league ton for the club at the weekend and will be keen to grab his first goal of the season in the match.

Manager Cook said: "Tendayi's one of the lads that's come through and he's a credit to himself. He's not just an outstanding player, he's learning as well.

"He'd been in a bit of trouble off the pitch but he's learned from it. He comes in every day, trains hard and is back behind practising his crosses every day.

"When you're practising as hard as he is he'll get his rewards, he's a great kid to work with and I'm very proud for him to be playing tomorrow."

Opponents Gillingham come into the match off the back of their first away win of the season away at Doncaster Rovers last weekend.

Gillingham could climb to being level on points with the Spireites if they win on Saturday and the Gills moved into the area finals of the Johnstone's Paint trophy ten days ago with a two-legged victory over Leyton Orient.

The Gills top marksman this season is Cody McDonald with six goals, but the attacker has had to settle for a place on the bench in recent matches as his side have hit upon a six-game unbeaten streak.

Experienced manager Peter Taylor is at the helm for the Priestfield side, and his Spireites counterpart is happy to see a familiar face.

Cook said: "It's a tough game for us tomorrow. We'll get down there early and I'm looking forward to seeing Peter, I know him well, and I look forward to the challenge of us trying to get the three points."

You can follow tomorrow's match via full live commentary on Spireites Player, with minute-by-minute match coverage on Twitter or with goal updates on Facebook.

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