The lowdown on Peter Taylor's Priestfield outfit
Gillingham failed to win any of their opening eight matches on their return to the third tier last season. This run was halted with a 3-0 victory over Crewe Alexandra and they then beat MK Dons at home but the next match – a 2-0 defeat against Shrewsbury Town – signalled the end of Martin Allen's 16-month reign at the club.
The appointment of Peter Taylor prompted a turn in the fortunes of the club and they picked up excellent victories against the likes of Sheffield United and Wolves and they survived comfortably in League One despite the odds being against them after the opening few games.
THE MANAGER – PETER TAYLOR
Taylor began his career in management in 1986 with Dartford. He went on to become the man in charge of Southend United, Leicester City, Bradford City and Wycombe Wanderers amongst others.
He's previously been manager of England under-21s on two occasions and prior to arriving at Priestfield in late 2013, was the manager of Bahrain. He also had one game in caretaker-charge of the full England team and gave David Beckham the captain's armband for the first time.
As a player, Taylor represented Southend, Crystal Palace and Tottenham before spells with Leyton Orient, Oldham Athletic and Exeter City in 1984, when he hung up his boots.
VISITING THE GROUND?
Crawley fans will be behind the goal when we visit Priestfield Stadium. The Brian Moore Stand – named after the legendary ITV commentator and Gills’ fan – is uncovered and is a temporary structure. Priestfield has been the Gills' home since their formation in 1893.
SUMMER BUSINESS SO FAR
Peter Taylor was given a new deal at the end of the campaign and got to work on assembling a squad that could be capable of surviving in League One for a second successive campaign at the very least.
Jermaine McGlashan has been brought to the club on a two-year-deal following his departure from League Two side Cheltenham Town.
Glenn and Aaron Morris have arrived from Aldershot Town and AFC Wimbledon respectively but striker Adebayo Akinfenwa has turned down a new deal with the Gills.
Chris Whelpdale appears close to a move to Stevenage while Myles Weston, Steven Gregory and Charlie Lee have been released.
The two sides have met on five previous occasions.
The first meeting came in the LDV Vans Trophy back in 2005. The Reds lost to their higher opponents and had Steve Burton sent off in a 1-0 defeat at Priestfield.
The 2011-12 season saw the sides meet on Boxing Day when Crawley lost 2-1 despite Matt Tubbs' penalty putting the Reds 1-0 up. Jo Kuffour bagged a brace to win the game for the Gills.
At Priestfield, Dannie Bulman's strike proved the difference as Crawley ran out 1-0 winners.
Last season saw the sides win a game each. Billy Clarke got the match-winner in a five-goal thriller that saw both sides reduced to ten men at the Checkatrade.com Stadium.
Watch the goals from that memorable 3-2 win here!
In Kent, Gillingham won 1-0 thanks to Charlie Lee's late, late goal.
THEY PLAYED FOR BOTH
Luke Rooney had a loan spell with Crawley last season and the winger began his career with Gillingham before his move to Swindon Town.
Another former Red, Kevin James, enjoyed four years with the Gills between 2000 and 2004 and appeared over 40 times for the club. Barry Cogan spent the 2007/08 season with the Gills – appearing 21 times – before moving to Crawley two years later after a spell with Grays Athletic, whilst our very own Connor Essam came through the
WHAT THE BOOKIES THINK
Gillingham are 18/1 with Sky Bet to win promotion from League One in 2014-15.