Without a doubt one of the most exciting ties pulled from the hat for the FA Cup First Round Proper is Sunderland host Gillingham on the 9th of November. The two League One rivals last faced each other last season in February when the Black Cats eventually triumphed in a 4-2 victory at the Stadium of Light.
Six months earlier, Sunderland beat Gillingham 4-1 at Priestfield Stadium in the first encounter between the two clubs in over 14 years. Back then, the two played in the Championship after Sunderland’s relegation from the top flight in 2005. During that campaign, the two played out a 1-1 draw in the second fixture, but Sunderland thrashed Gillingham 4-0 in their own back yard in the first.
Gillingham against Sunderland stretches all the way back to 1987
In fact, this poor run of results for Gillingham against Sunderland stretches all the way back to 1987 when the two played out a magnificent tie in the Third Division play-off semi-finals. Sunderland had finished in 20th place in the Second Division while the Gills had finished in 5th in the Third Division.
The format has changed since then, but the old way meant that the two played each other in a semi-final play-off to see who would go up and who would stay down. In the first leg, Gillingham beat Sunderland 3-2 at Priestfield with the aid of a stunning hat trick from Tony Cascarino. In the return leg at Sunderland’s old home, Roker Park, Gillingham looked all set for the final as the game was level at 2-2 approaching the full-time whistle.
But Gary Bennet scored a late goal to take the tie to extra time. Cascarino scored a crucial goal to make it 3-3 before Bertschin scored for Sunderland to give them hope. The tie eventually finished with an aggregate score of 6-6 with Gillingham progressing on the away goals rule. It was a truly classic encounter that we can only hope will be recreated in the upcoming FA Cup First Round Encounter.
FA CUP 2019 – 2020 | Sunderland v Gillingham November 9th, 2019
As mentioned, the ties take place on the 9th of November and, just over a month later, the two sides will meet again in League One. Sunderland have recently appointed Phil Parkinson – former Bolton Wanderers, Bradford City and Charlton Athletic manager – to the helm after the previous managerial incumbent, Jack Ross, failed to take Sunderland to the level which the owners felt was necessary if they were to gain promotion from the third tier.
Sunderland lie in 7th place, outside the play-off places having lost three of their last five games. They are nine places higher up the table than Gillingham who lie in 16th place, three places lower than there final standing at the end of the 2018/19 campaign.
Sunderland v Gillingham betting tips, odds & predictions
A lot of money to be made this Saturday in the FA CUP. Will be a lot of games that will finish with 3 or more goals. Our betting prediction for Sunderland v Gillingham:
- total over 2.5 goals @ 1.92
- Total 1 Individual Total 1 Over 1.5 (Sunderland will score ar least 2 goals) @ 1.80
- These two bets cannot be combined
Another Tipster Z prediction for FA CUP first-round is for Blackpool vs Morecambe. Check the link for preview and predictions.