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Olly Lee and Stuart O'Keefe pick up muscle injuries during Gillingham's FA Cup trip to AFC Fylde

There were more injury woes for Gillingham’s midfield department at AFC Fylde on Saturday.

The Gills were already without key man Shaun Williams, attacking midfielder Ben Reeves and wide-man Jordan Green for the FA Cup first round match. Things could now be worse.

Stuart O'Keefe came off injured at Fylde on Saturday Picture: KPI
Stuart O'Keefe came off injured at Fylde on Saturday Picture: KPI

Olly Lee - back available only recently after a two-month absence - was named on the bench at Fylde but suffered an injury in the warm-up during shooting practice and captain Stuart O’Keefe was taken off in the second half. Both were muscle injuries.

Boss Neil Harris said: “Both tight quads, Olly did it in the warm-up striking balls, which is a bit bizarre, then Stu tightened up in the second half and, being critical, he had to run so much because we turned the ball over so much.”

O’Keefe picked up a fifth-minute booking and was on a last warning from the referee after another coming together with a Fylde player late in the first half but it was the injury rather than any fears of a dismissal that led to his substitution.

Harris said: “I didn’t take him off because of the yellow card in the first half, I took him off because he was struggling physically, then I thought we lacked real leadership after that.”

It’s too early to know how bad the injuries are and whether either Lee or O’Keefe will be sidelined. Both players have already missed a chunk of the season.

Robbie McKenzie took over midfield duties again on Saturday to the frustration of Harris, who said: “Robbie McKenzie was very good at right-back and that is his favoured position, and his best position, but I keep having to play him in central midfield.”

Gillingham have just sent young midfielder Josh Chambers out on loan to Worthing. He played for them in a goalless draw at Hungerford in National League South.

Chambers impressed on his debut for Adam Hinshelwood’s side, who said: “He was comfortable taking the ball in tight areas and showed some quality as well at times.

“When he got on the ball I thought something was going to happen and he really drove us forward at times.

“He showed that little bit of extra quality that you want from lads coming on loan. I was really pleased with his performance and think he can only get better for us. He dealt with a difficult surface well.”

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