Cody McDonald bags a brace as Gills secure fantastic 2-1 win over Peterborough United at PriestfieldCody McDonald scored an 86th minute penalty to ensure a 2-1 victory for Gillingham against Peterborough United at MEMS Priestfield on Tuesday evening.
The striker bagged a brace which saw him increase his tally in a Gills shirt to 50, and in doing so maintain the club’s unbeaten start at home in the league this season.
His first was a drilled header via a Jake Hessenthaler cross which was guided beyond the outstretching Ben Alnwick, with the keeper then unable to keep out the late spot kick.
Jon Taylor had brought the scores level on 44 minutes with a freak cross which flew over the head of Stephen Bywater and into the opposite corner.
Peter Taylor made two changes to the side that drew with Oldham – skipper Doug Loft returned to the side following an Achilles injury along with Luke Norris in place of Callum Davies and Brennan Dickenson.
Peterborough started the brighter and had the majority of possession in the opening quarter of an hour – Taylor having a low shot saved by Bywater before John Egan brilliantly blocked a drilled left foot shot by Kyle Vassell.
On 19 minutes the forward had two bites of the cherry to try and net the opener – the first was blocked by Hause before Bywater was alert to stop the second.
Gillingham progressively moved forward as they settled into the match and on 26 minutes took the lead. A cross from the left hand side by Bradley Dack made its way to other side of the field where Hessenthaler was on hand to retrieve.
He produced a brilliant cross back into the danger zone and McDonald jumped highest to head past Alnwick and into the corner.
This seemed to have a positive influence on the team and they drove forward in search of a second – McDonald nearly grabbing it when a defensive mix up between Burgess and Alnwick nearly gave the striker a simple tap in.
Just after the half hour mark Marcus Maddison very nearly drew the scores level when his solo run resulted in a powerful effort from just outside the penalty area, but Bywater watched it go past him as the effort cleared the woodwork.
With the half looking as though it would belong to the hosts, Posh got themselves back into the game courtesy of a freak cross which somehow worked its way over the head of Bywater.
Taylor looked up and intended to pick out one of the strikers lurking around the six yard box, but the delivery was mis-hit and instead beat the keeper who could do nothing about it.
Peterborough bossed the opening 10 minutes of the second half and Gills had to defend well to prevent going behind.
However their possession statistics failed to produce many chances – infact it was Peter Taylor’s side who nearly got their noses in front when a low shot across goal by Dack was touched behind for a corner kick.
On the hour mark though Gills survived a scare when substitute Joe Newell, on for Jermaine Anderson at the break, struck the post with a terrific left foot effort which seemed to give Bywater no chance.
It hit the outside of the frame and away to safety.
After a host of substitutions the game seemed to be more of an even contest, although opportunities were few and far between.
That was until the 86th minute when Gillingham went forward in search of a winner, and had a chance to get one when McGlashan flicked the ball up inside the box, striking the arm of Christian Burgess in the process, and the referee didn't hesitate in pointing to the spot.
McDonald took up the responsibility and fired it home to put Gills within touching distance of a superb win.
Peterborough ploughed forward in the five minutes of injury time that followed, but Bywater was untroubled.
Gills: Bywater, A Morris, Egan, Hause, Martin, Dack, Hessenthaler (Linganzi 73), Loft (Pritchard 73), McGlashan, Norris (Dickenson 80), McDonald.
Unused subs: G Morris, Davies, Legge, German.
Peterborough: Alnwick, Smith, Baldwin, Taylor (Ferdinand 70), Payne, James (Washington 77), Vassell, Anderson (Newell HT), Burgess, Santos, Maddison.
Unused subs: Brisley, McCann, McEvoy, Grant
Attendance: 4819 (282 Posh)
Referee: Mr M Heywood