Goals from Bradley Dack and John Marquis get Justin Edinburgh's tenure as Manager off to a winning startJustin Edinburgh’s reign as Gillingham Manager got off to the perfect start after a hard earned 2-1 win over Peterborough United at London Road on Tuesday evening.
A superb strike from Bradley Dack gave Gills the lead against the run of play before former Priestfield favourite Jack Payne equalised on 55 minutes.
With the game finely balanced the third goal was always going to be crucial and John Marquis was the man that got it 11 minutes from time when he tucked away a low cross from Jake Hessenthaler.
Edinburgh made just one change to the side that beat Sheffield United at the weekend, with Danny Galbraith making his full debut in place of the injured Josh Pritchard.
Joe Martin returned to the bench but wasn’t fit enough to deprive Bradley Garmston of his spot at left back.
Former Gillingham midfielder Payne started for the opposition as Captain, with former Premier League striker Aaron McLean having to settle for a place on the bench.
Gills burst out of the blocks with Galbraith’s early shot lacking the necessary power to beat Scott Loach, but it was the hosts who created the first clear cut chance.
On 10 minutes the Posh found space on the right hand side and a low cross was delivered into the path of Shaun Brisley, his shot was brilliantly saved by Nelson before hitting the underside of the bar before the keeper got up to help guide it away with Conor Washington looking to convert.
A few minutes later and the right hand side proved successful again for Peterborough. Washington this time nearly turned provider, he had time and space to pick out his target and Luke James was his choice at the back post.
The cross was a touch heavy and the Gills number one was positioned well to collect the header.
Darren Ferguson’s men continued to assert pressure but their possession failed to create any further chances, and they were made to pay for it on the half hour mark when Dack opened the scoring.
Garmston got forward and created a yard of space and spotted the run of Dack who made his way into the penalty area, the ball was placed into his path and he beautifully guided the ball beyond the outstretched Loach who was given no chance.
The visitors had been under pressure for most of the half, but the goal gave Gillingham a boost and McDonald tried his luck with a powerful long range effort soon after which cleared the woodwork.
With half time quickly approaching Nelson was called upon twice to ensure Gills stayed ahead. First he blocked a Christian Burgess effort just outside the six yard box before catching a near post header from James.
Peterborough made a change at the break with McLean replacing Washington, and within 10 minutes the Posh were level.
Marquis had seconds earlier gone close to doubling the Gills lead, but with the ball being cleared it enabled James to chase after Garmston – the left back lost out as the striker did well to keep the ball in play, a short pass was played to the skipper and on the turn he placed the ball into the bottom right corner.
This gave the hosts the momentum but the introduction of McGlashan for Galbraith soon had the Posh defence back tracking, the winger won a throw which made its way to Dack whose shot was easily collected by Loach.
With 20 minutes to go John Egan came very close to grabbing a second. A corner from Hessenthaler was placed right in the heart of the danger zone and the centre-back aimed a shot goalwards which went just wide of the far post.
Maddison saw a couple of efforts in quick succession miss the target before Gills grabbed a second. McGlashan fed Marquis who immediately off loaded the ball to Hessenthaler, he shaped up for a cross and the striker did enough to find a gap at the near post to fire home.
Peterborough had been undone with a superb move from the visitors, and try as they may to find a way past Nelson for a second time the Gills stood firm and saw the game out to clinch their third away win of the campaign.
Posh: Loach, Smith, Brisley (Oztumer 83), Bostwick, Payne, James, Washington (McLean 46), Newell, Burgess, Maddison, Beautyman.
Unused subs: Curtis-Henry, Ntlhe, J Anderson, Zakauni, H Anderson
Gills: Nelson, Hoyte, Ehmer, Egan, Garmston (Martin 75), Loft, Hessenthaler, Dack, Galbraith (McGlashan 61), McDonald (Norris 81), Marquis.
Unused subs: G Morris, Legge, Dickenson, German.
Referee: Mr J Adcock