The Gills return to the top of Sky Bet League One after coming from behind to beat Peterborough UnitedGillingham returned to the top of Sky Bet League One this afternoon as goals from Luke Norris and Bradley Dack helped them come from behind to beat Peterborough United 2-1 at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium.
The Gills fell behind to Erhun Oztumer's 25th-minute strike, before Norris and Dack struck after half time to give Justin Edinburgh's side all three points.
With Burton Albion losing at home to Shrewsbury Town, and Walsall drawing against Blackpool, the Gills returned to the top of the table for the first time since mid-November.
Edinburgh initially named an unchanged starting line-up for the fifth game in a row, with the substitutes also unchanged from last week's 2-2 draw away at Doncaster Rovers.
However, an injury to Rory Donnelly in warm-up meant that Norris came into the first XI for his first start since mid-October, with Darren Oldaker being named as the replacement substitute.
The first 25 minutes of the game took on an end-to-end feel, with the visitors having the most notable chances. Debutant Shaquile Coulthirst forced Stuart Nelson into a low save with a curling left-footed effort, before the Posh striker and team-mate Oztumer both missed the target wide long-range attempts.
Gills could have had a penalty when Max Ehmer appeared to be fouled in the box, before the game's opening goal came from a set piece. After John Egan was booked for fouling Oztumer, the visitors' well-worked free-kick resulted in the same man slotting past Nelson following a neat passing move involving Jon Taylor and Coulthirst.
United took control of the game immediately after the goal, and Coulthirst was inches away from adding a second on 34 minutes, firing just wide after a darting run across the box.
However, the Gills rallied to end the half well. Norris shot wide on 37 minutes, before John Egan hit the bar 60 seconds later with a blazing effort on the turn after a patient Gills move on the right wing.
Edinburgh introduced Brennan Dickenson and Doug Loft for Bradley Garmston and Jake Hessenthaler at half time and, as was in the case in the Gills' last two games, they started the second half in style.
The equaliser came four minutes into the half; Samuel broke down the right wing, and his cutback reached Norris, who coolly slotted home past the onrushing Alnwick.
This goal changed the game in the Gills' favour, and the led was almost increased three times in the following 10 minutes. Egan again hit the bar – this time with a deflected effort from six yards, and Norris volleyed the rebound just over, on 53 minutes, before Samuel hit the side netting stretching to reach substitute Doug Loft's cross.
United almost took the lead, somewhat against the run of play, when Adil Nabi hit the bar with a 25-yard strike shortly before the hour, and then Loft fired over from an acute angle under pressure from Michael Smith.
The winning goal game on 65 minutes, with Samuel again providing the assist. His cross was initially cut out by Posh defender Jack Baldwin, but the ball fell at Dack's feet, and he blazed into the top corner.
United hit the bar again through Chris Forrester 15 minutes from time, while Taylor's late off target harder ended up being their last chance of earning a point.
Gills substitute Elliott List should have arguably had a penalty late on, as Baldwin appeared to be holding him back in the box, but referee James Adcock waved away the young striker's appeal.
The Gills return to action at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium to Swindon Town in two weeks' time (February 6), which follows an away trip to Blackpool next Saturday.
Gillingham: Nelson, Jackson, Egan, Ehmer, Garmston (Dickenson 45), Wright, A Morris, Hessenthaler (Loft 45), Dack, Norris (List 88), Samuel
Unused substitutes: G.Morris, Osadebe, McGlashan, Oldaker
Peterborough United: Alnwick, Smith, Santos, Baldwin, Toffolo, Forrester, Taylor, Samuelsen, Oztumer (Nabi 57), Coulthirst (Maddison 75), Coulibaly (Angol 57)
Unusued substitutes: Henry, Brisley, Wilson, Beautyman
Attendance: 6, 449
Referee: Mr J Adcock