Hessenthaler: "The fans kept going for us"

Midfielder happy to secure last-gasp point against Peterborough.

Man of the match Jake Hessenthaler paid tribute to his team-mates and the fans after a dramatic last-minute equaliser from Max Ehmer grabbed the Gills a point in a dramatic Sky Bet League One encounter against Peterborough on Saturday.

Danny Lloyd had given the Posh the lead mid-way through the second half, but the Gills bounced back with Max Ehmer smashing an effort past the Peterborough goalie in stoppage time to secure a 1-1 draw for the Gills.

Hessenthaler praised the attitude of the Gills squad to keep pushing for an equaliser and felt the late goal was just rewards for a gutsy performance in difficult conditions.

“We had a never say die attitude and it’s a positive result in our eyes. A lot of the boys are showing hard work and that’s why we keep going – every player should be working hard.

“We wanted to bounce back with a victory, but I still think it’s a very good result and to score so late is a little bit of a victory.”

Gills manager Steve Lovell was making his first appearance on the touchline since winning the January Manager of the Month gong and Hessenthaler spoke of the difference the gaffer has made since taking over the role.

“His attitude towards is us is very positive – he’s very upbeat and he wants us to go out there with no fear and express ourselves.

“We’re not going in to any game thinking about [the opposition] – we’re only thinking about us. It’s a very positive dressing room and a very positive Club to be around right now.

“Everybody’s pushing in the right direction, the performances and the results speak for themselves.”

Max Ehmer was used as a make-shift centre forward in the dying stages of the game as Gillingham chased a goal and Hessenthaler was not surprised to see Max stick away his chance after witnessing his attack prowess first hand at Beechings Cross, week-in week-out.

“In training, we play five-a-side and he’s always up front or on the left cutting in, so [his goal] doesn’t surprise me!

“I knew the gaffer was going to stick him up front and when it dropped for him, to be honest, I fancied him all the way.”

Finally, Hessenthaler praised the vociferous Gills faithful, who sucked in the goal in the dramatic finale, for getting behind the team as they pushed for an equaliser.

“The fans create a great atmosphere. Today it wasn’t a pretty game but they kept going for us and if they keep going, we’re going to keep going until the very end.

“You could see in the celebrations at the end how much it meant to them and also to us.”