Gills lose on the road
Gillingham conceded two second half goals as they slipped to defeat against Peterborough United at the ABAX Stadium, but remained in 13th position in SkyBet League One, five points clear of the relegation zone.
Maddison converted a penalty when Dembele was adjudged to have been pulled down in a controversial decision before Godden sealed the points late on in a clinical breakaway goal.
Gillingham Manager Steve Lovell named an unchanged line-up for the game with former Posh midfielder Leo Da Silva Lopes keeping his place in the diamond. Elliott List and Tom Hadler returned to the squad after recovering from illness and injury respectively.
The game started quietly with Gillingham managing to keep the ball well in the early stages, swinging in a few crosses that were defended well by the home defence.
Tom Eaves had the first real attempt of the game as he latched on to a long ball from Max Ehmer but under pressure and from a tight angle his left footed shot across goal was gathered by Chapman in the Peterborough goal.
Up the other end, Bennett had a good chance to open the scoring when he got on the end of a Maddison free-kick but his volley hit the side-netting. A minute later, Maddison again was involved in a Posh attack but nobody was able to get on the end of his dangerous cross that flew right across goal.
A great diagonal ball then allowed Toney to get the wrong side of Luke O’Neill, but Tomas Holy was out of his goal quickly to make the block as Posh continued to knock on the door.
The tricky winger Dembele had the next effort after jinking inside a Gills defender but Holy managed to hold on to his rather tame effort.
A rampaging run down the left flank from Barry Fuller earnt the Gills a set piece in a good area but O’Neill’s dangerous free-kick evaded everyone and had to be headed behind for a corner. The visitors continued to press and were unfortunate that the ball didn’t fall for a black and white shirt after pinball in the area started by Graham Burke’s volleyed shot.
Steve Lovell was then forced into a change with Mark Byrne replaced by Regan Charles-Cook, succumbing to an injury picked up earlier in the game.
A Posh counter attack set Toney free on 27 minutes and he was clipped by O’Neill who was only shown a yellow despite the home fans baying for a red. Maddison took the free-kick from 25 yards but it was rather tame and was hacked clear after the wall managed to make the initial block.
A very slick move from Posh involved Dembele, Tomlin and Toney gave the latter space to get a shot away but his first-time left footed shot sliced miles wide.
Posh were looking at their most dangerous breaking from Gills attacks – a free-kick from Holy headed back towards the Gills keeper created trouble with Toney managing to outmuscle on halfway and charge forward from halfway but Connor Ogilvie got back well to make the block.
A good tackle from Ogilvie on half-way led to Gillingham’s best chance of the half as a cross from Leo da Silva Lopes was flicked on by Dean Parrett at the near post with Eaves meeting it at the back stick but Chapman got down quickly to make a really good save.
That was the final meaningful action of the period with Gills putting in a solid display.
H/T: 0 – 0
Early on in the second half, Posh saw two early penalty appeals turned the first for a challenge on Toney and the second for a collision with Dembele on the edge of the area.
A driving run from Charles-Cook brought the Gills their first corner of the half which O’Neill delivered but the ball in was well claimed by Chapman.
Maddison had switched wings early on and he went inches from the opener as a bit of skill opened up enough space for a shot which trickled just wide of the post.
A high ball on the Posh area then bounced into Burke’s path but he sliced his shot high and wide.
Another driving run from Maddison, who was already more involved in the game since the restart, had Fuller in trouble but the shot from 25 yards was wide of goal.
With 56 minutes on the clock, Posh had a golden opportunity to take the lead with a penalty awarded, apparently for a foul on Dembele as he had looked to shot following a counter attack. Maddison took the spot kick and sent Holy the wrong way to open the scoring.
The Gills looked to get right at their opponents with Fuller picked out in space in the box by a glorious pass but his cut back was cleared before Brandon Hanlan headed over as a cross was sent in behind him.
A great free-kick from O’Neill then picked out Eaves at the far stick but he just couldn’t get high enough to keep the header down and it ballooned over.
A shirt tug on Hanlan then gave O’Neill the opportunity to take aim from 30 yards. He got the ball up and over the wall but the shot didn’t have enough dip to bring it back down on target.
A great counter attack from the Gills as the game opened up allowed Lopes to pick out Eaves on the edge of the area but after taking a touch to get the ball out of his feet he sliced his left footed shot wide from the edge of the box.
The visitors were looking more of a threat since going behind and Burke tested Chapman with a low ball across goal that the keeper claimed with Eaves waiting to pounce on any mistake.
Charles-Cook was next to go close, receiving the ball on the edge of the area before scampering across the top of the box before getting a shot away that had Chapman at full stretch but was just wide.
However, with the Gills pushing forward they were dealt the killer blow with Godden winning a header before receiving the ball back from Maddison and slotting past Holy in the 85th minute to seal the game for Peterborough.
Maddison went close in injury time but Holy did well to stand tall and deny the winger a brace, and the Gills stopper also made a good save from Cooper’s long range effort.
F/T: 2 – 0
The Gills host Shrewsbury next week as they return to the Medway Priestfield with the end of the season rapidly approaching.
Peterborough: Chapman; Naismith, Tafazolli, Bennett, Lafferty; Dembele, Reed (Knight, 82), Woodyard, Maddison; Toney (Godden, 64), Tomlin (Cooper, 75))
Unused subs: O’Malley, (GK), Cooke, Stevens, Denton
Gillingham: Holy; O’Neill, Ehmer, Ogilvie Fuller; Parrett, Byrne (Charles-Cook, 25 (King, 90)), Lopes, Burke (List, 80); Hanlan, Eaves
Unused subs: Hadler (GK), Lacey, Campbell, Rees
Referee: Mr Ryan Jones
Attendance: 8, 331 (544)