Committed, passionate display goes without reward as Gills slip to narrow defeat at home to the Posh.
Gillingham slipped to a 2-1 defeat to an in-form Peterborough United side at MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Despite being the better side in the opening 45 minutes, the Gills went in a goal down after Joe Ward’s screamer, and Peterborough doubled their lead just after half time with a Mo Eisa penalty.
Mikael Mandron netted ten minutes from the end to give the home side hope, but despite piling on the pressure in the final stages, the Gills were beaten.
Gillingham Manager Steve Evans made just one change from the side that picked up a point away at Portsmouth last weekend, as Olly Lee came into the side in place of Alex Jakubiak. Jack Tucker continued at right back, with Barry Fuller still unavailable through injury.
The Gills could have been ahead after just a minute, as Brandon Hanlan charged into the box and set up Mikael Ndjoli, who saw his shot well saved by Christy Pym. After 25 minutes, the home side had another opportunity. Olly Lee’s corner found Hanlan towards the far post, but he wasn’t able to divert his header goalwards.
With 40 minutes on the clock, Peterborough went in front. Joe Ward came in off the right, and unleashed an unstoppable drive into the top corner from 25 yards out to make it 0-1. Within minutes, the Gills could have been level. Lee found space on the left and crossed for Stuart O’Keefe, whose cushioned volley went just over the bar.
Peterborough had a chance to double their lead as Ward crossed towards Ivan Toney, but the striker was unable to control his volley.
H/T: Gillingham 0-1 Peterborough United
The visitors had the first chance of the second half, as Toney took aim from a free kick 30 yards out, but his effort went past the post. After 50 minutes, Peterborough were awarded a penalty as Ward’s corner struck Mark Byrne’s arm. Mo Eisa stepped up, and sent Jack Bonham the wrong way to make it 0-2.
The Gills first effort of the half came from Lee, who turned well before hitting a shot that was comfortable for Pym in the Peterborough goal. The Gills made their first change after 57 minutes, with Alex Jakubiak coming on to replace Mikael Ndjoli.
Just after an hour, Steve Evans made his second change, with Mikael Mandron replacing Olly Lee. Mandron had a chance to halve the deficit after 74 minutes, after Jakubiak flicked Byrne’s throw in his direction, but he couldn’t get enough contact on his volley.
At the other end, Toney could have made it three, but somehow diverted Ward’s cross wide at the far post. With ten minutes left to play, the Gills were back in the game. Niall Mason’s back pass was intercepted by Mandron, and he beat Pym at his near post to make it 1-2.
The home side made their final change soon after, with Mark Marshall coming on for O’Keefe. As the game reached the 90th minute mark, the Gills came close again, with Marshall’s corner finding Connor Ogilvie, who headed wide at the near post.
The Gills struck the bar in the final moments, as Jakubiak’s cross clipped the woodwork as it went across goal.
F/T: Gillingham 1-2 Peterborough United
Gillingham: Bonham, Tucker, Ogilvie, Ehmer, O’Connor, Jones, O’Keefe (Marshall 82) , Byrne, Lee (Mandron 62), Hanlan, Ndjoli (Jakubiak 57)
Unused subs: Walsh, Hodson, Charles-Cook, Pringle
Peterborough United: Pym, Beevers, Bennett, Mason, Blake-Tracy, Ward (Kanu 90), Boyd, Knight, Dembele (Butler 73), Eisa (Woodyard 85), Toney
Unused subs: Chapman, Thompson, Barker, Burrows
Referee: Mr C Breakspear
Attendance: 6,269 (554 away)