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Peacock | "It was a huge disappointment"

Former Manager reflects on play-off defeat to Swindon.

29 May 2020

Keith Peacock recalls missing out on promotion in 1987.

Former Gills boss Keith Peacock has revealed that, although he was disappointed not to win promotion during his time with the club, he looks back on his time at MEMS Priestfield Stadium with immense pride.

He guided Gillingham to the play-offs at the end of the 1986/87 season and, after overcoming Sunderland, his side then took on Swindon. With the away goal rule not applying at the final hurdle, the aggregate score of 2-2 then forced a replay at Selhurst Park, which Gills lost 2-0.

Peacock said, although the change of rule remains a little frustrating, he remains more than pleased with the teams he put together.

Speaking to the club website he said: “Yes, suddenly away goals didn’t count!

“I can’t remember knowing about that, I don’t think we did. It wasn’t something really specified. We won 1-0 at home, it was a great free-kick which gave us the win. Swindon were higher than us and so, again, were the favourites, but I felt really confident.

“I still have a niggle in the back of my mind; we did home and away again and we played so well. We had an injury and the game became a bit more up and down; they got their winner with 11 minutes to go. It was a huge disappointment, to be so close.

“We didn’t have much money to buy players but they played with a real desire to win games and hopefully they excited people during those wonderful years.

“Dave Shearer as an example, on a free, did fantastically well. Cass was a bit more expensive, he cost us some tracksuits!

“He went to Millwall of course, but we couldn’t hold him any more. His contract was running out; he did a terrific job coming from Crockenhill.

“I always liked to have exciting players because there’s nothing worse than asking yourself “where will we score a goal?”

“They could get goals, and they had a lust for the game.”

Keith was Manager at Priestfield for over six years and he says he will always look back on his stint in Kent with a smile on his face.

He added: “Being a Manager, you are under the stress of having to win but they were some of my most favourite times. Of course Charlton has been a larger part, where I spent all of my career, but Gillingham is very special to me and it’s the next club I look for. The fans were great and even right until the very end, and actually after, it remains a special place in my heart, and always will be. I can’t thank the supporters enough for the support they gave me and the way they got behind the team.”

 


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