Portsmouth snatch victory in second half stoppage time.
Michael Jacobs’ deflected cross proved to be the winning goal, as Gills were beaten 1-0 in heartbreaking fashion at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Saturday.
Jacobs’ low ball across the box in stoppage-time was deflected beyond Jamie Cumming by Jack Tucker, who was left helpless.
Gills had a huge appeal for a penalty earlier in the half after John Akinde was clattered by Gavin Bazunu, but the referee waved away all of the penalty appeals.
Danny Lloyd and Stuart O’Keefe both returned to the Gills starting XI. Lloyd started for the first time since coming off in the FA Cup replay against Cheltenham, while O’Keefe came back in after missing the midweek defeat to the Robins through suspension.
George Hirst almost gave Portsmouth the lead in the second minute. The Pompey striker took advantage of a loose ball and tried to lob Jamie Cumming from the edge of the box. However, Cumming did fantastically to get a strong hand onto it to push it onto the crossbar before Gills dealt with the second ball.
Cumming was called into action with a vital double save in the 11th minute. Hirst cut inside when he entered the penalty area and shot across the goal, and Cumming did well to get across and push it wide. The rebound fell to Mahlon Romeo, and the Chelsea loanee did well to recover and push his effort over the bar.
John Akinde had a great chance for Gillingham in the 35th minute. He did brilliantly using his strength to turn his defender and run towards the box. As he got to the edge, he decided to shoot, but it lacked power and was straight at Gavin Bazunu.
HALF-TIME: Gillingham 0-0 Portsmouth
Marcus Harness forced Cumming into a big save shortly after half-time. Harness drove towards the Gills penalty area from 30 yards out and got in untouched, but his shot was straight at Cumming, who pushed it behind for a corner.
In the 52nd minute, O’Keefe forced Bazunu into a save. The Gills captain on the day won possession inside the Portsmouth half and tried to play Akinde through. It was intercepted but went straight back to O’Keefe, who shot from the edge of the box. However, it was a comfortable save for Bazunu to his right side.
Gills had a huge penalty appeal on the hour, after Akinde was clattered by Bazunu, having got a touch to prod it beyond the Pompey goalkeeper. However, the referee ignored all the appeals for a penalty to the shock of the home fans, and bench.
In the 72nd minute, Lloyd had a huge opportunity to put Gills in front. Akinde’s through ball found the winger, who decided to shoot on his right foot. However, he failed to find the target as his shot went over the bar.
Deep into stoppage time, Pompey substitute Michael Jacobs’ cross took a deflection and found its way into the back of the net, leaving Cumming helpless.
FULL-TIME: Gillingham 0-1 Portsmouth
Gillingham: Cumming, Jackson, Ehmer, Tucker, McKenzie, O’Keefe, Adshead (Akehurst 59’), Carayol (Sithole 84’), Lee, Lloyd, Akinde
Unused Substitutes: Chapman, Lintott, Gale, Gbode
Portsmouth: Bazunu, Freeman, Ogilvie, Williams, Romeo, Morrell, Thompson (Azeez 64’), Hackett (Jacobs 81’), Harness, Curtis, Hirst (Harrison 71’)
Unused Substitutes: Bass, Jewitt-White, Vincent, Ahadme
Referee: Dean Whitestone
Attendance: 5637 (1435 away fans)