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Gillingham 2 Peterborough United 2

By Luke Cawdell
Peterborough's Britt Assombalonga levels in stoppage-time Pic: Barry Goodwin
Peterborough's Britt Assombalonga levels in stoppage-time Pic: Barry Goodwin

Gillingham conceded a goal deep into stoppage time at Priestfield to deny them a win over Peterborough United.

Cody McDonald looked to have won the points for the Gills as his headed goal turned around a one goal deficit.

But Britt Assombalonga's back-heel, in the eighth minute of second half stoppage time, levelled the scores.

Assombalonga’s 11 minute strike had put Peterborough ahead at the break but goals from Joe Martin and McDonald turned the match on its head.

A change of referees late in the second half led to eight minutes of stoppage time added and Peterborough struck the equaliser at the death to deny the Gills.

Home boss Peter Taylor made three changes to the team that lost to Notts County last week, with Charlie Lee missing out through injury. Myles Weston and Donervorn Daniels were dropped to the bench.

Jake Hessenthaler was making his first home start Pic: Barry Goodwin
Jake Hessenthaler was making his first home start Pic: Barry Goodwin

Youngsters Jake Hessenthaler and Bradley Dack kept their places in midfield and the two combined early on, for the first chance of the game. Dack was played in on goal but his toe-poked effort was saved by keeper Robert Olejnik.

Gillingham’s only other first half chance came from Danny Kedwell, just after the half-hour mark. His shot from distance was gathered at the second attempt by Olejnik, with fellow striker Cody McDonald ready to pounce.

By then the Gills were trailing, as Assombalonga had struck past Nelson, after being quickest to react when the home keeper spilled a powerful shot from distance from Peterborough midfielder Michael Bostwick.

Gillingham were to finish the half suffering a double-whammy, after both Chris Whelpdale and Danny Hollands limped off with impact injuries. Myles Weston and Steven Gregory were their replacements.

The visitors finished the half having had the lion’s share of possession and took a slender, but deserved, lead with them into the break.

Joe Martin celebrates scoring the equaliser Picture: Barry Goodwin
Joe Martin celebrates scoring the equaliser Picture: Barry Goodwin

It took the Gills just six minutes to get back on level terms, after the restart, as Matin curled home a free-kick from 25 yards. It was a goal that breathed new life into the home side.

Peterborough remained a threat, however, especially from Lee Tomlin. His appeals for a penalty were waved away by the referee after a tangle with Hessenthaler and he also put one effort into the Rainham End from distance.

With 20 minutes left the Gills were infront. A corner from Gills was cleared but only as far as Weston and from his cross McDonald glanced the ball past Olejnik for his sixth goal of the season.

Gillingham striker Cody McDonald Picture: Barry Goodwin
Gillingham striker Cody McDonald Picture: Barry Goodwin

Gills keeper Nelson had to be at his best to keep Peterborough at bay, saving with is his feet to deny Assombalonga and on 90 minutes making a superb point-blank save to keep out sub Tyrone Barnett.

McDonald had the chance to wrap the points up, in the third minute of stoppage time, but Olejnik saved as the striker went at him one-on-one.

And that miss proved crucial as Peterborough levelled right at the end of the game. A corner wasn't cleared and from almost on the goal-line, Assombalonga managed to bundle the ball home.

Gillingham: Nelson, Harriman, Martin, Barrett, Legge, Hessenthaler (Davies 75mins), Hollands (Gregory 42mins), Whelpdale (Weston 42mins), Dack, Kedwell, McDonald. Subs not used: Howard, Akinfenwa, German, Daniels.

Peterborough: Olejnik, Little, Brisley, Bostwick, N’tlhe, McCann, Newell (Ephraim 77mins), Anderson (Barnett 86mins), Tomlin, Assombalonga, Jeffers (Mendez-Laing 64mins). Subs not used: Day, Knight-Percival, Ferdinand, Payne.

Attendance: 6,949

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