Published: 21:33, 08 April 2014
Gillingham got no closer to safety after falling to defeat at Peterborough.
A goal in each half left the Gills beaten at London Road on Tuesday night.
Britt Assombalonga put Peterborough ahead just before the break and the lead was doubled when Tommy Rowe fired home from 20 yards.
Gills keeper Stuart Nelson denied Assombalonga a second, when he saved his weak penalty.
Gillingham were left to wonder what might have been, as they rued an early miss from Myles Weston, when through with just the keeper to beat.
There was just one change in the Gills starting XI from the one which started against Rotherham at the weekend.
Out went Adebayo Akinfenwa and in came Amine Linganzi, with boss Peter Taylor adding a more defensive dimension to his line-up.
Former Gills midfielder Jack Payne was lining up against his old team for the first time since making the move to London Road over a year ago.
Weston missed a great early opportunity for the Gills after Cody McDonald had played the winger in with just the keeper to beat. Unfortunately, he sliced the seventh-minute chance well wide.
There was a blow to the Gills on 14 minutes when Ryan Inniss limped off injured. With fellow central defender Leon Legge already out with a hamstring strain and Callum Davies at Dover on loan, Taylor called on former Peterborough player Charlie Lee to fill the void at the back.
The game was fairly open early on, with both teams creating chances. Gills keeper Nelson had to be alert to block an effort from former Faversham player Jack Baldwin and then got down well to turn Payne’s effort wide.
At the other end, Weston was getting closer and he fired fired a chance just wide on 25 minutes.
Gillingham looked to be heading towards the break comfortably level but with three minutes of the half remaining, Assombalonga struck.
Peterborough left-back Kgosi Nthle nodded a cross into the striker’s path and he fired home his 30th of the season. It was the same player who had scored twice in a 2-2 draw at Priestfield earlier in the season.
Taylor made a change at the break with Adebayo Akinfenwa coming on to replace Amine Linganzi. And the Gills almost levelled a minute after the restart, when McDonald’s lob was tipped over by keeper Bobby Olejnik.
At the other end, Nelson got down well to save from Danny Swanson and was relieved that Nthle was unable to connect with an acrobatic effort from the resulting corner.
Much of the pressing at the start of the second half came from Peterborough and they got a deserved second after 58 minutes. Home skipper Rowe fired home with an effort that bounced in off the underside of the bar.
It could have been three on 65 minutes, when Steven Gregory fouled Assombalonga in the box but the Posh striker drove the penalty down the middle of the goal and Nelson made the save.
Nelson denied the same player with 10 minutes left after Peterborough broke, taking advantage of Gillingham committing men forward.
Gillingham: Nelson, Martin, Harriman, Inniss (Lee 14mins), Barrett, Hewitt, Gregory, Linganzi (Akinfenwa 46mins), Weston, Dack (Smith 65mins), McDonald. Subs not used: Baxter, Birchall, Fagan, Hessenthaler.
Peterborough: Olejnik, Nthle (Alcock 83mins), Baldwin, Swanson, Payne, Assombalonga, Rowe, Ajose, Nugent, Washington, Little. Subs not used: Day, Brisley, Bostwick, Vassell, Conlon, McQuoid.
Attendance: 6,543 (254 away).
More by this authorLuke Cawdell