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Gillingham manager Steve Evans reacts to a 2-1 defeat against former club Peterborough United

Gillingham manager Steve Evans believes Peterborough were fortunate to have left Priestfield with maximum points.

The visitors won the match with a super strike and a penalty and were hanging on at the end after Mikael Mandron pulled a goal back.

Gillingham v Peterborough United action Picture: Ady Kerry (19703621)
Gillingham v Peterborough United action Picture: Ady Kerry (19703621)

Report: Gills 1 Peterborough 2

Evans, who managed Peterborough for half of the previous campaign, said: “We were beaten by a good team, undeservedly, but this Football League game is about point accumulation and nothing else.

“I don’t need to tell an experienced and good manager like Darren Ferguson that he has been fortunate.

“I think in every area, if you look at the stats, we were by far the better team.

“We had 16-17 efforts on goal and five or six on target, several off target that should have been on target.

“We were on top in the first half, they probably started brightly for 10 minutes, but our young full-back slips and that allows Joe Ward to come inside and we know Joe, we know what he is capable of. He is a brilliant young man. He puts it into the stanchion and we have to take that.

Gillingham v Peterborough United action Picture: Ady Kerry (19703633)
Gillingham v Peterborough United action Picture: Ady Kerry (19703633)

“Second half we said, ‘let’s be in the game on 70 minutes,’ and put the pressure on Peterborough, they are the ones fighting to be in that top group.”

Hopes deteriorated when Mark Byrne handled inside the box from a corner and Mo Eisa made it 2-0 from the spot. Evans was clear with what he thought of it.

He said: “It was a stupid decision to lift his arm, there was no disputing the penalty kick.

“The second half had just started and Mark said it just moved direction at the last minute.

"I can’t hide what I said to him, I wouldn’t expect an under-10 player to lift his hand in that situation.

Gillingham v Peterborough United action Picture: Ady Kerry (19703649)
Gillingham v Peterborough United action Picture: Ady Kerry (19703649)

“I didn’t see it myself, not many did, the goalkeeper didn’t, the referee saw it, although he didn’t see a lot else all afternoon, but he saw that.

"They go 2-0 in front and for 10 minutes they are comfortable. We are probably scratching a little bit, we made the substitutions and changed the system a little bit.

“We missed a couple of good chances, we got the goal and how we have not scored after three or four good half chances, a huge chance for Connor Ogilvie from the corner, a free header, he should have scored.

“Our goalkeeper summed it up, saying ‘I have been beaten by a wonder strike and a penalty and I haven’t had another save to make’. That makes it tough to take.”

Gillingham v Peterborough United action Picture: Ady Kerry (19703657)
Gillingham v Peterborough United action Picture: Ady Kerry (19703657)

Ferguson felt Gills' goal was offside. It appeared that Niall Mason has played in Gills striker Mikael Mandron to make it 2-1, but the Posh boss disagreed.

"It was 15 yards offside," he said. "It came off a Gillingham player.

"We were not at our best but we managed to dig out a result.

"It is always a scrap at Gillingham and I said, let's just get the win and get on the bus."

The Peterborough manager made a comment about Gills' pitch, when asked.

He said: "One of our players said it was a bit like Jumanji out there.

"(The grass) was very long but it is Gillingham's prerogative what they do with their pitch. It made it very sticky but we're not in the Premier League, we're in League 1 and we have to deal with these sort of things.

"Any time I see a team win at Gillingham I think it's a good win."

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