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Gillingham 1 Peterborough 3: Reaction from manager Steve Evans as Gills throw away first half advantage

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Gillingham manager Steve Evans was expecting a reaction from Peterborough in the second half but watched as his team gave them a helping hand.

The Gills had bossed the opening 45 minutes and were well worthy of their 1-0 lead - courtesy of a John Akinde penalty - but a goalkeeper mistake led to an equaliser and that gave Posh the lift they needed.

From then on, with Peterborough playing in a different formation and with Siriki Dembele off the bench, they showed why they are a team chasing automatic promotion. Gills were cut apart as Dembele got a deflected second and bad defending led to a third. There was no way back from that.

The visitors went onto win 3-1 and finished the night second in the League 1 table.

Evans said: “You know they are going to react but we don’t need to help them. Teams at the top don’t need help in any league. We helped them.

“The first goal should be a comfortable save, the second they got a bit of luck, and the third was from two was big, big errors but at that time Posh were on the ascendancy and dominating, like the way we were in the first half and it was difficult for us.

“They took advantage of those errors and then they were more expansive and brighter on the ball than us.

“We had to somehow keep two strikers on the pitch and try and nick a goal. With five or six minutes to go the boy Beevers put his head in the way of an effort from big John (Akinde), which might have been going in, and that might have made it interesting. Over the 90 minutes if we take out the errors we probably win.”

Gillingham had been by far the better side first half but Akinde’s penalty was all they had to show for it. 1-0 was a slender margin against a side with the likes of Dembele on the bench - a player Evans took to Peterborough when he was their manager.

Evans said: “You are always concerned at 1-0. You know playing against a good side, in any league, that are challenging and capable that you are going to have to deal with them first 10-15 minutes of the second half and deal with it properly, we didn’t.

“We were mistake-littered for the first 15 minutes of the second half and it made it difficult for us.

“The third goal was two big mistakes from two young centre backs. Jack Tucker has three weeks to get the ball up the pitch, the cross comes in which we don’t work hard enough to stop either and big Jonno (Clarke-Harris) gets across Robbie Cundy and it is a big learning curve for him. He has earned a lot of praise but it was a lesson for him in that second half.

“But we will take it. We are not on a level playing field with Peterborough United, with the resources they have, it is mountains away but you have to spend those resources wisely and they have a chairman and manager who is doing so. I hope they go into the Championship. I wish them well.”

Report: Gills 1 Peterborough 3

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