Published: 16:45, 11 January 2020
| Updated: 21:40, 11 January 2020
Gillingham had plenty of chances against Peterborough United but lacked the killer touch.
New signing Jordan Roberts hit the bar towards the end of the first half and Brandon Hanlan rattled it moments later with the goal seemingly at his mercy.
Mo Eisa hit the same crossbar late in the second half for a Posh team who improved in the latter stages but ended with 10 men after Mark Beevers picked up a second caution.
Ipswich loanee Roberts wore the no.10 shirt for the Gills and went straight into the starting XI against a team he was at during his junior days.
Gillingham boss Steve Evans was sacked by Peterborough a year ago and knew a win for his current team would put both clubs on the same points.
Ivan Toney and Louis Reed were the only two starters for Posh signed by Evans during his time at the club. Home boss Darren Fergusonincluded £500k new signing Jack Taylor in their line-up while Reece Brown - on loan from Huddersfield - made his first league start for the big-spending hosts.
The Posh defence dealt well with Gills’ early set-pieces, getting there first to clear a couple of early corners, a free-kick and a throw into the box from Connor Ogilvie.
It took the hosts until the 15 minute mark to threaten the Gills goal, Louis Reed playing a corner kick out to Mo Eisa on the edge of the box but the shot was blocked.
Peterborough’s big-money newcomer Taylor drew the first real save of the match as Jack Bonham was forced to turn his header wide at full stretch with half an hour gone.
The hosts began to look a threat but it didn’t last. The latter stages of the first half saw the Gills dominate but a goal wouldn’t come.
Hanlan should have opened the scoring when Roberts’ initial header came off the bar but he directed it back onto the woodwork.
He headed another great chance wide before the break when meeting Olly Lee’s ball in and the half ended with a shot from Stuart O’Keefe that wasn’t far off. The home fans jeered their side off at the interval.
Gillingham continued the start of the second where they left off in the first, winning a couple of early corners and a free-kick that Tom O’Connor put well over the bar.
For all of Gills’ efforts, they were reliant on another great save from Bonham to keep Peterborough out. Dan Butler put in a terrific cross for Toney but the visiting keeper made a great save from the resulting header.
Toney worked Bonham again with 10 minutes left and when the ball ran loose it looked like a tap-in for Eisa but thanks to a touch from Barry Fuller the close-range effort struck the crossbar.
Posh looked to end the game strongly but lost centre-back Beevers late on when he picked up a second booking, a foul on Hanlan earning him the red.
Toney had the chance to win it in the last minute of time added-on, after getting past Jack Tucker, but put his shot wide when under pressure.
Gillingham: Bonham, Fuller, Ogilvie, Ehmer, Tucker, Jones, O’Keefe, O’Connor, Lee, Roberts (Jakubiak 79mins), Hanlan. Subs not used: Walsh, Pringle, Charles-Cook, Willock, Marshall, Mandron.
Peterborough: Pym, Butler, Beevers, Kent, Eisa (Bennett 89mins), Brown (Ward 90mins), Reed, Toney, Boyd (Maddison 65mins), Mason, Taylor. Subs not used: O’Malley, Blake-Tracy, Barker, Burrows.
Attendance: 6,696 (397 away)
More by this authorLuke Cawdell