Peterborough United 0-1 Gillingham
Peterborough United 0-1 Gillingham

Gillingham’s rollercoaster Play Off challenge hit a new high after Connor Ogilvie’s fifth goal of the season gave Steve Evans’ side an amazing win over promotion chasing Peterborough United to edge to within four points of the top six.

Ogilvie’s fifteenth minute strike denied the Posh on a night where with other results the home side could have been promoted with a win. But The Gills were to prove party poopers and by winning the game, incredibly they re-ignited their own Play Off dreams which had seemed to be completely extinguished by the heart-breaking weekend defeat at Oxford.

Few gave The Gills much chance against the side with the best home record in the division, but courtesy of Ogilvie’s strike from the edge of the box – with his right foot – after a terrific touch from John Akinde (the only change from the Oxford defeat as he replaced absent top scorer Vadaine Oliver) who had been found by Jordan Graham after Ryan Jackson’s long throw hadn’t been dealt with.

Indeed, Graham had already gone close with a free-kick before The Gills scored and had the better chances in a first half that saw the high scoring Posh – no one had scored more than Darren Ferguson’s side before kick-off this season – not register a single shot on target.

The second half was to prove different however, as the home side rallied with news that leaders Hull City were behind to Sunderland. But Jack Bonham and his defenders stood tall and firm, with skipper Kyle Dempsey, Alex MacDonald and Stuart O’Keefe working tirelessly in midfield.

Bonham was relieved when Sammie Szmodic thundered a shot against The Gills crossbar and the Gillingham stopper was equal to Jack Taylor’s header but apart from that, the home side’s chances were limited which was a magnificent testament to Evans’ side’s character following the weekend’s disappointments.

Indeed, it could have been finished even better for The Gills as substitute Dominic Samuel was brilliantly denied in stoppage time by home keeper Josef Bursik but shortly afterwards, Mr Allison’s blew the final whistle. 

The Gills have now taken points off all the sides above them and at the end of this strangest of League One seasons even if they do fall short of their pursuit of a first Play Off campaign since 2009, the progress that this side has made – especially since Christmas – has been encouraging enough for the Priestfield faithful to have genuine hope that when they hopefully return in August, if the management can keep this squad together for a new season, who knows what they could achieve…

Meantime, the dream for this season is still just about alive as relegation threatened Northampton Town head to Kent for game number forty-four on Saturday.

PETERBOROUGH UNITED – Bursik, Butler, Thompson, Beevers (Burrows 78), Kent, Taylor, Brown (Hamilton 69), Szmodics, Dembele, Clarke-Harris, Ward.

Subs not used: Gyollai, Mason, Eisa, Reed, Jones.

Booked: Thompson (18), Szmodics (21), Dembele (51).

GILLINGHAM: Bonham, Jackson, Ogilvie, O’Keefe, Tucker, Dempsey, Graham (McKenzie 97), Lee (Samuel 81), Akinde, MacDonald (O’Connor 95), Cundy.

Subs not used: Bastien, Johnson, Woods, Sithole.

Goal: Ogilvie (15).

Booked: MacDonald (23), Dempsey (85).

REFEREE – Mr Sam Allison

Picture supplied by Gillingham Football Club