Let’s be honest here. Few Gillingham fans truly believed their beleaguered side would go up to promotion-chasing Peterborough and come home with all three points.
But, thanks to a performance of positivity and passion, that’s exactly what happened.
The match marked the occasion of Steve Lovell’s first game in charge after being promoted to caretaker manager following the midweek departure of Director of Football – and the club’s previous caretaker boss – Peter Taylor.
Lovell told the fans his side would “have a right go” at the Posh, and they certainly backed up that promise, pushing the home side back and taking the lead in spectacular fashion.
The new man in charge made a couple of changes in personnel, drafting in fit-again Bradley Garmston to play the first half at left back (he was withdrawn at halftime) and playing Sean Clare at right back to give the Gills’ back line an abundance of pace in wide areas.
Mark Byrne returned from suspension to deliver a typically energetic performance in midfield, while Elliott List was also called up to play up front with Josh Parker.
But despite the changes in personnel, the major change was the approach of the team. Under Taylor Gillingham were set up apparently hoping to hang on for draws, but at Peterborough Lovell let the team off the leash, and it paid off.
The man who made the matchwinning contribution was skipper Lee Martin, who cut in from the flank to guide a 25-yard effort in off the post to put the travelling fans in dreamland 10 minute before the break.
There was plenty still to do, and the Gills back line and goalkeeper had to be on red alert as Peterborough looked to turn the screw in the second half.
But big Czech Tomas Holy proved to be unbeatable between the sticks as the visitors repelled all borders to pick up a priceless clean sheet and secure the victory.
— Simon Head (@simonhead) October 14, 2017
Gills XI vs Peterborough
Holy, Clare, Garmston (Ogilvie 46), Zakuani, Ehmer, Bingham, Hessenthaler, Byrne (Wagstaff 63), Martin, Parker, List (Wilkinson 69)
Unused subs: Nelson, Oldaker, Cundle, O’Mara