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Junior Morias’ stunning 90th-minute winner kept Peterborough’s slim play-off chances alive as they saw off struggling Gillingham.
The 25-yard strike meant Posh gained their first win in six games after what the visiting boss Grant McCann described as “a tough week.”
“We came together as a group and it showed in a difficult game played in tough conditions,” said McCann.
A second goal from the bench in consecutive weeks for Morias meant Peterborough go within eight points of the top six.
“Junior has that in his locker,” stated McCann, “He was close to starting this game as his attitude and desire to learn is obvious every day.”
Meanwhile Ady Pennock’s struggling Gillingham side lost their third game in succession, meaning just three points separate them and 21st-placed Port Vale.
But the Gills head coach remained optimistic following the game, saying: “The players know what the situation is – they know what they’ve got to do, and we’ll have a right old go.
“I’m very determined, of course, it’s my job and everyone’s job to stick together and go from there. We’re not throwing in the towel.”
The seven thousand in attendance at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium were far from treated to a spectacle during the opening 45 minutes.
An injury to the referee Brendan Malone forcing him off in the 38th minute proved the only incident of a disappointing first half; linesman Chris Wade took up the duties.
The tempo of the game finally started to lift following the break; Gills substitute and Bournemouth loanee Harry Cornick going just wide after cutting inside from 25 yards on his debut.
Another debutant for the home side, goalkeeper Tomas Holy, did well to keep out long-range efforts from Peterborough captain Chris Forrester and Marcus Maddison as the game began to open up.
But Holy could do very little to stop Morias’ late strike in the final minutes as the ball nestled into the top right corner.
The Gills pushed for an equaliser in the closing stages but to no avail, as Posh gained their first win against this opposition in six matches.