MATCH REACTION: Missed scoring chances cost Posh dear

Posh striker Tom Nichols saw this shot saved by Gillingham 'keeper Stuart Nelson. Photo: David Lowndes.
Posh striker Tom Nichols saw this shot saved by Gillingham 'keeper Stuart Nelson. Photo: David Lowndes.
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Peterborough United manager Grant McCann was left to rue a string of missed scoring chances which cost his side a League One victory against Gillingham at the ABAX Stadium today (December 26).

The Gills forced a 1-1 draw with an injury-time goal from central defender Baily Cargill. Posh substitute Lee Angol had seemed to have delivered a third straight League One win when scoring for the first time in an injury-plagued season in the 78th minute.

Posh striker Lee Angol is on his way to putting Posh in front against Gillingham. Photo: David Lowndes.

Posh striker Lee Angol is on his way to putting Posh in front against Gillingham. Photo: David Lowndes.

The late goal dropped Posh out of the top six although winning their game in hand would send McCann’s men up to fifth.

McCann said: “I felt we were under par for 50-60 minutes today. When we scored I felt confident we would go on to win, but at this level you need to take your scoring chances and ultimately that has cost us.

“Their goal was avoidable. There were three mistakes as Lee Angol lost his man, Michael Bostwick didn’t stop the cross and someone then left their man in the area.

“But we shouldn’t have been in that position. We missed four or five very good scoring chances.

Posh striker Tom Nichols dragged this opportunity wide against Gillingham. Photo: David Lowndes.

Posh striker Tom Nichols dragged this opportunity wide against Gillingham. Photo: David Lowndes.

“I’m not too concerned though. I’d be more bothered if we weren’t creating chances. People have been saying we would struggle for goals all season, but the reality is we have scored the fifth most goals in League One and we are going to improve in the second-half of the season.

“Tom Nichols will increase his goals-tally. Okay he’s missed a couple of good chances today, but he makes so many good runs behind defenders, the chances will keep coming for him.

“He rushed his first chance today. He had more time than he realised, but he’s a good player and with the likes of Maddison, Taylor and Edwards in the team we are not likely to stop creating chances.

“It’s a disappointing result and another occasion when we’ve lost points at home by conceding a late goal. That happened against Port Vale and Swindon as well and we have to cut it out.

Posh midfielder Gwion Edwards goes past Gillingham's Ryan Jackson. Photo: David Lowndes.

Posh midfielder Gwion Edwards goes past Gillingham's Ryan Jackson. Photo: David Lowndes.

“In such a tight league, home form will be vital, but we remain in good form and it’s another point towards our goal. We stood up well to a big team.”

In-form forward Paul Taylor was an absentee against Gillingham after failing a late fitness test on an injured hamstring. Posh are hopeful he will be fit to take on Coventry at the ABAX Stadium on Saturday (December 31).

Marcus Maddison returned after a three-game absence with an ankle injury. He was replaced midway through the second-half by George Moncur, whose immediate future remains up in the air. McCann refused to reveal whether or not the on-loan Barnsley player will extend his loan at the ABAX beyond January 2.

“Paul was close to playing, but we felt it wasn’t worth the risk,” McCann added. “Marcus was rusty. He still delivered two great crosses which could have led to goals, but he tired quickly.

“George has told me his intentions, but we will keep it to ourselves until after the next two games. He’s a good player and I will use him for as long as he is with us.

“It was great to see Lee (Angol) back and scoring. He looked sharp and he took his goal superbly.

“Our game is all about playing on the half-turn so we missed paul, but I felt Lee and George improved us in that respect when they came on. We were too static and the tempo just wasn’t there for too long.”