Jubilant Peterborough United manager Steve Evans couldn’t hide his pleasure after a display that contained class, character and the ‘best goal he’s ever seen from one of his players’ at Gillingham today (September 22).
Posh hit back from 2-1 down to win 4-2 in a pulsasting clash at the Priestfield Stadium thanks to three goals in the final 30 minutes. Jamie Walker, Siriki Dembele, Ivan Toney and Callum Cooke scored the goals. It was Cooke’s first goal for Posh, but it was Toney’s strike that had Evans purring.
The win moved Posh back to the top of the table following a draw for previous leaders Portsmouth at home to Wycombe.
Posh centre-back Ryan Tafazolli was taken off at half-time after a clash of heads with teammate Rhys Bennett. He received the all-clear after a trip to hospital after the game.
“What an advert for League One football that was,” Evans enthused. “Some of the quality on show from both sides was tremendous.
“We had to show different sides to our game. Our passing and movement were exceptional in the first-half and when we did concede two goals to fall behind we then showed great character and desire to get back in the game and to go on and win it.
“We might not be the best team in Peterborough United’s history, but there won’t be many who have had more character and commitment. We could easily have buckled at 2-1 down.
“And the goal we scored to get back in front from Ivan Toney was the best I’ve seen from one of my players.
“There were five passing moments of one and two touch magic followed by a brilliant strike from the big man. The final goal wasn’t bad either and I was pleased for Callum as he’s been held back by injuries this season.
“Some of our counter attacking was exceptional. We have been hurting teams all season with the quality of our play.
“Gillingham were very good also. It was just a great match. Both goalkeepers produced excellent saves. Aaron Chapman made three in the same attack and then let one in he should have saved, but this is not the time to nitpick.
“We are delighted to be back on top, but unlike some we weren’t singing in the dressing room after the game. We have already moved on and we will start on Monday getting ready for the next game.
“There shouldn’t be too big a problem with Ryan who we will get checked out to make sure. Josh Yorwerth did very well in his place and it was a great effort by Rhys Bennett who was spitting blood in the second half.”
Evans and his assistant Paul Raynor were both booked in the second-half for dissent as was Gills assistant manager Mark Patterson.