Steve Evans brands Gillingham defeat ‘a smack in the face’



Posted Sunday, November 24, 2019 by PA

Steve Evans brands Gillingham defeat ‘a smack in the face’

Steve Evans felt Gillingham were totally dominant despite a 1-0 loss at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.

Scott Wagstaff’s first-half strike was enough for the Dons to secure a first win in four league games, but Evans was purring at his own side’s performance – less so the referee’s.

Official Kevin Johnson controversially waved away claims for a penalty when Olly Lee was seemingly dragged down by Mitch Pinnock, while substitute Ben Pringle was sent off for dissent in stoppage time.

The Gills also missed great chances through Brandon Hanlan and Mikael Mandron, leaving Evans frustrated at full-time.

“We’re not going to talk about the referee publicly, we’ll talk to him privately. I’ve got to remain private as to what my thoughts are on Kevin Johnson’s performance – if I said them publicly I’d be in trouble,” Evans said.

“It’s a smack in the face. I feel for the players, I feel for the supporters. The fans are going around the M25 tonight wondering how we’ve lost that game. I know that when I get home I’ll shake my head because we’ve come away from here with absolutely nothing. It’s criminal.

“It’s the most dominant I’ve seen any of my teams play in years. That was total, total dominance. It could have been any score today.  I’ve been at Peterborough, I’ve been at Mansfield and I’ve been at Leeds when we’ve beaten teams 5-0 or 6-0 after being dominant in spells. We were totally dominant today.

“We were superb; it was the best we’ve played in a long time. We controlled possession, we opened them up and only their last-ditch defending prevented us from scoring. We let ourselves down in the penalty box. We made five or six golden opportunities to score. I think if we had scored one and gone in front we’d have won by four.”

AFC Wimbledon were the only side in the bottom six to win on Saturday and manager Glyn Hodges hailed their guts and determination.

“We knew that it would be a hard game today. We knew that Gillingham would come up to have a battle and that’s exactly what it was,” he said.

“We knew that the players would have to stand up and be counted today and I thought they did that. You could see what it meant to the fans today.

“Gillingham pinned us in and they had a lot of energy. We put a lot of blocks in – good football isn’t always about pretty patterns, sometimes you’ve got to get your head in and your foot in.

“We haven’t done well against this type of team previously – now we know that we can compete with the sides who play football as well as those who put you under pressure.”

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