Steve Evans pleased as Gillingham edge past Southend to make round two

Posted Saturday, September 05, 2020 by PA

Steve Evans pleased as Gillingham edge past Southend to make round two

Steve Evans hailed 10-man Gillingham’s determination after they made it through to the Carabao Cup second round with a 1-0 win against Southend.

Left-back Connor Ogilvie headed home from Kyle Dempsey’s corner midway through the first half and that proved to be the winner, despite Ryan Jackson’s second-half red card.

Jackson picked up two yellows – much to Evans’ dismay – but the Gills held on, despite League Two side Southend striking the post twice in the second half.

“Our determination and willingness to work hard got us through in the end,” he said.

“Getting through in the cup was our objective today. We were outstanding, absolutely outstanding against Newport last year and got knocked out. Today we blew hot and cold and made it through.

“It was a poor start but I think for the 25 minutes after we scored we bossed it. Arguably we should have scored two or three. We’ve started the second half the better team and then Jacko gets sent off.

“I’ve got no complaints with the second yellow – absolutely none, the referee has got that right. But the first one is a mystery. He waves play on, the fourth official brings it back and then the referee books him. That’s strange.

“And then I watch a Southend player already on a yellow absolutely smash Stuart O’Keefe and nothing happens. That’s enough about him as he’s not been very good today.”

Gillingham will feature in the second round for the first time since 2016 but they were almost left to rue several wasted chances.

After Ogilvie’s header, Dempsey went close from 25 yards and Vadaine Oliver headed wide from close range.

Southend, under new manager Mark Molesley, almost made them pay, with Isaac Hutchinson hitting the post with a free-kick before Charlie Kelman hit the opposite post in added time.

“It was a really positive performance. We created a lot of chances, we’ve hit the woodwork a couple of times and forced their goalkeeper into a lot of saves,” said Molesley

“I thought we dominated in the second half, especially after the sending off, but Gillingham are a tough, robust side. But there are some lessons to be learned today as we switched off momentarily for a set play and that cost us.

“The players are disappointed – we want defeats to hurt but we can’t dwell on them. There are plenty of positives to come out of that and we’ll try and right the wrongs.

“I haven’t really had time to think about things but looking at it now, what an honour it’s been to have managed Southend in my first competitive game. There were a lot of green shoots but we’re very early on in our project.”


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