‘He’s a poor referee’ – Steve Evans disappointed with decision in Lincoln defeat

Posted Saturday, February 06, 2021 by PA

‘He’s a poor referee’ – Steve Evans disappointed with decision in Lincoln defeat

Gillingham boss Steve Evans criticised referee Samuel Barrott for making a “game-changing” penalty decision after his team’s four-match unbeaten run came to an end in a 3-0 home defeat by Lincoln.

Conor McGrandles put the Imps ahead when he ended a brilliant team move involving Tayo Edun, Morgan Rogers and Jorge Grant by blazing past Gills goalkeeper Jack Bonham.

Bonham brilliantly tipped Rogers’ effort onto the bar in the 57th minute but was helpless to stop Grant from doubling the visitors’ advantage from the penalty spot two minutes later, after Ryan Jackson had tripped Brennan Johnson.

And Evans felt that was the turning point in the game, with Tom Hopper following up Rogers’ parried shot to head the decisive third goal in the 64th minute to lift Lincoln back to the top of the Sky Bet League One table.

“Their penalty was a game changer – the referee has made a poor decision,” said Evans. “It’s not a penalty, it’s a dive. He should see that it’s a dive, but he made a lot of poor decisions.

“I’m not questioning his honesty, I’m just saying that he’s a poor referee. It’s disappointing from my point of view to hear the official on a live (TV) game calling Lincoln players by their nicknames. That sticks in the throat.

“But I’m not going to say the best team lost. We lost 3-0 and I see Callum Slattery not matching their runner for the first goal and then Jack Tucker turns his back for their third.

“We were good for long periods, but when the half-chances came, we didn’t put them in the net.”

Gillingham certainly had opportunities in the match, with Lincoln defender Joe Walsh having to produce a last-ditch block to prevent Jordan Graham from equalising on the half-hour mark before the tricky Gills midfielder fired his long-range free-kick off target in first-half stoppage time.

The hosts were also denied a deserved consolation goal in the 67th minute when captain Kyle Dempsey volleyed at Alex Palmer, before former Lincoln striker John Akinde headed against the bar.

Having emerged from the 90 minutes with the three points and a clean sheet, Lincoln manager Michael Appleton said: “What we’ve done tonight is show our character against a side who just constantly put balls in the box.

“We knew what was coming, we respected them and knew that if we didn’t win the first ball, we’d make sure we’d pounce on the second.

“There was a calmness to us – we had the composure to look to break with the ball. We showed a lot of quality with our goals and going ahead gave us a platform.

“I haven’t seen it (the penalty) back but to be fair there was a lot of fouling and a lot of grappling of shirts tonight. It won’t surprise me if I do think it was a penalty when I look at it back.”


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