Steve Evans happy with victory for below par Gillingham

Posted Wednesday, February 12, 2020 by PA

Steve Evans happy with victory for below par Gillingham

Steve Evans felt his Gillingham side were way off top gear as they snatched all three points at Blackpool thanks to Brandon Hanlan’s stoppage-time winner.

The Gills made it six games unbeaten despite trailing for much of the game after Armand Gnanduillet’s opener early on.

Two goals in three second-half minutes gave the visitors the advantage at Bloomfield Road as John Akinde and Regan Charles-Cook turned the tables, and though Nathan Delfouneso equalised for the hosts in the first minute of stoppage time, there was still time for Hanlan to win it in the fifth minute of time added on.

And Evans believes that, though his charges were out of sorts for large swaths of the game, their class shone through in the end.

“We’ve deserved to win without being at our best,” he said.

“It was probably our poorest performance, certainly in the first 45, in a long while. Certainly, away from home we’ve been dominating games. I think they deservedly took the lead.

“I think we’re probably not defensively at our sharpest on the right-hand side, but they get in front and we limp through to half-time really and we had to wake them up a little bit, make one or two changes tactically and in terms of players as well. I think second half we were by far the better team.”

Tangerines’ top scorer Gnanduillet gave the hosts the lead seven minutes in when he pounced on a chance to finish smartly.

Though opportunities came and went, it was to be over an hour until the net would bulge again, with Akinde converting one-on-one before Charles-Cook put the visitors in front.

And Blackpool boss Simon Grayson was left deflated by his side’s inability to see out the game after Delfouneso looked to have grabbed a point in injury time.

“You equalise so late on and you think you’ll take the point now,” he said.

“You have to make sure that you don’t lose the game and individual mistakes for all three goals have cost us a point at the very least where, up to the first goal, we were quite comfortable in the game and it’s made it a difficult night for us.

“You look at the performance of the first half, I thought we were good, we were comfortable.

“They never really threatened too much apart from set pieces. We got the goal and could have had another couple of goals and gone in quite comfortable at half-time.

“Second half we said we needed to probably keep the ball a little bit better, but make sure that we competed and individual mistakes have cost us.

“It gave them a lift to get back into the game and before you know it, you’re 2-1 down and you’re chasing the game when really the game should have been over and it becomes a difficult night for us.”


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