Published: 08:52, 15 August 2021
| Updated: 09:11, 15 August 2021
Gillingham boss Steve Evans wished Plymouth well after a traumatic week for the city.
The Gills’ League 1 match at Home Park took place two just two days after Thursday night's horrific mass shooting.
Evans, who has family from the area, was visibly affected by the atrocities which saw 22-year-old Jake Davison kill five people - including his own mother and a young dad and his three-year-old daughter, before turning the gun on himself.
A minute’s silence was held before kick-off in memory of the victims.
And while Evans’ competitive instincts remained throughout the match, his thoughts were with the city.
Evans, whose side lost 1-0 to an 88th-minute goal, said: “To the people of Plymouth, I thought you gave your team fantastic support today and we wish their city every success in recovering from such a barbaric act.
“I think what’s gone on in the last 48 hours has been really extraordinary.
“I can’t put words in perspective when I actually understand what’s happened down here.
“But we came to win a football match, we tried to win a football match, we tried to be competitive.
“If they’ve had many better atmospheres than that I’ve yet to see it, but I think that was a city pulling together and so they should.”
Evans said there had been no conversations about postponing the game in light of events.
He added: “I think it was fairly straightforward from day one that the game was going to go ahead.
“I’ve got very close family members who were born and bred here so I just feel for the city.
"I said it last night, I said it today, I still wanted to come and beat them but not to be, so maybe some very unlucky person was upstairs looking down on them today with a little smile, but it’s so sad what’s happened here in the last 48 hours.
“When I learnt some of the details today, you could cry your eyes out.
“It does affect you but it didn’t stop me wanting to win, it didn’t stop me appealing for decisions, it didn’t stop me hating Lowey (manager Ryan Lowe) when they scored.
“But, at the same time, you have to be humble and respectful that this city in the last 48 hours has been through the mill and this football club has done their best to give them a little smile tonight.”