Published: 20:00, 11 September 2021
| Updated: 21:20, 12 September 2021
Gillingham assistant boss Paul Raynor said the weekend performance at Burton was what they’ve been building towards.
The Gills had a torrid pre-season, scuppered by a double Covid break, but are now getting up to speed and an impressive performance at third-placed Burton delighted the management - even if there was a tinge of disappointment that they didn’t leave with a win.
“We started the season properly with that,” said Raynor. “That is a Gillingham performance, more of a League 1 performance, there were lots of positive to take.
“We should have been going home with three points, as oppose to one, I thought it was an excellent performance, we created a lot more than we have done in recent weeks.
“It was a really good performance, full of intent.
“We were dominant in the first half. We knew what Burton would try and do, the way they would try and play it out from the back, we thought we could press them high and we did, we continually nicked it off them when they were trying to play it out, we were on the front foot for most of the first half, so there was a little bit of a frustration (not to win).
“Turning 1-0 up (at the break) you have a platform to then hopefully build on. Unfortunately we conceded a set-piece (just a minute after the restart). We had spoken about their long throw and how we set up. We didn’t deal with the first contact and someone pulls off someone in the six yard box. When you give Kane Hemmings chances like that he will put them away, we have had him at Mansfield and we know what he can do, he is a goalscorer.
“That was a little disappointing because it is something we have spoken about but we haven’t carried it out.”
Gills manager Steve Evans was back in the dugout, after missing the game at Colchester with illness, but he kept a low profile, leaving able deputy Raynor to front proceedings again.
Burton felt they should have had a penalty at 1-1 when their danger-man Harry Chapman went to ground under pressure from Max Ehmer. The home crowd were sure it was a spot-kick.
Brewers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink agreed, saying: “I thought it was a penalty. The referee said it was shoulder to shoulder, but their player isn’t looking at the ball and just pushed him.”
The referee didn’t think so and Raynor certainly felt there wasn’t anything in it, adding: “I thought he overran the ball, we eased him out of it, if we are going to get penalties for things like that then...
"Referees say they are allowing more contact now and we just eased him off the ball. I don’t think it was a penalty.
“I am sure Jimmy will think differently but I think they got the rub of the green for most of the things but it’s Gillingham and we are pretty much used to that anyway. I don’t think it was a penalty at all. I think that is clutching at straws a little bit.”