Published: 18:00, 31 August 2019
| Updated: 20:44, 31 August 2019
Football was the winner on Saturday, said Gillingham boss Steve Evans.
He was delighted that it was game-on at the weekend after opponents Bolton Wanderers completed their protracted takeover during the week.
It meant Bolton’s survival in the Football League was assured.
Following Gills’ 5-0 win over Bolton, Evans said: ”We are pleased, we got three points but the winner is football today.
“The biggest win was the fact that Bolton Wanderers turned up on the team coach, with new owners, and got rid of some people that shouldn’t really be running football clubs, in my opinion, from a distance.
“They turned up, were backed by good support. They got Jack Hobbs in, he made them stronger, but I think you are a little apprehensive on the sides when you have four or five chances and don’t take one.
“Once the first goal went in the quality of play came through and they were probably fortunate that it was only five and not 15, it certainly could have been double figures. The Bolton goalkeeper (Remi Matthews) was tremendous, along with his colleague infront of him. Bolton Wanderers can be proud of those young men.”
Evans had extra reason for wanting Bolton to survive, having been there as an apprentice at the beginning of his football journey.
He said: “We want these clubs to survive and the downside is that Bury Football Club are not with us.
“It was important for our strategy to get a win (on Saturday) and equally it was important for football that Bolton Wanderers turned up.
“At one stage we weren’t sure whether they would or not because we didn’t know if they were going to survive. It was a sad state of affairs but thankfully they did.”
Gillingham dominated the match for long periods, with 30 attempts at goal.
“We were great up until about 80 minutes,” said Evans.
“We got a bit sloppy, drifted a bit, but had been stunning up until then.
“It doesn’t matter who you are playing against, when you pass and move properly. When you look at the goal where Hanlan bundles it in, it is a fantastic ball from Tommy (O’Connor) down the side, fantastic from AJ (Jakubiak) who goes across and puts in a great ball.
“People should watch it back, it was just a fantastic goal. They were the types of moves we were working on this Friday and so to see it score on Saturday, you think, ‘yes the training ground stuff is worth it.’
“We needed to produce a performance because we couldn’t win. If we won 1-0 it probably wouldn’t have been so good, if we win by five people say that’s what they expect, but it was the manner of the performance.
“Some of the football was outstanding and I was really pleased with the boys we’ve brought in as well.”
More by this authorLuke Cawdell