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Gillingham boss Steve Evans felt shortchanged by referee Will Finnie as they draw 1-1 with Shrewsbury Town

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Gillingham boss Steve Evans wasn’t happy with referee Will Finnie on Tuesday but felt his team should have finished Shrewsbury off regardless.

Evans’ team scored one penalty, but he felt they were denied two others, and was also baffled at a decision in the second half that saw Shrewsbury’s Ryan Giles escape with a yellow card from a challenge worthy of a red.

Stuart O’Keefe scores the opening goal from the penalty spot Picture: Ady Kerry (19947685)
Stuart O’Keefe scores the opening goal from the penalty spot Picture: Ady Kerry (19947685)

Report: Shrewsbury 1 Gillingham 1

Despite those frustrations, Evans felt his team still missed an opportunity, particularly after Stuart O’Keefe’s penalty had put them infront.

Speaking after the 1-1 draw, Evans said: “The performance was good, especially for long spells in the first half, we have dominated and we get a penalty for a foul on Tommy O’Connor. There were two other penalties though. There was a clear foul and a clear handball and I think the referee has had a poor game."

“Second half they came into the game a bit, which you would expect, but they get a goal from a poor individual error and it seems to be our Achilles heel at the minute, poor individual errors rather than teams carving us open.”

Gills goalscorer O’Keefe missed the chance to clear, allowing Omar Beckles the opportunity to level the match from a left-sided cross.

Alex Jakubiak shows his frustration Picture: Ady Kerry (19947683)
Alex Jakubiak shows his frustration Picture: Ady Kerry (19947683)

“We regrouped and we made changes,” continued Evans.

“We tried to be positive, with the boys we put on, Lee and Ndjoli, attacking players, then Regan Charles-Cook gets chopped down and the referee decides a yellow. He (Giles) is last man for me and it’s bizarre to everyone, including their bench.

“Sam Ricketts (the Shrewsbury manager) said to me, ‘it’s a red isn’t it?’ He feared for the red.

“We have a young referee and he is learning isn’t he? That is what they tell us. It is a clear goalscoring opportunity. It is a straight red, that is what we expected.

“But it shouldn’t have come to that. In the first half we had some good play, enough good possession and enough balls into the box, enough quality.

Referee Will Finnie in charge of the game Picture: Ady Kerry (19947687)
Referee Will Finnie in charge of the game Picture: Ady Kerry (19947687)

“We were attacking the end where the Gills fans were (first half) and they saw a lot of good play. They will probably be scratching their heads too asking why we haven’t had the penalties but we don’t seem to get a break.

“I don’t think there is any dispute that we should have won the game.

“The referee was very poor but we had enough possession and opportunities, especially in that first period, to win the game, so we go away disappointed.

“It should have been three points and the boys know it, Stuart makes an error, but that happens. Mark Byrne made one (against Peterborough).

“I thought our play was good and we caused them a lot of problems. If we got a fair rub of the green we would be 3-0 up at half-time but it’s not to be, we will take the point, get home late and thanks to the Football League we will be on our travels again to go to Accrington (on Saturday).”

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent

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