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Fleetwood Town 2 Gillingham 1: Reaction from Gills boss Steve Evans after defeat at Highbury

Gillingham boss Steve Evans couldn’t believe his eyes when another penalty claim went begging but he was frustrated with his own men too.

The Gills were a goal down at the break but Evans and plenty of others felt there was a foul on Olly Lee in the box after an hour. The referee didn’t agree and Fleetwood went onto score another. The home side won 2-1.

Report: Fleetwood 2 Gillingham 1

Reacting to that penalty incident, Evans said: “I cannot believe my eyes when he doesn't give that penalty. I cannot believe it. The fourth (official) is too far away but he said penalty straight away. The linesman should see it but you have to want to see it.

“Olly Lee is going to tap the ball in but the boy pulls his shirt off him. I will get the normal reply, ‘probably couldn't see through the bodies’ and I will ask him. It wasn't just that incident why we were unhappy with the match referee but the referee is not to blame (for the defeat).

“He didn’t switch off for a midfield runner and did not switch off as a central defender, that is our players who have contributed to that, but it doesn’t help when he consistently gives decisions the other way, it is hard to take at times.”

Two weeks ago the Gills were also denied a penalty when John Akinde was fouled inside the area against Portsmouth. The Gills lost 1-0 that day.

On the goals conceded against Fleetwood, Evans felt one of his midfielders should have picked up the Fleetwood player who ended up with a tap-in for the opener. The second was a headed goal from a corner.

He said: “The boys makes his way through but he is on his own, slides and taps it in. The second goal came from Jack Tucker playing it in to Phillips when he had a man up his backside and he shouldn't be playing that ball. They break from that and get the corner and then the man gets away from Jack (to head in), it is quite simple.

“It was a powerful header and a good set-piece if you are Fleetwood but it is just bad decision making leading to the corner and absolutely shocking defending thereafter.

“The goals are individual errors but we were there with people like John Akinde and Dan Phillips who normally wouldn’t be playing (because of injuries), it was either that or the kids. John was feeling (his hamstring) and tried to get through it and the big man did. Dan Phillips dug in until we took him off.

“We try and get back in the game, Robbie McKenzie gets us back in it (with a goal to make it 2-1), we have a wonderful chance to equalise with big John but it bounces off him, it looked like a chance to score.

“It is disappointing but enormous credit to people like Rhys Bennett who shouldn’t be out there and David Tutonda who came off the bench, but shouldn’t be there.”

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