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Gillingham 2 Rochdale 2: Steve Evans admits his team weren't at their best in League 1 clash at Priestfield

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Manager Steve Evans admitted Gillingham weren’t at their best on Saturday but were robbed of a few extra minutes to try and nick a winner.

John Akinde bagged a point for the Gills with a goal in the last of the three additional minutes that referee Christpher Pollard played at the end of their game against Rochdale. Evans felt more should have been added on.

Gillingham manager Steve Evans says his team weren't at their best against Rochdale
Gillingham manager Steve Evans says his team weren't at their best against Rochdale

Visitors Rochdale came from behind to lead 2-1 before Akinde's late strike levelled it up.

Evans said: “We found ourselves behind and it left us with no option but to throw caution to the wind. We almost had six or seven upfront in that last five or six minutes.

“John Akinde scores (to make it 2-2) but we then look at the clock and it’s time up. We only had three minutes. Often you see when teams score in the 92nd or 93rd minute they may go and then score another in the 95th/96th. We didn’t get that opportunity.

“Three minutes were added for three goals in that half and a raft of substitutions, a player down for a minute and 40 so that was frustrating.

“You are looking for those extra minute for a barnstorming finish. I think the Rochdale lads were shouting for time up when they kicked off after the goal from John, so that was disappointing.”

The Gills were a goal up at the break thanks to Vadaine Oliver’s finish but missed some good chances early in the second half to make it tough on Rochdale. The visitors got back into it with two goals from Jimmy Keohane.

Evans said: “It was a very scrappy first half, conditions were windy, it was swirling but we went into the break infront. We said to the boys about starting on the front foot second half and we did that but we missed two clear cut chances. If they had gone in we would have probably gone on to win by three or four.

“Rochdale have some good players, you know you have to do your job and defend properly against them. Jordan Graham didn’t track his runner (for the equaliser) and then they get on the front foot and we don’t squeeze the midfield player on the edge of the box. We didn’t do that and he pulled the trigger.

“I am majorly disappointed because there are key moments in game. The key moments were the start of the second half when we missed two gilt-edged chances. The boys will look back at the highlights and they will be disappointed.

“We were not at our best but we’ll take the point and move on to Crewe (on Tuesday night).”

Report: Gillingham 2 Rochdale 2

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