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Gillingham boss Steve Evans says they will work on their finishing in training after missed chances at Bolton Wanderers


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Gillingham manager Steve Evans says he’ll be sending his strikers to shooting practice after they missed a host of chances at Bolton on Saturday.

The Gills boss quite rightly claimed his side should have put their League 1 clash to bed before two late goals saw the hosts snatch a point in a 2-2 draw.

Gillingham forward Vadaine Oliver - missed a number of good chances at Bolton on Saturday. Picture: Andy Jones
Gillingham forward Vadaine Oliver - missed a number of good chances at Bolton on Saturday. Picture: Andy Jones

Gillingham had enough chances to win two or three games at the University of Bolton stadium.

Evans said: “We have to work on the training ground and we’ll have our strikers practising to score goals because (Saturday) was unacceptable really.

“I don’t often say that about strikers really because they get in areas and miss chances, I think it was unacceptable (in terms of) the quality of finishing.”

Leading scorer Vadaine Oliver missed a series of chances. He intercepted a back pass early in the second half before putting his shot wide, then had two shots in quick succession - the latter one a chance he normally takes with aplomb.

Evans admitted he expected more from his striker.

“He’s one of the best in the league and has been brilliant for us,” said the Gills boss.

“I think he knows, he is an honest kid, and he’s cost (us), not people switching off near the end. He’s led the line remarkably well but big chances have come and I know he tried to pass it past the goalkeeper when it was a short pass back but the two other chances are bread and butter for a kid of his level.

“We didn’t take them and if we’d got the third goal then they sink, and we win. But we didn’t, so we’ll regroup and go again next Saturday.”

John Akinde - scored his first goal since February at Bolton. Picture: Keith Gillard
John Akinde - scored his first goal since February at Bolton. Picture: Keith Gillard

Forward John Akinde did find the net for Gills - his first goal in 25 appearances, a run that stretches back to February.

There was some doubt over whether it would go down as an own goal but Evans was keen to point out the role Akinde played either way.

“Some of the boys were saying they both stretched a leg out, I don’t know if it’s an own goal or a John Akinde goal,” said Evans.

“But if it’s not a John Akinde goal, he makes the defender do that, doesn’t he, because he’s a big presence.

“It’s a great cross in by Danny Lloyd and a good finish, at that stage we’re totally dominant aren’t we.”

Captain Kyle Dempsey also ended a long barren run without a goal - his last strike for Gills was in March during the 3-0 success at Lincoln.

Evans noted: “Dempsey has that in his locker doesn’t he. As soon as he nicks it off him, you’re thinking go on son, do what you do in training every day.

“He is a wonderful talent, a wonderful player. He got tired in the second half but he’s another lad who gives us everything. I don’t think he has missed a minute in any competitive (league) game that we’ve played. It does surprise you that it’s his first goal of the season.”

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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