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Gillingham's new midfielder Ben Pringle rues dropped points on his return to Tranmere

It proved to be a frustrating return to Prenton Park for Gills’ new signing Ben Pringle.

The midfielder helped Tranmere to promotion last season but, in a twist of fate, made his first start of the new campaign on the opposition team.

Pringle joined the Gills on Wednesday and was immediately put into the starting XI.

Ben Pringle cuts inside Tranmere's Ollie Banks on Saturday Picture: Ady Kerry
Ben Pringle cuts inside Tranmere's Ollie Banks on Saturday Picture: Ady Kerry

“It was frustrating to come away with a draw after being 2-0 up,” said the 30-year-old.

“We had a number of chances and we had a penalty saved. It is frustrating and being 2-0 up we should have seen the game out.

“First half they hit the post but apart from that they didn’t really do anything, it didn’t look like they were threatening us.

“I think if we could have got to 75 minutes then we would have seen the game out and that’s something we have to deal with going forward.”

Tranmere got a goal back on 66 minutes and made it 2-2 soon after.

Pringle, who left Preston in the summer, said: “When a team has their tail up they are going to put the pressure on.

“That is something maybe we need to work on, deal with the pressure and see it out for that period of time, but it is still a good point on the road.”

Pringle had spent several weeks with Bolton since being a free agent but chose the Gills, rekindling a relationship with Steve Evans, his former boss at Rotherham.

The pair enjoyed back-to-back promotions to the Championship with the Millers.

“I had good times with him before so it was a no-brainer for me,” he said.

“I have not played a lot of football, not played a friendly for a couple of weeks, so I was pacing myself a bit. First half we played some good stuff.

“There were a lot of positives there and I was happy to start the game.

“From what I have seen here it looks positive going forward.”

Pringle was Evans’ 15th signing of the summer, bringing him on a free transfer after being released by Preston in the summer.

Pringle had been on Preston’s books since 2016, enjoying loan spells with Oldham, Grimsby and most recently Tranmere.

Following his arrival, Evans said: “I am delighted to reunite Ben Pringle with Paul Raynor and myself after he delivered nothing short of a fantastic few seasons while we were in charge at Rotherham United.

“We found the player in the reserves and within a couple of seasons found himself playing for Fulham in the Championship.

“Whilst the lad has been considering a number of options from League 1 he has kept himself in top shape at Bolton Wanderers, primarily under Phil Parkinson.

“When we all heard the news he had left I immediately got in touch with Ben and there was an immediate desire to get back together and have a plan to reproduce the good times that we shared.

“He can play in central midfield; he can play on the left or the right. He is a top talent.”

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