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Plymouth Argyle 1 Gillingham 0: Manager Steve Evans reacts to their defeat at Home Park in League 1


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Gillingham manager Steve Evans couldn’t believe they had nothing to show for their efforts at Plymouth.

The Gills bossed the second half at Home Park but were unable to convert that into goals, losing 1-0.

“The best team lost, didn’t they?” Evans said.

“It is a long time since I have watched a 45 minutes of total domination and my team has not scored a goal.

“As much as I was disappointed on Tuesday at Northampton, and said that there was a lack of effort and industry in key areas, we had that in abundance (of it on Saturday) and the best team has lost. They will know that when they analyse it.

“It was one-way domination in the second half, total domination, we had probably 15-16 entries into their 18-yard box, but we are not on the end of them to score a goal so that’s disappointing.

“If it was a boxing match the towel would have come in because they were on the floor. But you don’t get anything for peppering the goal or putting crosses in, you need to score a goal.

“They scored a goal after we’d been the better team. They became the better team leading up to half-time, we got in, we changed shape and system a bit and how we wanted to play and gave more direction to the players. We were outstanding second half, all bar scoring a goal.

“You have to reflect on that because the game is about scoring goals. If you are ever going to lose a game then that’s how you do it.

“I was really pleased with the second half. They are a good team, with good players, but they had no answer. That gives us confidence going forward and sees us through to the January transfer window.

“We couldn’t fill the bench again and there were players on that bench who had not been fit to play.”

Plymouth scored what turned out to be their winner on 33 minutes and it’s a goal Evans will look at again, saying: “It’s a great finish, but it’s an easy cross. I am looking at my central defenders and seeing where they should be.

"I can't complain about the quality of the finish but you can't mark space, one of my centre-backs is marking space, he gets a free strike and it’s a goal."

Evans wasn’t happy with referee Sam Allison either, an official promoted to the Football League this season. The Gills were knocking on the door late on but he felt they deserved more than the additional five minutes that were added at the end.

He said: “You don’t expect a referee’s performance to be as poor as that. People will say ‘is that Steve moaning about a referee?’ Yes, I am, he was poor and an indication of that was when five minutes was put up at the end. Ryan and his staff were delighted, weren’t they?

"I don’t care if he is a new boy, I’ll say it how it is, he was poor.

“He spoke to their keeper about wasting time. From 20 minutes into the second half everything took an eternity. I am not grabbing at straws because we had enough balls into the box to win.”

Evans also ended his press conference with a word about their facilities at Home Park, housed in a computer room behind the goal, with toilet facilities in the stand and players being made to walk back outside to then use the showers in the main changing rooms.

It might not have been so much of an issue had the Gills not been spoken to by the Football League about similar facilities that were laid on at Priestfield for visiting teams.

Evans said: “People talk about facilities but I am not happy that my players had to go out into the rain and walk through the cold environment to go and shower. It is a shambles really.

“I am not blaming Plymouth, if that’s what they have on offer, but the Football League phone up Paul Scally (the Gillingham chairman) and moan about facilities at Priestfield and then allow my players to have this (on Saturday) and what we had at Stoke City in the cup, no wonder Neil Warnock moaned.”

Middlesbrough boss Warnock recently said their facilities were like a pigsty at Stoke. The Gills also played there in the League Cup earlier this season.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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