Published: 08:00, 03 May 2021
| Updated: 09:59, 03 May 2021
Steve Evans was left frustrated again by decisions made by match officials at the weekend and believes there has been a big drop in standards.
The Gillingham manager watched a first half goal ruled out by the linesman’s flag and a late one conceded after debate over a corner in the lead up to a last-minute equaliser. It led to a now routine chat with EFL head of referees Mike Jones.
Olly Lee looked to gave given the Gills a 28th minute lead at Burton Albion on Saturday but that effort was ruled out.
“The video shows clearly it was a good goal and Olly timed his run perfectly,” said Evans.
He spoke to Mr Jones on Sunday morning and says the EFL’s refereeing chief confirmed it.
“It’s a wrong call by the assistant referee and little consolation on a Sunday morning,” Evans continued.
“I look at the season and wonder why the standard of officials has dropped so low this season and that is coming from all the managers, and indeed supporters, we cannot all be wrong.”
It wasn’t the biggest call in League 1, however, with Peterborough United scoring a hotly contested 96th minute equaliser against Lincoln to claim a promotion place, one that denied their opponents the chance to fight for a top-two spot.
Busy Mike Jones was also dealing with complaints from Lincoln City after that decision, and they too received an apology.
City boss Michael Appleton said: “Basically, they’re apologising for the decision. I’m not surprised. I think it was one of them, it was that horrific, they couldn't do anything other than apologise. It doesn’t change anything. It wasn’t a good day for the ref.”
It was a tense afternoon on the sidelines at Burton, with home assistant manager Dino Maamria getting a booking from match referee Ben Toner for dissent while Gills assistant Paul Raynor was also spoken to.
Evans didn’t want to comment about Maamria but is a big fan of the Burton boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who has taken the club from relegation fodder to mid-table safety, saying: “Jimmy is a good guy, a legend to me and everyone around football.
“Credit to them, Kane Hemmings I know particularly well, John Brayford, they have gone right to the end as well, they want to win for their football club, we always respect good professionals.”
Evans said afterwards he felt for his players after conceding so late.
He said: “I have always said in football you get what you deserve but this last few weeks we have not have one thing, we have had it smashed across us with the three late results (dropping points against Northampton and Oxford previously).
“The first two I understand, it was people not doing their jobs, this one wasn’t poor defending, it was a poor refereeing decision that gives them the opportunity to get that ball into the box and that makes it disappointing.”