Gillingham striker Vadaine Oliver said sorry after his penalty miss against Wycombe Wanderers - but fans were quick to say there was no need.
Oliver put a 31st-minute penalty over the bar at Wycombe with the Gills 2-0 down at the time. It was a golden opportunity to get themselves back in the game. The game finished 2-0 to Wycombe.
Tweeting on Saturday night, Oliver said: “I apologise. (I) let my team-mates down, staff and let you guys down. I’ll do my utmost to correct it next week.”
Oliver hit 20 goals for the Gills last season and is the leading goalscorer for the team in the early stages of this campaign. He tucked away a winning penalty against Morecambe back in August and fans recognise what a key player he’s been since making the switch from Northampton.
Supporters responded to his message, with fan Mark Dunk among those to answer, saying: “No apology required. Gills fans are behind you 100% whether you net next week or not. You have given so much for our club and we are proud to see you pull on our colours and give your all for the team week in week out.”
Christian Hillam added: “You haven’t let anyone down Big V. You put it a shift every week and that’s all we ask as supporters. Anyone can miss a pen. Head up big man!”
Team-mate Rhys Bennett also commented, saying: “No need to apologise you make the difference week in week out bro.”
Manager Steve Evans felt the penalty miss got to his striker for the rest of the match - admitting it was probably Oliver's worst performance since signing.
Evans said: “Heads go down (after a penalty miss) and that is not just us, you see it with other teams, heads fall and I think it affected Vadaine. I think it was probably his poorest performance for us since he joined.”
On the penalty miss, Evans said: “Cristiano Ronaldo is on 500k a week and he misses penalties. It can happen.”
The striker had a long wait to take the kick as Wycombe’s Josh Scowen received lengthy treatment following the foul on Kyle Dempsey inside the box. Scowen ran back on soon after, however.
“That was partly gamesmanship,” reflected Evans. “He came back on the pitch and was running about within a minute of being treated and he ran into the box but we should still be able to put the ball into the net from a penalty kick.
“The disappointing thing about Vadaine’s performance is I think he let that affect him for the rest of the game and you can’t allow that to happen.”