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Shrewsbury Town 1 Gillingham 1 reaction: Manager Steve Evans pleased with second half showing as Jordan Graham snatches late point

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Gillingham manager Steve Evans will be demanding better after playing catch-up against Shrewsbury.

The Gills didn’t really get going until the second half, by which time they were already a goal down, but in the end deserved their last-gasp point.

Gillingham manager Steve Evans felt his side weren't themselves first half at Shrewsbury
Gillingham manager Steve Evans felt his side weren't themselves first half at Shrewsbury

Evans said: “We have to be better than we were. There was nothing in the first half that I recognised about us last week ( beating Blackpool 2-0 ).

“We were sloppy in possession, we didn’t close down with intensity, we didn’t play the passes quick enough and we have to be disappointed with the goal that we conceded.

“It was a straight corner kick but you have to say that the challenge before it was horrendous. That wasn’t picked up and the game moves on.

“We worked ourselves into the game second half, we said we would have a go, make some changes as the half progressed to try and get back into the game and I think everyone could see that.

“I would be surprised if Shrewsbury say anything different because they have an honest gaffer, apart from launches up the pitch or set-plays, we were totally dominant. At the end we went 4-2-4.

“Dominic Samuel must be the unluckiest player in Britain (with a shot destined for the top corner that hit his own team-mate). Vadaine Oliver dives across the line and it hits him. The big man was gutted but that happens.

“We have spoken about the youth, the energy, the character and the willingness to keep going and we got the goal. It was more than deserved. We left two points behind.

“I was a little disappointed with the first half but ever so proud of their overall performance. Second half we were dominant.

“If we can deploy the type of energy and spirit that we did second half, we will be fine. You can never expect a comfortable game of football at this level, as soon as you do that you get bit in the back side.

“I was proud of them because of the second half, because we tried so hard. We should have won the game but we didn’t. If we had applied that second half into the first half we win, clean sheet and go away three points."

Evans pointed to some errors for the Shrewsbury goal, scored after 12 minutes by Brad Walker, but said: "He was Tommy’s man. Young Josh (Eccles) is a kid as well and he should have gone back on the line and if he does it’s an easy clearance. It was a more directional header than a powerful header. That is what we are going to get with young players.

“We are a very young side, but we will improve, we will get better as time goes on. If they can work as hard as they possibly can, then we will accrue points in most of the games we play. It starts with effort, commitment and passion, all the things my teams play with. If they don’t have it I don’t want them.”

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