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The Shouting Men column with Gillingham striker Tom Eaves

ByKentOnline reporter

I didn’t feel like I was getting any protection last weekend against Oxford, it was outrageous.

There were people coming in for headers with elbows behind my head and that happened two or three times. I’m telling the linesman – I’m not questioning his integrity – but surely he could see it.

At the end of the first half I almost spat my dummy out to the referee, like a proper baby. I said to him ‘what’s the point of me playing?’

Tom Eaves is exasperated at the treatment of the Oxford defenders last weekend Picture: Ady Kerry
Tom Eaves is exasperated at the treatment of the Oxford defenders last weekend Picture: Ady Kerry

There were two penalty shouts, which were blatant. If they weren’t penalties then I would like to know what is.

I couldn’t believe the one in the second half which went the other way. The one in the first half he grappled me to the floor. He wasn’t even looking at the ball. If it is stopping you playing the game then something has to be done and we have to re-evaluate the rules about what is deemed appropriate behaviour on the pitch.

I could take a good touch and bring the ball down and I was just getting clattered. That was the worst this season but I have experienced a few times like that and it was similar against Bradford City as well.

I had to tell our goalkeeper Tomas Holy to stop kicking it to me. It was better for him to kick to the wings because the referee just wasn’t giving me anything. Thinking about it just makes my blood boil.

It is your job and livelihood and when you feel you are being unfairly treated you can seem sour towards it.

I do refrain from violence but sometimes I do lose it, I am just like everyone else when they are being fouled. I can’t do my job when I am being fouled that way and it is annoying but I am pretty sure it won’t be the last time.

Apart from that I haven’t really got much to complain about. I am playing every week and am top of the goalscoring charts.

I am enjoying my football more than I ever have at the moment and that is great for me. There have been reports of contract talks and speculation and we will see what the next few weeks bring.

Ultimately, I will be doing what I feel is best for myself and how I am going to be happiest. I am certainly enjoying my time here.

I feel I am doing what I should have been doing years ago.

I don’t like making excuses, but I had an injury earlier in my career and it did hold me back. I had a year at Yeovil and went there from Bolton off the back of a hip operation and I had another operation two weeks after that for a hernia.

I was suffering with that towards the end of my Bolton career but unfortunately I was never given an opportunity there – I never started a game. I had a good record in League 1 on loan at Bristol Rovers and at Shrewsbury the first time but I didn’t get a sniff.

Maybe they’re seeing my name on the scoresheet now but I am not here to prove anything to anyone else, only to myself. I believe I am proving that I can do it.

Read the full column in this Thursday's Medway Messenger newspaper, including Tom's quickfire Q&A quiz.

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