Published: 21:00, 05 January 2020
| Updated: 08:38, 06 January 2020
Sunday’s FA Cup defeat felt like an opportunity missed for Gillingham boss Steve Evans.
His side dominated play during the opening half of the game against Premier League West Ham but failed to make it count.
The visitors then showed the quality where it mattered in the final third to progress to the next round, with Pablo Zabaleta’s goal making the difference.
Evans said: “We will take the hurt and pain because we know it was a missed opportunity.
“We were by far the better side in the first half but what you realise in this game is that when you have that much of an advantage and that many entries in the final third you have to score a goal. You have to have an advantage but we never did that.
“We said at half-time that we knew they would have a spell and David Moyes (the West Ham manager) would get into them a bit.
“They were much better than us second half. It’s just a shame that there were a couple of bad errors for their opening goal.”
The Gills pushed for an equaliser in the latter stages but again couldn’t find the net.
Evans said: “We were putting balls into the box, without being overly creative and nothing fell for us really.
“I have no concerns for the second goal, our right winger was the last man and that can happen. I was proud of the players for their efforts, but disappointed at half time that we went in level.
“We will play worse and win games.
"It was a competent first half performance but not so good in the second. If we were to keep that level of tempo of football over 90 minutes we would be one hell of a team.
“The overriding feeling is one of disappointment because for me it is an opportunity missed.
“I think they know they have gone through in the cup and maybe another time they wouldn’t have done.
“To me, it did show some of our deficiences, where we were lacking and it shows my conversations with the chairman last week will be the same this week about what we need to do, but I cannot thank my players and the supporters enough, on and off the pitch, they stuck together.
“We got in the trenches and they fought. To put it in military terms, we had all the artillery, all the men, we just didn’t have that sniper.
"If anyone hasn't watched that film Sniper, watch it, it's fantastic, a sad ending, but it shows you the difference when you have a sniper."