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Gillingham manager Steve Evans reacts to 2-2 draw at Bolton Wanderers in League 1


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Gillingham boss Steve Evans claimed his side should have been “seven or eight-up” against Bolton on Saturday.

Two goals in the last four minutes saw the Gills head back to Kent with just a point to show for their efforts in a 2-2 draw.

It must have felt like a defeat for Evans’ men after an impressive display on the road, which saw them restrict Bolton until a late onslaught in the final 15 minutes.

“You can imagine how we’re feeling, the dressing room is really down,” said Evans.

“After 70 minutes we should be seven or eight-up. We had chances in the first half to make it three or four and didn’t take them.

“We’ve got a brilliant striker (Vadaine Oliver) who misses the easiest three chances he’ll have all season and he’s not taken any of them. You always worry with a goal late in the game (and) suddenly the crowd here are brilliant aren't they, they get behind their team.

“We had a player tracking the left-back the majority of the second half and he doesn’t do it for me, I’ll have a look back at the video, and then Kieran Lee does what Kieran Lee does, he makes late runs into the box and scores.

“Listen, I think Bolton fans go away absolutely buzzing and our supporters will be dejected but if you sit here as a neutral we should be six or seven up.”

Evans felt the key point of the game was Gillingham’s failure to add a third goal.

They had enough chances to wrap the points up but Bolton made them pay for failing to take a number of chances that came their way.

“When you don’t get the third goal, Bolton can throw caution to the wind,” Evans reflected.

Gillingham boss Steve Evans. Picture: Andy Jones (52323009)
Gillingham boss Steve Evans. Picture: Andy Jones (52323009)

“They can go man to man at the back and take gambles. They threw a bit of caution to the wind.

“I don’t know what he (manager, Ian Evatt) says, I don’t really care what he says, but if he’s being honest he should be six or seven down.

“We’ve got a point and that’s commendable to his players that they never gave up but we don’t look at them, we look at ourselves and I think out of possession that last 15 minutes we looked a bit scrappy, a bit tired.”

Evatt has previously claimed his Bolton side are the best in the division - and Evans couldn’t resist bringing up that comment knowing his team did enough to take maximum points.

“If Bolton are the best team in the league that gives us hope,” said Evans.

He added: “First half we had a really good shape, the strikers worked well and stopped their main source of getting out and playing. They had no threat, we should have turned around three or four up at the interval and we should be six or seven up after 70 minutes, and I’m not exaggerating.

“But you know it doesn’t matter if it’s at Priestfield or any (ground) in the country when a team should have it put to bed, and the opposition get a goal with five to go, you’re going to have to stand up. The one time that our boy doesn’t track the runner, they get the cross and a goal.”

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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