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AFC Wimbledon 1 Gillingham 0: Steve Evans says play-off push is done after Dons defeat


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Gillingham boss Steve Evans believes their defeat at Wimbledon ends their hopes of a play-off bid this season.

The Gills lost late on after a shot from distance beat keeper Jack Bonham and it leaves Evans’ side nine points adrift of the top six - having played more than many of the League 1 play-off chasers - with 16 games left.

A poor first half at Wimbledon was followed by a better second but they were unable to make it count. The Dons won it with an 89th minute goal.

“We cannot get there now,” said Evans, when asked about their play-off bid.

“We had to win against Wimbledon - we’re finished. We can’t play like that for 45 minutes. That is the hurtful thing, not them getting the late winner. I have been a manager 20-odd years, I have had late winners against me, often against the run of play, I have had them for me. It has gone against the run of play. We were totally dominant.

“You have to win games like that. It’s done. Let’s not live in a cloud, it’s done.”

The Gills finished 10th last season when the campaign was cut short because of Covid. They could still better that at least. Asked what the target is now, Evans responded: “We have to aim to be in the top half and push on as best we can.”

Talking about his team’s performance on the night, Evans said: “We should be going there and winning. They are a poor side. People can write what they like. We have done our homework and we should be beating teams like that but we didn’t and credit to them.

“Robbo (The Dons manager) got a wonderful shift out of them first half when they worked so hard. When we had a bit of quality about our game they couldn’t get near us.

“We have lost, we will lick our wounds. It is a good club (Wimbledon) behind the scenes and that has helped them. We have given them a helping hand in their fight for survival and that is a shame because we shouldn’t be helping anyone expect ourselves.”

Match Report: AFC Wimbledon 1 Gillingham 0

Dons match winner played non-league football in Kent last season

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