What the Gillingham boss said about his side's draw with Portsmouth and Blues' League One promotion chances

Steve Evans reckons Gillingham should have been awarded two penalties against Pompey.

Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 9:21 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 9:21 am

But the Priestfield boss didn't grumble about his troops collecting point against a team that will 'certainly’ be in the promotion mix at the end of the campaign.

Kenny Jackett’s men put an end to the Gills’ seven-game winning streak on their own patch.

Pompey were on track to return to Fratton Park with a win, though, after Gareth Evans opened the scoring in the 36th minute.

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Gillingham hit back when Alex Jakubiak levelled with 10 minutes remaining.

Yet Evans felt the hosts had a spot-kick claim early on for handball when Max Ehmer’s overhead kick struck Tom Naylor.

Then he thought the Gills should have had a chance to win the clash after Mikael Mandron went down inside the box following Jakubiak’s equaliser.

Nevertheless, the ex-Leeds manager was still pleased with the result.

Gillingham manager Steve Evans, right centre. Picture: Jason Brown

He said: ‘There were two parts to the game. There was the first half where I think Portsmouth were sharper to the ball than us, looked brighter and that perhaps they wanted it a bit more than us.

‘They won the physical battles, they did a bit to us that we had done to others in recent times.

‘They scored a good goal. Gareth Evans has played for me and it was a good finish but I can’t believe we haven’t had a penalty when Max Ehmer has put it over his head. It was a blatant handball but the referee said he got stuck behind traffic and couldn’t see it.

‘I was as harsh as I had been to them in a few weeks, to be honest. I was harsh on them because we didn’t get the second balls and physically we weren’t where we needed to be.

‘We were much the better team second half, more efforts on goal, we made positive changes and got a goal. We were unlucky not to get another and I don’t know why it is not a penalty on Mikael Mandron (gets pulled down in the box).

‘Anywhere else on the pitch it’s a free-kick, a lot of other referees would have said it was a penalty but we didn’t seem to get the rub of the green with some decisions.

‘You have to take the point and it’s a point against a team that will certainly be competing for promotion come the end of the season.’