Gillingham boss Steve Evans: We deserved to beat Charlton 3-1

Steve Evans claimed Gillingham were clearly the superior side in the second half of last night’s League One clash with Charlton – and that his side deserved more than a 1-1 draw.

Ben Purrington’s own goal cancelled out Elliot Lee’s first-half opener for the Addicks.

And Evans felt referee Keith Stroud should have given a penalty to the hosts, with strong appeals for handball against Ben Watson in the second period.

“We can’t go from an average first half, we were only outplayed in spells, to outstanding second half,” said Evans. “We were outstanding second half. That was a proper League One performance from Gillingham and the way I want my team to play.

“They [Charlton] are always going to cause you problems. Their starting 11 are frightening, never mind their 28, 29-man squad…we were looking at their options tonight. That’s what happens when you manage a big club.

“If we pick people up properly and position people in front of us in the right areas then they don’t get the opportunity to run into space [like they did in the first half]. Charlton have not just got one, they’ve got four or five who have got blinding pace and you’ve got to deal with it.

‘I’d already decided 15 minutes before half-time the changes I was making. I felt it would work and it did work.We told the back four to be strong, be brave and compete with them. They had no pace in the second half, did they? They had nowhere to run in behind and nowhere to get any good areas. You’re always wary of a counter-attack when we’ve got so much dominance.

“Nigel [Adkins] has a squad that he is blessed to have, so that is a hard-earned point for us. It should have been three. They were suddenly on the back foot from the first second of the second half. Ben Watson is a very talented boy who has played at the top level. He’s said to me at the end: ‘We survived an onslaught’. And they did.

“From a counter-attack we have run over them and we should score, shouldn’t we? And denied a penalty. If that’s not a penalty – and we’ve got a Premier League referee – then we’ll never have a penalty, ever. We should win the second half 3-1. It’s a blatant penalty not given.

“Lloydy [Danny Lloyd] does great and it [his shot] comes off the inside of the post. I thought it was in.

“We have got to be really, really pleased with the second half – it’s more how we can play – and disappointed we’ve not won the game. Because we should win the game. If you take it in its totality then Charlton were a bit better than us in the first half. They looked more threatening – we didn’t look threatening at all. We lacked that touch and composure.

“We asked the boys to believe in the second half and they did believe. We were by far the better side – it was night and day.”

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