Gills battle back to earn a draw against the Shrimpers

Darren Hare said he was proud of his side after clinching a 1-1 draw against Southend at Beechings on Saturday morning.

A goal in the last 20 minutes secured a point after suffering a 7-2 defeat against the same side in the cup last weekend.

Darren said afterwards: “For me we were by far the better team and even Ricky Duncan [Southend's Youth Manager] admitted afterwards that we should have put the game to bed.

"We went behind but then hit the woodwork three times and I was really pleased with the character of the lads.

“They realised they shouldn’t be 1-0 down after 70 minutes and said to themselves `this isn’t fair and we don’t deserve this today` and we got a goal back.

"We didn’t lose the game which was important to them, but what was important to me was a response from the previous week and I’m pleased to say we got it.

“I’m not a perfectionist but I do like to play well and, at the end of the day, win and I know sometimes those two things don’t marry up and at times you don’t play well and win and you can take solace from the result.

“But it’s about their development and them understanding about performance levels and standards – the results shouldn’t be a massive issue and the 7-2 against Southend was completely out of the blue and I don’t think that will happen to us again.

“So far so good I would say.”