Evans | "I think a draw was fair"

Manager Steve Evans delivers his post-match press conference following Saturday's 1-1 draw with Doncaster.

Steve Evans saw plenty of positives but was left ruing missed chances in the first half as the Gills kicked-off the 2019/2020 season with a hard fought 1-1 draw at Doncaster Rovers on Saturday afternoon.

Alex Jakubiak was one of a number of new signings to feature at the Keepmoat and Jakubiak struck just half an hour into his debut to give the Gills a deserved lead. Doncaster levelled just before the break and in the end, the Gills had to be at their best defensively to earn the point. 

Report | Doncaster 1-1 Gillingham

Speaking after the game, Evans said: “I think there were key moments in both halves. Donny fans will be thinking they were unfortunate not to get a goal late, and our fans would have gone in at half time thinking they can’t believe it was 1-1.

“In the second half we didn't keep the ball in key areas as well as we wanted. We’ve got players on the bench that can cause real problems, and I’ve said to Marshy and Listy that they have to deliver a lot more. It didn’t happen for them today.”

Jakubiak got on the scoresheet but the whole of the front four impressed in a blistering start in Yorkshire, and Evans was pleased with how it went: “The three front boys were all involved. Brandon (Hanlan) won the flick on, Mikael (Ndjoli) does what he does and picks a great pass and the reason we selected Alex (Jakubiak) was because he arrives late.”

Speaking on the goal conceded at the end of the first half, Evans added: “We should do better in the full-back position and we should do better centrally but credit to the players, you could see that we were dying for the cause at the end. It meant a lot. Did we do enough to win the game? Yes, certainly in the first half. Did we do enough to win after we went level? No. So I think a draw was fair.”

Evans singled out Alfie Jones for high praise, as the on-loan Southampton defender impressed on his Gillingham debut: “I though Alfie showed why he is at a Premier League club. He has got excellent pace, good distribution. It’s a team game, we said we have no superstars, we don’t wish to sign superstars but our trust is in players giving as much as the fans behind the goal did.”