Gaffer reacts to Accrington victory.
Gillingham Manager Steve Evans praised his side’s defensive display as they battled to a first away league win of the season at Accrington on Saturday.
Regan Charles-Cook’s strike just before the hour mark sealed the points for the Gills in a 1-0 win, although it took a special rear guard action to ensure the points went back to Kent.
Speaking after the game, Evans said: “Well I think the game was in the balance, I think the first half they were better than us and I think they were better than us because some of us didn’t turn up, so we had a word at half time. We didn’t need to shout at them, we changed the shape and that got us in the ascendancy.
"We got the goal through some great play and a great finish from Regan (Charles-Cook) and then the game goes end to end and Jack makes a save or two, but equally I don’t know why we are not given a penalty kick. We don’t kid ourselves, this is a tough place to come, so this is a good win for us.”
Evans praised his young defence’s performance which saw them keep a second clean sheet on the road this season against a lively Stanley front four.
He said: “We’ve got two very young players in that back four. They are starting to find a bit of form and starting to put bodies on the line and that has helped us today.
“I was confident in that back five to put in a block or a clearance. I said it in the summer that Jack Tucker is a top class young player. Young Tommy O’Connor will go and play a lot higher - I thought in the second half he (O’Connor) was outstanding today, his distribution and his pass for the goal. He was marshalled by our captain and Connor alongside him."
Evans also picked out praise for keeper Jack Bonham who pulled off a string of fine saves to deny Colby Bishop and Offrande Zanzala on multiple occasions. “I think some of his saves today were top class. He made two or three saves at the right time. I said to him that he has deserved a clean sheet for a week or two. He did very well today but the ten in front of him did well too."
Evans saved the final word for the 254 Gillingham fans who made the near 550 mile round trip, in tricky conditions to see their side pick up three valuable points.
“Thanks to every Gillingham fan who has made the journey up," the Manager added. "It was horrendous conditions all around the country and it’s incredible. You could see what it meant to every single one of them as we came off.”