Centurion Evans is catch of the day
FLEETWOOD Town manager Graham Alexander hailed comeback-kid Gareth Evans after the midfielder’s goal in his 100th appearance for the club earned the Cod Army a deserved victory.
Evans scored the game’s winner on 18 minutes, firing in low from close range following good work by David Ball.
It was Town’s first-ever victory at Priestfield Stadium, and marked Evans’ return to the side after missing the last two fixtures.
“Gaz came out of the team for a couple of games, but you know what you’re going to get from him when you need that energy and end product,” said Alexander.
“He’s come up with a goal to win the game, just as he did at Leyton Orient earlier this season.
“The goal was a great reward for our start – we controlled the first half really well. But we knew there would be a reaction from them at halftime, and we managed it for large parts.
“They put us under some pressure from setpieces but in general play we defended really well and were disciplined.”
Evans had blazed a half-volley over the bar before he opened the scoring. Following a throw-in from former Gills loanee Adam Chicksen, Ball’s cross was parried by goalkeeper Glenn Morris and Evans reacted fastest to slot home.
He was involved in another Town chance five minutes later, as he put through Ball, who fired narrowly wide at the end of a free-flowing move.
Ball was again denied in the 56th minute by a spectacular save from Glenn Morris, before Gills defender Max Ehmer diverted his shot narrowly past the post seconds later.
The Gills, who have never beaten Town in the Football League, came closest when Aaron Morris’ header saved well by Town goalkeeper Chris Maxwell. Winger Jermaine McGlashan fired at Maxwell following a quick break and Luke Norris’ effort was deflected wide by Steven Schumacher.
Gills boss Justin Edinburgh bemoaned the team’s current home form, which has seen them draw two and lose two out of their last four at Priestfield.
“We’re at home – we’ve got to take the initiative, and make the most of our possession,” he said.
“The play-offs were always a long shot, but not winning games at home will be a disappointing factor when we look back at the season.
“There was not a lot in it, but we did not manage to break a team down again.We had enough possession, but we lacked a cutting edge and self belief in the final third.
“We huffed and puffed but we’re coming up short. It’s frustrating.”
STAR MAN GARETH EVANS Fleetwo