'Officials continually get worse' - Evans rants at ref after Town defeat

Steve Evans guided Gillingham to tenth spot in League One - a place above Ipswich Town on points-per

Gillingham boss Steve Evans claimed his side were hard done by in last night's 2-0 defeat to Ipswich Town - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Gillingham boss Steve Evans claims 'match officials continually get worse' after his side were beaten 2-0 by Ipswich Town last night.

The outspoken Gills' boss claimed that both Town goals in the Papa John's Trophy win were offside, that his side should have had a penalty - and that Blues' manager Paul Cook agreed.

Joe Pigott and Conor Chaplin netted for Town in the comfortable win.

But Evans told Kent Online: "On the night I am too far away, certainly the first goal from Joe Pigott to determine (if it was offside), but all the boys said off and their second goal is clearly off from where we were. It certainly looked like a penalty on Charlie Kelman.

Conor Chaplin scores Ipswich's second during the second half at Gillingham

Conor Chaplin scores Ipswich's second during the second half at Gillingham - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

"When we went in and looked at the video of the key incidents, well the match officials continually get worse don’t they? The standard is dropping considerably and I am getting fed up with going in to see them afterwards.

“The assessors, who are the coaches of the referees and in the main were referees from the Premier League and Championship previously, excellent referees with good judgment, and I am sick of the times I go in there and they have empathy with me.

“I sent the footage before I left the stadium to the head of referees, Mike Jones.

"He has come back and said Joe Pigott was half a metre to a metre clearly offside, the second one the ball travelled a long way but looks clearly offside and with Charlie Kelman the defender attempts to play the ball but takes the man, penalty."

Joe Pigott with a smart first time finish to give Ipswich the lead during the first half at Gillingh

Joe Pigott with a smart first time finish to give Ipswich the lead during the first half at Gillingham - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Evans added: “I don’t think there is any question of integrity, I just think the standard is decreasing every season that goes past in League 1 and 2 level.

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“You work hard with that back four to hold a strong line. Joe Pigott finished well but it was offside and the second one is embarrassing for me and to not give the penalty is a shocking, shocking decision.

“It is not the referee for the offsides, that is down to his assistants who get the big two incidents wrong, but Trevor Kettle should see that penalty as clearly as everyone else in the stadium, including Paul Cook who I had a beer with after the game.

"He acknowledged the goals were questionable and as he said when he walked in (to the manager’s office), ‘let’s not talk about my goals or the penalty you didn’t get!’

“It doesn’t make up for some of the poorer performances individually (in the Gills team) but goals and incidents change games and our best spell was probably when Charlie gets brought down.

“I looked at the body language of young Bailey Akehurst and Harvey Lintott when they scored the second goal and the boy ran through, they are looking at the assistant referee and they are gobsmacked."

Myles Kenlock back in the starting eleven at Gillingham

L-R: Louie Barry, Myles Kenlock and James Norwood celebrate Town's 2-0 win at Gillingham - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Chaplin, when asked about his goal after the game, had a very different view.

He told us: "I honestly knew I was onside but sometimes the linesman will give those because you look so far offside.. 

“It’s one of those where the ball comes at the exact same time I’ve run on the shoulder.

"There was a young lad at the back who was keeping me onside and fair play to the linesman for not giving it. 

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