Points shared on Steve Evans’ return to Priestfield


Gillingham and Stevenage extend their unbeaten runs to six games following hard-fought encounter ending in a 1-1 draw.

Despite the disparity in league position, both sides were protecting a run of five games without a loss headed into a League Two clash pitting Neil Harris against former Gills boss Steve Evans.

After early pressure from the visitors, it was Gillingham who went closest to opening the scoring as Scott Kashket glaringly blazed a Hakeeb Adelakun cross over from two yards out.

‘Boro capitalised on this minutes later with the game’s first breakthrough in which the wingbacks played a vital role.

First, Luther Wildin whipped in a dangerous cross across the Gillingham six yard box that agonisingly evaded all in Stevenage colours. However, talented Norwich City loanee Saxon Earley picked up the pieces and delivered an exquisite ball of his own for Danny Rose to head home his fifth goal in all competitions.

Gillingham were able to react well to going behind, with some promising attacks galvanising the Priestfield faithful.

With half time on the horizon, the scores were levelled Elkan Baggott headed home a delightful Will Wright delivery.

The second half saw some fiery passages of play, including some frustrations being scathingly vocalised from many in Stevenage colours, and indeed those on the touchline.

Saxon Earley and Danny Rose were proving a dangerous partnership, with the 20-year-old picking out the Stevenage front man once more with a pinpoint cross, this time without the end product to show for it.

There were a number of returns for ex-Gillingham players and staff alike in this game. One such return was that of Jordan Roberts who, admittedly, had a modest stint in Kent whilst on loan from Ipswich back in 2020.

The 28-year-old had the perfect opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the Rainham End faithful as he was one-on-one with Glenn Morris in acres of space, but skewed his effort wide of the target altogether in what would be the best chance to win the game.

Unsurprisingly, Steve Evans was at the centre of attention at full time as he lambasted the referee and his assistants for their decisions in the second half, much to the amusement of those present in the Rainham End.

A draw proves a satisfactory if not overwhelming result for both outfits, with Gillingham continuing their steadying process, whilst Stevenage remain top of the league but missed the chance to extend their lead with Leyton Orient also dropping points.

The Gills will return to the MEMS Priestfield Stadium next Saturday as they welcome the visit of a Barrow side on the back of five straight defeats.

As for Stevenage, they will next return in the Papa John’s Trophy at the Lamex Stadium as they take on Tottenham Hotspur U21.

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