Evans making up for lost time

Gareth Evans celebrates scoring
Gareth Evans celebrates scoring

WING ace Gareth Evans is keen to add to his Fleetwood Town tally, having finally opened his scoring account on Saturday.

The winger, who arrived on a free transfer from Rotherham on New Year’s Day, struck from 20 yards to seal victory over Dagenham and Redbridge – only Town’s second win in nine games.

And he admits it’s been a frustrating wait to find the back of the net.

“It was a bit long overdue on my part,” said the 24-year-old.

“I think I’ve been a little unlucky not to score up to now. I’ve had a few opportunities which haven’t gone my way.

“But to finally get a goal, for it to matter the way it did and to get the three points on Saturday is great.

“Hopefully now I’ve scored there will be a few more up to the end of the season.”

Evans could have been on the score sheet 45 minutes earlier, getting the last touch on Junior Brown’s sixth minute equaliser.

But he was happy to concede his claim, in favour of Fleetwood’s top scorer.

Brown’s cross from the left channel, following an inch-perfect pass from Jamille Matt, snuck past Daggers keeper Chris Lewington, after Medy Elito had given the visitors the lead from the penalty spot.

“I did touch it,” said Evans. “If I could, I would claim it. It wasn’t over the line when I tapped it in but there you go. It’s one of those things.

“The most important thing was the three points.”

And Evans hopes Fleetwood can continue to show the fight which helped them to victory on Saturday with six games of the season remaining and a play-off place still possible.

He said: “It’s been well documented that the lads haven’t been playing as well as we could.

“Saturday was about going out there to get the three points and the 11 lads going out there on the pitch and fighting for their lives. I think that is what they did.”

“After Barnet we knew we had let opportunities slip. If we had won there and at Plymouth we would have been right in the mix.

“After the result and the performance against Barnet, we have all decided collectively that it wasn’t acceptable and that if the club is to go forward we can’t be putting in performances like that.

“It was important to go out and fight for the club, show our pride, and we did that.

“Thankfully we turned it round on Saturday and we’re still up there. Now we’re putting pressure on other teams to perform.”

The early penalty, given for handball against Shaun Beeley, was a huge blow to Town, who had started brightly.

Evans was pleased with the response. He said:“I think the penalty was unlucky. It looks like it’s hit his hand rather than him trying to save it.

“The manager has pointed out that we bounced back really well after conceding such an early penalty. We’re all really pleased with that.

“It’s easy for the lads out there to feel sorry for themselves and just cave in but we didn’t. We fought back and got those points.”

Town welcome league leaders Gillingham to Highbury on Saturday but Evans insists life won’t been easy for Martin Allen’s high-flying side.

He said: “I don’t think any club will enjoy coming to Fleetwood. Nobody will see it as three points in the bag.

“We’ve got to take the game to Gillingham and if we do I believe we can win again.”

On a personal note, the winger is enjoying life at Highbury and the input of boss Graham Alexander, and he is keen to stay for the long term.

“I’ve really enjoyed it,” he said. “The gaffer has been brilliant with me and I’m loving the place.

“It’s just unfortunate we haven’t had the rub of the green at times.”

“I’m really happy here.”