Steve Evans lamented a string of missed chances that he fears could cost Gillingham in the race for the League One play-offs after his side were held to a 0-0 home draw by Shrewsbury.
The Gills squandered two excellent chances to take an early lead as Vadaine Oliver miscued his shot from Jordan Graham’s cross before Connor Ogilvie headed straight at Matija Sarkic.
Ogilvie fired against a post from two yards out in first-half stoppage time and then headed over from Ryan Jackson’s throw during a scrappy second period as neither team were ultimately able to break the deadlock.
A share of the spoils leaves the Kent-based side in 10th place, four points behind sixth-placed Lincoln, who have played three games fewer, with five games to go, but Evans insists his team will fight until the end.
“There was silence in the dressing room,” the 58-year-old said. “The boys have been absolutely terrific, but three or four of them didn’t get the quality out of the bag today.
“Football is about making chances and we made three big, big chances. Vadaine Oliver should score and Connor Ogilvie has the easiest chance I’ve ever seen and should score. We had some huge opportunities to win it, but we were just missing some real quality.
“But we’re still in it and we’re still fighting. We understand teams around us have games in hand and we probably need to win four of the five. We’re going to need to produce big performances and we need more quality than we had today.”
Having withstood the early pressure, Shrewsbury created good chances of their own in the first half, most notably when Nathanael Ogbeta’s effort required a last-ditch block from Stuart O’Keefe and Donald Love saw his goal-bound shot deflected by Robbie Cundy.
And the visitors went close to claiming all three points at the death, only for substitute Harry Chapman’s long-range strike to be turned just past a post by home defender Jack Tucker.
Shrewsbury assistant manager Aaron Wilbraham said: “It was a good performance from the boys – there wasn’t one player we had to carry today, from one to 11.
“It’s a good point and it’s nice to get the clean sheet. I thought we dominated the first half, had a lot of possession, corners and chances, and we were unlucky not to go in at half-time with the lead.
“We worked on dealing with how Gillingham play in the week and I thought we did really well. A lot of teams have come here and been upset by that type of football, but we were really organised and when we got the ball we looked to settle and play.
“We had a few chances but it just didn’t seem to drop for us. Donald Love was unlucky, and Chappy [Harry Chapman] said he should have scored at the end. We were getting in there, always trying to score, and that’s the main thing.”