Simeon Jackson celebrates his equaliser. Picture: Barry Goodwin
by Luke Cawdell
Simeon Jackson struck his 11th goal of the season to rescue a point for Gillingham against Charlton at Priestfield on Saturday.
His 82nd minute goal drew the Gills level just moments after they had gone behind following John Nutter's sliced clearance.
The draw ended a run of two straight defeats for Gillingham and it was richly deserved as they matched second placed Charlton throughout.
Gills boss Mark Stimson said: “We would possibly have taken a point befiore the game because we knew it would be a tough test.
“We were playing against a very good side, who are second in the league, but after the way we played we’re disappointed we didn’t get the three.
“Unfortunately John Nutter scoring an own goal made it a bigger task but full credit to the players, it didn’t faze them.
“They could have quite easily gone under but they kept going and then the little man gets half a chance and comes up with the goods again and it was deserved.”
An entertaining opening half ended scoreless at Priestfield and it took until the final stages for the goals to come.
Charlton had an early penalty claim ignored by referee Jon Moss after Stuart Lewis clattered into Izale McLeod.
It was an end to end half and visiting keeper Robert Elliot did well to tip Mark Bentley’s low shot wide after eight minutes.
Gillingham keeper Simon Royce was grateful to see McLeod put a great chance over moment later, after Lloyd Sam’s ball over the top beat the off-side trap.
Sam Sodje had also come close but saw his volley fly over the bar.
The Gills had plenty of chances themselves and only a reflex save from Elliot stopped John Nutter’s curling free-kick from creeping in.
Dennis Oli also had an overhead kick deflected narrowly wide of the post as League 1’s second placed side came under plenty of pressure.
The start of the second half saw both teams have half chances. Elliot comfortably dealt with shots from Simeon Jackson and Andy Barcham and at the other end Royce held onto Nicky Bailey’s free-kick.
Gillingham full-back Nutter had a great chance of opening the scoring, with a vicious shot that was creeping into the net, but he was denied by a fantastic one-handed save from Elliot.
With 11 minutes left Gillingham went behind as Nutter, just moments after missing the chance to become a hero, sliced the ball wildly past keeper Royce and into the net.
The Gills responded almost immediately though as Jackson latched onto Bentley’s deft touch and he slammed the ball home with 82 minutes on the clock, earning his side a share of the points.
Gills: Royce, Fuller, Nutter, Gowling, Fry, Lewis, Bentley, Weston, Barcham, Oli (Yussuff 90mins) Jackson. Subs not used: Maher, Palmer, Miller, Julian, Rooney, Payne.
Charlton: Elliot, Richardson (Basey 60mins), Youga, Sodje, Dailly, Bailey, Semedo, Racon, Sam (Wagstaff 90mins), McLeod (Mooney 76mins), Burton. Subs not used: Randolph, Spring, Shelvey, Llera.