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Breaking sports news from Gillingham, Charlton Athletic and Kent Cricket on Thursday, April 17

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16.00 - CLOSE

That's all, folks. Thanks for joining me today. With plenty of sport coming up on Friday, Saturday and Monday, don't stray far from kentonline.co.uk across the Easter weekend. We'll have plenty of reports, reaction and pictures coming your way.

15.30 - FOOTBALL

Stephen Butcher has revealed he is leaving Gillingham in the summer – opening the door for a permanent deal at Maidstone United.

Here's the full story, courtesy of Craig Tucker.

15.00 - BREAKING

This comes from Ebbsfleet United's website.

Following Tuesday night’s abandonment of the match at the Aspect Arena, the club has lodged an appeal to the Football Association against the decision of the Conference Board to order the match be replayed as a 90-minute game starting from 0-0. At the time of the abandonment, Ebbsfleet United were leading 2-0.

Vice-chairman Peter Varney said: "We have outlined the circumstances as we see it of the events of Tuesday evening and set out our case to the Football Association.

"Other than that this is not an appropriate time to make any further comment until a hearing has taken place."

Click here for the full story.

14.55 - FOOTBALL

Kevin Watson has warned his Chatham team to think again before moving for more money. The Chats boss is expecting interest in his in-form players who have been on a tremendous run in Ryman League Division 1 North.

Craig Tucker has the full story here.

14.30 - VIDEO

Seeing as Gillingham and Tranmere renew acquaintances at Priestfield on Good Friday, why don't we remind ourselves what happened the last time they met?

14.20 - FOOTBALL

Let's check in with Bayo...

14.05 - POLL

14.00 - FOOTBALL

Elliot Bradbrook Picture: Andy Payton
Elliot Bradbrook Picture: Andy Payton

They've been in the Skrill Premier relegation zone since November but with just over a week of the season to go, Dartford can still save themselves. And captain Elliot Bradbrook has called on the fans for one final effort to help "make the impossible possible."

13.35 - FOOTBALL

Adam Barrett played close to 100 games for the Gills Picture: Barry Goodwin
Adam Barrett played close to 100 games for the Gills Picture: Barry Goodwin

Adam Barrett is determined to put an end to the constant relegation talk surrounding Gillingham - and he knows the quickest way to do that is to bounce back on Friday with a win over Tranmere.

Luke Cawdell spoke to the Gills skipper this week..

13.15 - FOOTBALL

Ebbsfleet United may have had a week to forget but their fate is still in their own hands when it comes to making the Skrill South play-offs. Their game at Concord on Tuesday night was abandoned due to floodlight failure but light shouldn't be a problem when they run out at 3pm tomorrow for a home game against Eastbourne Borough.

Here's the Fleet manager Steve Brown looking ahead to the game.

12.50 - FOOTBALL

Manager Peter Taylor will have new backroom staff behind him next season
Manager Peter Taylor will have new backroom staff behind him next season

It must have been a pretty grim week for Gills boss Peter Taylor. He watched his side crash 5-1 at Leyton Orient on Saturday and then told our reporter Luke Cawdell the defeat had made him '10 times sadder' than the players.

He took that poor performance personally and is determined to banish those bad memories when Tranmere visit Priestfield on Good Friday.

Luke's preview piece is certainly worth a read.


If you're just joining us on this Maundy Thursday, here's what you might have missed so far:

Sam Billings takes over from Geraint Jones as Kent's No.1 wicketkeeper

We go inside Peter Taylor's office for a weekly video catch-up with the Gills manager

Tony Burman still believes Dartford can pull off the Great Escape

Gravesend celebrate a quick return to rugby's National League

It's 'win-or-bust' time for Maidstone United in their bid to make the play-offs

11.45 - POLL

11.30 - FASHION

I don't know about you, but I can see a 2014 version of this classic Charlton t-shirt selling like hot cakes in the Ebbsfleet club shop. Peter Varney could make it happen.

11.15 - RUGBY

Gravesend celebrate winning the London 1 South championship Picture: Roger Gray
Gravesend celebrate winning the London 1 South championship Picture: Roger Gray

A year after they were relegated from the National League, Gravesend are on their way back. They beat Hove 33-3 on Saturday to clinch the London 1 South title and I spoke to the Gs' promotion-winning captain Ashley Moorey to get his reaction.

10.55 - FOOTBALL

Three points from safety in Skrill South with only three games left. Not the position Tommy Warrilow wanted to find himself in at this stage of the season, but the Tonbridge Angels manager has vowed to keep fighting until the very end. Warrilow's side are at home to third-placed Bromley on Saturday.


Edging closer to the British Superbike Championship curtain-raiser...

10.35 - FOOTBALL

10.30 - CRICKET

It's day three of the 2nd XI game at the Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, with Warwickshire 377-3 in reply to the 326-9 declared posted by the Kent/Northamptonshire side. Play restarts at 11am.

10.20 - FOOTBALL

Charlton Athletic have called on supporters to turn The Valley into a 'sea of red' for their crucial game against Bolton Wanderers on Good Friday by wearing current or retro Addicks shirts. Jose Riga's side are one place and one point above the relegation zone.

"The next two weeks are crucial in our season," said Charlton director Katrien Meire. "Although as fans and staff members, we cannot directly control what happens on the pitch, the support from the crowd has been fantastic and we believe seeing The Valley turned into a sea of red will give the players a real boost before an important game against Bolton."

Two words sprung to mind when I saw this shirt. Clive Mendonca.

09.55 - FOOTBALL

This picture is from Maidstone United's 2-1 win away to Bognor Regis Town in December. The sides meet again at the Gallagher Stadium on Saturday and with the Stones starting the Easter weekend outside the Ryman League Premier Division play-offs, manager Jay Saunders admits it's 'win-or-bust' time for his side.

Read the full interview here.

09.40 - COLUMN

How did the Gillingham squad respond after losing so badly at Leyton Orient last weekend? Find out in our exclusive weekly column with assistant manager John Schofield.

09.15 - POLL

09.15 - FOOTBALL

Tony Burman Picture: Steve Crispe
Tony Burman Picture: Steve Crispe

It really is crunch time for Dartford, who have just three games left to keep themselves in Skrill Premier. They go to high-flying Braintree Town tomorrow in desperate need of a result and manager Tony Burman still believes the Great Escape is possible.

09.00 - CRICKET

Sam Billings Picture: Barry Goodwin
Sam Billings Picture: Barry Goodwin

Sam Billings has taken over from Geraint Jones as Kent's first-choice wicketkeeper but it was a tough decision, as assistant coach Matt Walker told Alex Hoad in this interview.

08.45 - VIDEO

Our Gills correspondent Luke Cawdell was at Priestfield earlier this week to speak to manager Peter Taylor, and he even took his video camera with him.

That means you can watch the interview right here.

08.30 - FOOTBALL

VCD's last three fixtures: AFC Sudbury (8th), Redbridge (13th) and Romford (11th).

08.15 - FOOTBALL

Let's start by rounding up what happened in the world of non-league football last night.

Ebbsfleet United remain fourth in Skrill South after promotion rivals Havant & Waterlooville were held to a 1-1 draw by Boreham Wood. Former Fleet player Ricky Shakes scored the Wood goal to do his old club a favour. The Fleet are a point ahead of Havant, having played the same number of games, while Dover are two points further back in sixth.

There was late drama in Ryman League Division 1 North, where two goals in the last 10 minutes saw Chatham Town lose 2-1 away to Witham Town. It wasn't just the Chats who felt the force of that double-strike, though, with the win sending Witham top, above VCD Athletic, whose title hopes are now out of their hands.

Faversham Town trailed 1-0 at home to Burgess Hill Town in Ryman League Division 1 South but goals from Luke Harvey and Aiden Sherlock earned them a 2-1 win.

And Whyteleafe are now five points clear at the top of Southern Counties East after they won 4-0 at Canterbury City. Second-placed Ashford United are going to need snookers now, with only three games left. The championship contenders do clash on Easter Monday.

08.00 - WELCOME

Greetings from KM Towers and welcome to Kent Sportsday. The Easter weekend is almost upon us, which means four days off work for many of you. Crackerjack!

There are so many sporting permutations at this time of year and I've got some great stories coming your way in the next few hours as we look ahead to what will be a pivotal few days for clubs and sportspeople right across the county.

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