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Charlton Athletic 3 Gillingham 0 – League 1 match report

Relegation danger remains for the Gills following Monday’s defeat at Charlton.

Goals from Jason Pearce and Ricky Holmes put the hosts in charge at the break and Josh Magennis added a third for Charlton early in the second half.

Gillingham were guilty of missing a number of chances in the game while once again showing their vulnerability at the back.

Max Ehmer in action for Gillingham at Charlton Picture: Andy Jones
Max Ehmer in action for Gillingham at Charlton Picture: Andy Jones

Gills boss Ady Pennock made just one change for the Gills, who were backed by over 2,000 fans at The Valley. Bradley Dack was back from his suspension and he replaced Mark Byrne.

Dack started off in a deeper than usual midfield role, with 14-goal man Josh Wright remaining as chief-support for the front two. The pair were switched around for the second half during Gills' failed attempt at a recovery.

Gills could have gone above Charlton with a win and all-but mathematically ended any fears of relegation. Thankfully results elsewhere went their way.

But they found themselves two goals down at the break, in a first half that was closer than the scoreline suggested.

Cody McDonald is booked for diving Picture: Andy Jones
Cody McDonald is booked for diving Picture: Andy Jones

Cody McDonald had two good early chances, firing into the side-netting with one and having another blocked.

Gillingham, as ever, never looked like being able to keep a clean sheet, highlighted when they gave Jake Forster-Caskey a free header on 19 minutes, which he put wide.

It was soon 1-0, however, from a corner. Nathan Byrne’s shot had been deflected narrowly wide and from the resulting flag-kick Holmes swung it in and Pearce headed home.

The Gills were getting little from the referee. McDonald had claims for a penalty when he went down under a challenge from Patrick Bauer with just the keeper to beat. He was booked for simulation.

Lee Martin would also go in the notepad, for dissent, while Max Ehmer picked up a yellow card after chopping down Jay Dasilva. From the resulting free-kick Holmes skilfully found the bottom corner to double the lead.

Pennock’s side remained a threat but badly needed a goal before the break. A chance late in the half came from a Lee Martin corner but Quigley and McDonald got in each other’s way and the chance went begging.

Harry Cornick was substituted at half time Picture: Andy Jones
Harry Cornick was substituted at half time Picture: Andy Jones

Quigley and Harry Cornick were replaced at thebreak with Josh Parker and Rory Donnelly, the latter having come through a fitness test prior to kick-off.

Despite the changes, including a more attacking role for Dack, it was Charlton who got further infront.

The Gills defence was pulled apart following Holmes’ surging run. Ehmer was dragged out of position, the ball was played to Jordan Botaka and he in turn found an unmarked Magennis who calmly made it 3-0 with 54 minutes gone.

McDonald might have been the hero on Friday against Bristol Rovers, but it wasn’t his day this time around. Parker picked him out in space with an inviting cross but the striker got his footing all wrong.

Gillingham continued to have chances infront of goal. Donnelly headed wide during a period of sustained pressure but with 10 minutes left Holmes went close with a dipping effort which Tomas Holy got his fingertips to.

Charlton: Rudd, Byrne, Pearce, Bauer, Dasilva, Crofts, Konsa (Jackson 80mins), Forster-Caskey (Aribo 88mins), Botaka (Ahearne-Grant 75mins), Holmes, Magennis. Subs not used: Phillips, Jackson, Watt, Ulvestad, Teixeira.

Gillingham: Holy, Jackson, Martin (Osadebe 82mins), Ehmer, Oshilaja, Hessenthaler, Wright, Cornick (Parker 46mins), Dack, Quigley (Donnelly 46mins), McDonald. Subs not used: Nelson, Herd, Muldoon, Rehman.

Attendance: 12,449 (2,185)

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