Published: 16:45, 13 February 2021
| Updated: 07:23, 14 February 2021
Gillingham scored some special goals as they beat Charlton Athletic on Saturday.
The Gills were twice ahead through Olly Lee and Connor Ogilvie but were twice pegged back by Chuks Aneke - who was sent off with 20 minutes left - and Jayden Stockley before captain Kyle Dempsey fired in a late winner.
There was plenty of debate pre-match about whether the game would go ahead. Ground staff at The Valley were working hard to thaw out a frozen section infront of the Jimmy Seed Stand which would normally be packed with visiting fans.
Home boss Lee Bowyer was quoted as saying they were desperate to play and the Gills were not so keen.
The Gills made their way up the A2 without key men, missing winger Jordan Graham and midfielder Callum Slattery for the match. Big striker John Akinde was among the three changes to the starting XI.
If Gillingham didn’t fancy it, you wouldn’t have known and within seconds - 31 to be precise - they were ahead when Akinde laid the ball off for Lee after a poor defensive header from Deji Oshilaja and he bent a precision shot past Ben Amos in the Charlton goal.
It was a frantic start at The Valley and Charlton striker Aneke struck the frame of the goal twice before finding the net after Liam Millar slipped him in for a simple finish after 15 minutes.
Dempsey also glanced the Charlton post from a corner after more good work from Akinde in a game that had chances at either end.
Jack Bonham helped a shot from Darren Pratley over the bar and Akinde almost created a chance for strike partner Vadaine Oliver after beating Jason Pearce to a long ball forward.
Gillingham were ahead again in the 37th minute and it’s unlikely Ogilvie’s strike will be bettered this season. He won the goal of the year trophy last season and surely put his name on it again with a well-hit 20-yard volley that flew into the net past Amos. Lee with the assist, knocking the ball into his path after Dempsey’s ball in had been headed clear.
Charlton were level again seven minutes into the second half when Stockley rose, getting the better of Robbie Cundy to head home Andrew Shinnie’s cross.
The home side had to play the last 20 minutes with 10 men after Aneke made a couple of reckless challenges on Tucker and then Ogilvie in the space of two minutes, picking up bookings for both.
Gillingham got a third and a winner with four minutes left, moments after Lee hit the bar, when Dempsey beat his man in the box before firing home from an angle.
Charlton: Amos, Gunter, Oshilaja, Pearce, Purrington (Schwartz 88mins), Millar, Forster-Caskey (Jaiyesimi 26mins), Pratley (Morgan 90mins), Shinnie, Stockley, Aneke. Subs not used: Harness, Matthews, Watson, Smith.
Gillingham: Bonham, Jackson, Cundy, Tucker, Ogilvie, O'Connor, O'Keefe (McKenzie 59mins), Lee, Dempsey, Akinde, Oliver (MacDonald 90mins). Subs not used: Bastien, Maghoma, Willock, Johnson, Morton.
Referee: Kevin Johnson.