Published: 14:45, 21 November 2020
| Updated: 08:06, 22 November 2020
Gillingham had to settle for a point from a well contested match against southeast rivals Charlton Athletic.
Jack Bonham saved Conor Washington’s penalty in the opening half and the Gills took the lead with a spot-kick of their own, scored by Jordan Graham, but Chuks Aneke’s simple finish levelled the game.
Gillingham were up against a Charlton team who had won their last six matches in the league.
Celtic loan midfielder Scott Robertson was back involved and handed a starting role, one of three changes to the XI following the FA Cup match against Woking. Vadaine Oliver was back in the team after his impressive substitute showing in that match against the non-league opponents.
Dominic Samuel put an early chance wide for the Gills while Charlton twice almost caught keeper Jack Bonham out, both Andrew Shinnie and Ben Watson going close after spotting the goalie off his line.
Marcus Maddison also clipped the top of the bar with a free-kick but the Gills were well in it by the break having had some great chances themselves, none better when Vadaine Oliver met a cross from Connor Ogilvie. Only a super one-handed point-blank save from Ben Amos kept the ball out.
Just before that Charlton had enough numbers around the ball to prevent Kyle Dempsey from poking the ball home after Jordan Graham’s cross was too hot to handle for Amos.
Bonham made his own fantastic save to keep the scores level after Charlton had been handed a penalty at the other end by referee Robert Lewis, who seemed to be annoying both benches with his decision making.
Omar Bogle went down in the box after contact from Ryan Jackson as they challenged at the far post. Bogle wanted the penalty but instructions from the bench meant he had to hand responsibility to Conor Washington, who then saw his low effort well saved, the well-struck penalty kept out well by the Gills stopper.
Charlton started the second half at a good tempo and Ogilvie made an important block to deny Albi Morgan.
It needed another good save from Bonham to keep Ian Maatsen’s low driven effort out, the shot taking a big deflection, putting it on course for the bottom corner.
Charlton made a triple change on 66 minutes and two of those combined instantly with Chuks Aneke finding Alex Gilbey but his low shot was saved by Bonham. Gillingham had made a change themselves, showing their intent by bringing on an extra striker with John Akinde replacing Scott Robertson.
The new five sub rule meant teams had plenty of flexibility and they showed they were going to use it.
Akinde won the Gills penalty with 20 minutes left, racing onto a long ball forward from Ogilvie. Chris Gunter clipped his ankle and after a long pause Mr Lewis finally pointed to the spot. Graham converted despite Amos getting a hand to the shot.
Gillingham should have been two up when Oliver was played in but Amos was quick to the danger.
Charlton responded with an equaliser eight minutes from time. Substitute Paul Smyth did well with his run into the Gills box and then fed Aneke who had a simple finish to make it one apiece.
Gillingham: Bonham, Jackson, Tucker, Ogilvie, Medley, Dempsey, McKenzie, Robertson (Akinde 63mins), Graham, Oliver (Coyle 86mins), Samuel. Subs not used: Walsh, Maghoma, Woods, Willock, Eccles.
Charlton: Amos, Gunter, Maatsen, Pratley, Matthews, Shinney, Morgan (Purrington 88mins), Watson, Washington (Smyth 66mins), Bogle (Aneke 66mins), Maddison (Gilbey 66mins). Subs not used: Maynard-Brewer, Pearce, Levitt.
Referee: Robert Lewis
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