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Gillingham 1 Charlton 1: Elliot Lee scores for Addicks but Ben Purrington’s own goal levelled it up at Priestfield


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Gillingham delivered a fine second half performance against Charlton to take a point from Tuesday’s League 1 clash.

Elliott Lee put Charlton ahead after the visitors had dominated the opening half but the Gills responded after the break and were on level terms through an own goal. The woodwork denied substitute Danny Lloyd a winner.

Kyle Dempsey's shot led to an equaliser for Gillingham Picture: Andy Jones
Kyle Dempsey's shot led to an equaliser for Gillingham Picture: Andy Jones

Gillingham boss Steve Evans made a couple of changes to his starting line-up as David Tutonda dropped to the bench and Stuart O’Keefe missed out through suspension. Robbie McKenzie played left-back and was given a torrid time by the lively Corey Blacket-Taylor.

The Lee brothers, Olly and Elliot, lined up on opposite sides. Older sibling Olly got the nod to start for the Gills after failing to get off the bench in the last three.

Charlton started the night second bottom and there was pressure on visiting manager Nigel Adkins after just one win from seven for the big-budget side. The Addicks were a different class in the first 45, backed by over 2,000 fans at Priestfield.

Blackett-Taylor displayed his pace early on when Jack Tucker was dispossessed but his ball to Conor Washington was miss-timed to the relief of the Gills.

Elliot Lee was first to test Gills keeper Jamie Cumming with a low shot as the visitors went for it early on. Washington put an effort wide from another ball in from Blackett-Taylor shortly after Kyle Dempsey - a transfer target for the opponents - had raced back to snuff out a chance for Charlton on the break.

The hosts took a deserved 18th minute lead when Blackett-Taylor burst forward once again, leaving the defenders in his wake, before crossing for Lee and he finished well beyond Cumming.

Washington should have made it two, when put in the clear, but he hesitated and a super last-ditch challenge from Tucker prevented an almost certain goal.

Gillingham had a couple of blocked shots and saw more of the ball as the half progressed, with Charlie Kelman almost getting in on goal, but were thankful to reach the break just a goal down.

Evans acted at the break with a double substitution. Danny Lloyd and Gerald Sithole replacing Kelman and Dan Adshead. The response was immediate.

Sithole caused MK Dons problems in the weekend fixture and was in the thick of it straight away, hitting a shot into the arm of a Charlton defender, leading to big calls for a handball that referee Keith Stroud shouldn’t have ignored.

Vadaine Oliver put an effort into the side netting and Alex MacDonald had a shot blocked as the Gills started the second half positively. Rhys Bennett also headed at goal before Danny Lloyd’s run and cross was only a fraction away from the foot of Oliver.

From looking well of the pace, the Gills were all of a sudden all over Charlton and got a deserved equaliser on 55 minutes. Dempsey curled a shot aimed at the far post and after hitting the woodwork it went in off visiting player Ben Purrington.

Charlton responded but were denied by two super saves from Cumming, firstly getting across his goal in a flash to keep out Josh Davison and then making a block from Sam Lavelle off the resultant corner.

Lloyd had made a great impact and only the woodwork stopped him from putting the Gills infront, firing at goal from a pass off fellow sub Sithole.

David Tutonda came off the bench to make a couple of timely challenges late on as Charlton were kept at bay.

Tuesday’s result kept the Gills out of the bottom four in League 1 and Charlton still in it.

Gillingham: Cumming, Bennett (Tutonda 76mins), Ehmer, Tucker, McKenzie, MacDonald, Dempsey, Adshead (Lloyd 46mins), Lee, Kelman (Sithole 46mins), Oliver. Subs not used: Chapman, Akehurst, Reeves, Akinde.

Charlton: MacGillivray, Purrington, Pearce, Lavelle, Watson, Matthews, Lee (Gilbey 75mins), Morgan, Washington (Leko 46mins), Blackett-Taylor, Davison (Stockley 81mins). Subs not used: Harness, Famewo, Kirk, Clare.

Referee: Keith Stroud

Attendance: 7,301

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