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Gillingham 1 Charlton 3: Pre-season friendly at Priestfield - Tyreece Campbell, Corey Blackett-Taylor and Jack Payne on target for the League 1 side; Will Wright scored for the Gills

Gillingham failed to make their first-half superiority count against Charlton as the visitors made them pay in the second half.

Tyreece Campbell put Charlton ahead in the first minute at Priestfield but the Gills impressed for the remainder of the half and levelled with Will Wright’s free-kick. Further chances came and went for the hosts.

Gills’ good opening half was undone with two goals in two minutes early in the second half through Corey Blackett-Taylor and Jack Payne.

Gillingham defender Will Wright scored from a free-kick on Tuesday night Picture : Keith Gillard
Gillingham defender Will Wright scored from a free-kick on Tuesday night Picture : Keith Gillard

Two weeks ago, Gillingham fans were looking forward to seeing Alfie May playing at Priestfield. They got to see him but not how they imagined, arriving on Tuesday with Charlton after opting to join the League 1 side ahead instead of the Gills.

May started for the visitors, having joined them just 11 days earlier from Cheltenham, fresh from a trip to Spain where he opened his account for his new side. He was denied another goal at Priestfield as Glenn Morris saved his second half penalty.

Gillingham did have a potential new signing in the stands, with Leyton Orient defender Shadrach Ogie sat watching with director of football Kenny Jackett and head of recruitment Andy Hessenthaler.

The Gills kicked off the game still short of attacking options, with Oli Hawkins (heel) missing again. Manager Neil Harris wants two more attacking additions in before the transfer window shuts at the end of August. Getting them onboard earlier would be a bonus.

Tom Nichols was the main man up to again, as he was against Millwall at the weekend, but it was Charlton’s new signing May who had an early impact. His defence-splitting pass was met by Campbell and with a minute on the clock he guided the ball home past Glenn Morris.

Ashley Maynard-Brewer was in goal for Charlton, looking to retain the no.1 jersey at the club which he gained last season once fit. He had started the campaign on loan with the Gills but that was cancelled due to an injury picked up in pre-season.

The keeper saved well at his near post to deny Nichols after he was picked out with a perfectly weighted ball in from Jonny Williams. Maynard-Brewer fumbled the subsequent corner but nobody in blue was able to capitalise.

Free agent Scott Malone had started the match for the Gills, playing left-back. With Championship sides showing interest in him, it remains to be seen just how long he’ll be sticking around. He put in a couple of early crosses that saw Nichols head wide and George Lapslie stab just the wrong side of the post.

Gillingham had recovered well from the early blow and Malone and Jonny Williams combined again down the left channel to create a chance for Nichols that was blocked out.

The Gills were finding spaces in good positions and Nichols created another chance after dancing past Deji Elerewe, putting Lapslie in, but the attacking midfielder could find no way through as Elerewe recovered well to make a timely block.

For all of Gillingham’s good play, they nearly conceded another from Campbell as Robbie McKenzie managed to turn the Charlton forward’s goalbound shot over the bar.

A deserved equaliser came from a 32nd-minute free-kick. Nichols was fouled and although referee Gavin Ward initially played the advantage, he pulled play back, and from 25 yards out Wright struck beyond the stretch of the Charlton keeper.

Ethan Coleman and Malone both missed chances before the break as the teams went in level. A bright first 45 minutes from the Gills should have seen them lead. Their build-up play was bright and promising but the end product was lacking. They still deserved the applause as they left the field at the interval.

There were no changes at the break for the Gills but Charlton hit a quickfire double to go 3-1 up. Blackett-Taylor fired in a low shot past Morris in the 55th minute and moments later Payne pounced after Karoy Anderson’s initial effort had been saved.

It could have got worse for the Gills when Lapslie fouled May in the box but the former transfer target’s penalty was saved by Morris - his last action of the game as Jake Turner replaced him.

A flurry of substitutes disrupted the flow of the second half but the Gills did have the ball in the net through Josh Chambers, but it was ruled out as Ronald Sithole had fouled Nazir Bakrin in the build-up.

*An injury-hit Gillingham youth team were beaten 4-0 by Tonbridge Angels on Tuesday night.

Gillingham: Morris (Turner 66mins), McKenzie (Orji 70mins), Malone (Clark 66mins), Wright, Masterson (Ehmer 70mins), S Williams (Dieng 66mins), J Williams (Sithole 70mins), Lapslie (Clarke 70mins), Coleman, Jefferies (Chambers 70mins), Nichols (Gbode 70mins). Subs not used: Giles, Gale.

Charlton: Maynard-Brewer, Elerewe, Mitchell, Thomas, Asiimwe, Dobson, Anderson, Payne, Blackett-Taylor, May, Campbell. Subs: Isted, Egbo, Bakrin, Ness, Roddy, Henry, McGrandles, Fraser, Kirk, Jaiyesimi, Kanu.

Referee: Gavin Ward

Attendance: 2,932 (759 away)

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