Published: 16:40, 22 December 2018
| Updated: 20:41, 22 December 2018
Gillingham’s festive campaign started with a defeat to near neighbours Charlton.
Tariqe Fosu created Charlton’s opener, hit the crossbar and then scored the second as the Gills faced a two goal deficit at the break.
The Gills came back from two goals down to earn a point the week before but there was no comeback for them at The Valley.
With leading scorer Tom Eaves absent through injury, former Addicks player Brandon Hanlan had the chance to prove what he could do.
The Gills made a positive start to the game, with Josh Parker forcing the keeper into an early miscued clearance and Elliott List looking to utilise his pace. Connor Ogilvie’s shot hit the outside of the post with three minutes gone.
But that good start came to nothing and the home side took a sixth minute lead through Ben Reeves. Gills keeper Tomas Holy tried to get his side to break from a corner but his quick clearance only found Charlton defender Anfernee Dijksteel and the ball came straight back at them. Star man Fosu picked out Reeves in space with a perfectly weighted pass to beat the offside trap.
Mark Byrne sent an effort well over for the Gills and Dean Parrett’s deflected effort fell kindly for keeper Jed Steer as the Gills looked for a response.
Fosu, playing behind the front two, was a real handful and his deflected shot rattled the underside of the Gills bar before Ogilvie cleared.
Gillingham remained in the game, with several half chances. Alex Lacey and Hanlan both headed wide but at the other end Charlton were more of a threat where it mattered.
Holy stuck out a leg to deny Reeves a second, after Fosu found him in space again, but the Gills keeper could do nothing with Charlton’s second goal which came six minutes before the break. Fosu shot beyond the keeper from 25 yards, a super strike finding the top corner.
That star quality had been the difference and for the second time in two weeks, the Gills were two goals behind at the break. They had rescued a point against Wycombe last Saturday but this was a tougher challenge.
Hanlan headed an early second half corner wide and half-time sub Callum Reilly also put a chance wide of the mark. Parrett was well off target with a volley as the Gills kept trying their luck.
Charlton looked to take the pressure off by playing keep-ball.
Patrick Bauer came close to scoring a third for Charlton but he was denied by Mark Byrne on the line. Soon after Reeves’ cross bounced off the top of the bar.
Byrne drilled a low shot well wide for the Gills with 15 minutes left and List headed wide as the Gills finished with a goal to show for their efforts.
Charlton: Steer, Dijksteel, Bauer, Pearce, Solly, Bielik, Reeves, Aribo (Pratley 73mins), Fosu (Marshall 90mins), Ajose, Taylor (Hackett-Fairchild 79mins).Subs not used: Phillips, Stevenson, Sarpong-Wiredu, Morgan.
Gillingham: Holy, Fuller (O’Neill 66mins), Ogilvie, Zakuani, Lacey, Byrne, Parrett, Oldaker (Reilly 46mins), List, Hanlan (Charles-Cook 71mins), Parker. Subs not used: Hadler, Garmston, Bingham, Rees.
Attendance: 12,856 (1,401 away)
More by this authorLuke Cawdell