Despite coming back from behind twice, 10-man Charlton fell to defeat at the hands of Gillingham this afternoon.
A first-minute goal from Olly Lee was cancelled out by Chuks Aneke before a fabulous Connor Ogilvie strike sent the visitors in ahead at the break. Jayden Stockley netted the equaliser on 52 minutes, for the second consecutive home game, but this was not enough as Charlton were reduced to 10 men in the second half before Kyle Dempsey powered home a winner for Gillingham.
A crazy start to the game saw the visitors take an early lead. Just seconds after kick-off, a long ball from the Ogilvie finds John Akinde, who heads down to Olly Lee on the edge of the box. Lee curls a low effort past Ben Amos in the Charlton goal.
Just minute later the Addicks could have made the start even more explosive as they should have equalised. Liam Millar broke down the left-hand side as Chuks Aneke’s pass found the winger with acres of space to run into, before the Canadian rounded goalkeeper Jack Bonham and placed a shot from a tight angle but unfortunately for Charlton, Jack Tucker was on the line to clear for the visitors.
The lively start to the game continued as the Addicks struck the woodwork with just five minutes on the clock. Aneke broke down the left, out-muscling one defender before dancing past another and onto his left foot. However, the striker’s weak foot shot was just inches too high, hitting the bar on its way over.
Aneke struck the woodwork again on the 12th minute. This time, Millar cut in onto his right foot on the edge of the box before sending an inviting cross towards the big man, which was flicked onto the post by Aneke.
Just a minute later, the Addicks had the equaliser and it was the duo at it again. Millar pounced on an error in the Gillingham defence and drove goalward before looking up to find Aneke alongside him in the box. The number 10 took a touch to control the ball onto his preferred right foot before calmly placing past Bonham in the Gillingham goal.
It was wave after wave of red attacks as Charlton were looking to complete the turnaround. Much of the Addicks’ joy came down the left-hand side and this was on show once again in the 21st minute. Jake Forster-Casey’s cross fell to Darren Pratley on the edge of the box. The midfielder set himself to strike a right-footed effort, which was superbly tipped wide by the Gills goalkeeper.
Despite the hosts’ first-half dominance, it would be the visitors to go into half-time with the lead. A clearance found Lee on the edge of the area, who prodded to Ogilvie on the left-hand side of the box. The left-back hit a fierce volley, which dipped over Amos on its way into the back of the net. A stunning strike on the 37th minute.
The hosts came out the brighter in the second half and were rewarded with an equaliser on the 52nd minute. Gillingham failed to clear their lines from a corner and the Addicks took advantage, with the ball ending up back at the feet of corner taker Andrew Shinnie. The midfielder floated a ball into the box for striker Stockley to head home from six yards.
Aneke had the chance to get his second of the game as he forced an error in the Gillingham box, closing down to poke the ball goalward but this was matched by the opposing goalkeeper.
Charlton were reduced to 10 men on the 70-minute mark. Firstly, goal scorer Aneke picked up a booking after jumping for a header on 68th minute before he received his marching orders just two minutes later, catching Ogilvie late as he tried to win possession.
The Gills tested Amos on the 80th minute as Dempsey’s cross found the head of Akinde, but the Charlton stopper was equal to the effort.
Five minutes later, the visitors were ahead. Firstly, a pullback from Ryan Johnson found Lee, who’s snapshot in the box cannoned off the bar. The ball fell back to Gillingham and midfielder Dempsey dribbled into the box, turning onto his right foot before firing at the near post and into the top right-hand corner.
Charlton looked to attack late on, with Ronnie Schwartz and Albie Morgan entering the field, but this was not enough as the Addicks fell to defeat.
Charlton: Gunter, Oshilaja, Pearce, Purrington (Schwartz 87); Millar, Forster-Caskey (Jaiyesimi 25’), Pratley (Morgan 90), Shinnie; Stockley, Aneke.
Subs (not used): Harness, Matthews, Watson, Smith.
Goals: Aneke 15, Stockley 52
Booked: Oshilaja 81 (simulation), Pearce 90 (foul)
Sent-off: Aneke 70 (second-bookable offence)
Gillingham: Bonham; Jackson, Cundy, Tucker, Ogilvie; Dempsey, O’Keefe (McKenzie 59’), Lee, O’Connor; Oliver (MacDonald 90), Akinde.
Subs (not used): Bastien, Morton, Willock, Johnson, Maghoma
Goals: Lee (1), Oglivie (37), Dempsey (86)
Booked: Tucker 79 (cynical foul), McKenzie 81 (obstruction)
(Report by Nick Emms)