REPORT | Gillingham 1 Charlton 1

A high intensity game at the Priestfield Stadium ended with the Addicks and Gillingham sharing a point-a-piece in a competitive 1-1 draw.

Charlton controlled the first half with Elliot Lee giving his side the lead, thanks in large part to an assist from the dangerous Corey Blackett-Taylor, making his first league start for the club.

The home side came into the game in the second half levelling via an unfortunate own goal from Ben Purrington but were reliant on two super saves from goalkeeper Jamie Cumming to keep the scores level.

Nigel Adkins handed a first league start to Blackett-Taylor after his impressive appearance from the bench on Saturday as one of seven changes to his Charlton side which set up in a 4-3-3 formation.

The Addicks carried an immediate threat from the start with Blackett-Taylor causing the Gills defence no end of bother. 

Lee saw a long range shot saved before firing wide on the volley from a dangerous Blackett-Taylor cross.

The winger headed wide from a Purrington cross minutes later as the Charlton pressure continued in a dangerous opening spell.

The Addicks dominance told and Blackett-Taylor was the creator, turning away from the Gills defence on the halfway line. The 23-year-old sped into space down the left wing and slid a pass across the box to Lee at the back post who made no mistake with a calm, first-time finish to give Charlton an 18th minute lead. 

The Charlton pressure didn’t stop with a Blackett-Taylor shot from range going just wide of Cumming’s post.

Lee turned provider with a lovely long ball through to Washington on the left. The Northern Ireland international closed in on goal but was well denied by a recovering Gillingham defender.

With the Addicks controlling the first half, Steve Evans went to his bench and the home side started the second half well.

Craig MacGillivray did well to touch away a goalbound shout from substitute Danny Lloyd but minutes later Gillingham equalised in bizarre fashion. Charlton were caught out by a short corner, allowing Kyle Dempsey to stride into the Charlton box. His shot hit the post but bounced back off an unfortunate Purrington and into the net. 

Cumming came into his own just after the hour mark with two outstanding saves to keep the Addicks at bay. The first came after Josh Davison got on the end of a driven Blackett-Taylor cross. His shot was kept out by Cumming diving across the goal. The second save might have been even better – Sam Lavelle connected sweetly with a right-footed volley and was only denied by the excellent reactions of the Gillingham goalkeeper.

The visitors had a scare with 15 minutes remaining when the dangerous Lloyd saw a shot bounce back off the post. 

Charlton pressed late, and Jayden Stockley flashed a header at goal, but the Addicks were unable to score a winner with the game finishing 1-1.

Gillingham: Cumming; Ehmer, Tucker, MacDonald, Dempsey (C), Kelman (Sithole 46), Lee, McKenzie, Adshead (Lloyd 46), Bennett (Tutonda 74), Oliver

Subs (not used): Chapman, Reeves, Akinde, Akehurst

Goal: Purrington, own goal 56

Booked: Ehmer 47 (dissent), Lee 76 

Charlton: MacGillivray; Matthews, Lavelle, Pearce (c), Purrington ; Morgan, Watson, Lee (Gilbey 74); Washington (Leko 46), Davison (Stockley 80), Blackett-Taylor

Subs (not used): Harness, Famewo, Kirk, Clare

Goal: Lee 18

Referee: Keith Stroud

Attendance: To follow

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