Gillingham fall at the last hurdle in the Kent Senior Cup as Charlton secure narrow win at Priestfield

Charlton Athletic secured the Kent Senior Cup with a 1-0 win over Gillingham at MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Thursday evening.

A defensive error allowed Karlan Ahearne-Grant to capitalise, lifting the ball over Stuart Nelson who attempted to narrow the gap following a pass back from Callum Emptage.

Gillingham took the game seriously with seven first teamers in their line-up, however it was Charlton who applied the early pressure when Harry Osborne hit the bar with a cross from the right hand side.

This seemed to wake the Gills up as they soon began to get back into the match.

Gillingham’s best chance came from Greg Cundle as a ball from the right hand side landed at his feet and his right foot shot was saved by Dillon Phillips before Luke Norris shot the rebound wide.

Josh Pritchard also had a long range shot that was spectacularly tipped onto the crossbar by the Charlton keeper.

However, with 37 minutes on the clock, Charlton opened the scoring when Emptage, having received the ball from Nelson, tried to play it back to his keeper only for the pass to run short.

Ahearne-Grant steadied himself and lifted the ball over Nelson and the pace was just enough to find the net.

H/T: 0-1

In the second half Gillingham tried hard to find the equalizer with a number of headers which either went just wide or were saved by the Charlton keeper who had a good game between the sticks.

This was a final where tempers become flared at times as Harry Lennon and Luke Norris clashed after a strong tackle by the latter, which left them both on a yellow card.

A strong challenge on Emptage by Pyke saw the Addicks left back also go in the book as time for the Gills began to run out.

Ahearne-Grant had nearly grabbed his second but saw his effort saved by Nelson, with Norris and Michael Freiter then failing to beat Phillips in the Addicks goal.

Leon Legge and Jake Hessenthaler similarly struggled to find the breakthrough before Josh Umerah had a shot inside the area well blocked by the recovering Gavin Hoyte.

A late effort from Michael Freiter was comfortably claimed by the Charlton number one with the visitors holding out to secure victory.

F/T: 0-1

Gillingham: Nelson, Emptage, Legge, Hoyte, Bell, Hessenthaler, Galbraith, Pritchard, Freiter, Cundle (List 64), Norris.
Unused subs: Hadler, Bent, Blanchard, Sellens.

Charlton: Phillips, Osborne (Barnes 80), Pyke, Bone, Lennon, Thomas, Charles-Cook (Hanlon 80), Monlouis, Ahearne-Grant, Umerah, Kennedy.
Unused subs: Mitov, Cumberbatch, Munns.

Referee: Mr I Fissenden

Attendance: 1,268