Play-off chasing Charlton seal maximum points.
First-half goals from Ben Reeves and Tariqe Fosu helped Charlton on their way to three points at The Valley as Gillingham lost out for a first defeat in four league games.
After an initial positive start, the Gills were to rue early missed chances, Connor Ogilvie striking the post in the opening exchanges. However, as soon as the hosts took the lead Gills struggled to break down a resolute Charlton defence as the hosts sealed the three points to strengthen their hold on a play-off position.
Gillingham were without top scorer Tom Eaves, the forward picking up an injury ahead of the game while Max Ehmer continued to be sidelined, the defender ruled out until the new year. The hosts made one change from the side that beat AFC Wimbledon last week, Anfernee Dijksteel replacing the suspended Naby Sarr.
Gills made a bright start in London and nearly took the lead within the first few minutes. A Darren Oldaker cross was spilled by Jed Steer in the Charlton goal, the keeper parried it away to Ogilvie, but his low effort hit the post and bounced out.
The hosts responded though, Nicky Ajose doing well to get in behind Barry Fuller before the full-back cleared for a corner. After the initial corner was claimed by Tomas Holy, Charlton recycled possession well before teeing up Ben Reeves. The midfielder took a touch before firing past Holy in the Gills goal to give the Addicks the lead.
Despite the early set back, Gills had started well with the front three of Brandon Hanlan, Elliott List and Josh Parker looking sharp. Next to come close for the Gills was Dean Parrett, the midfielder’s low effort claimed in the Charlton goal despite a deflection from Ogilvie.
In the 15th minute the Gills caught a break. Joe Aribo cut in from the left-hand side and got a shot away, it hit the bar, bounced down and away before Ogilvie cleared.
Next to come close for Gills was Brandon Hanlan. After neat interchange between Parrett, Oldaker and Ogilvie, the latter delivered for the former Charlton front man, but he failed to connect cleanly with his header and Steer was untroubled.
The Addicks could, and perhaps should, have doubled their lead in the 30th minute. Goal scorer Ben Reeves did well to create space to find himself one-on-one with Holy, but the Gills keeper came out on top as he saved well with his feet.
Charlton doubled their lead in the 38th minute. Fosu had the ball 30 yards from goal and produced an excellent finish to beat Holy who had no chance even at full stretch.
As the half-time whistle approached the game started to settle down, both teams looking dangerous whenever they went forward. As the latest Gillingham corner came to nothing, referee Charles Breakspear blew for half-time.
Gillingham made one change at the break, Callum Reilly replacing Darren Oldaker in the middle of the park.
The visitors made a bright start to the second-half, first Brandon Hanlan headed wide following a corner before sub Callum Reilly headed over following good play down the right flank.
Gills continued to threaten, Dean Parrett the next man to try his luck, but he failed to connect properly with his volley as the Gills pressed for a way back into the game.
After an initial wave of Gills pressure Charlton started to take control again, Taylor and Fosu were causing the Gills backline plenty of problems and had it not been for some quick feet from Tomas Holy the Addicks may have extended their lead.
Steve Lovell’s next throw of the dice was to bring on Luke O’Neill, the full-back coming on in place of Barry Fuller.
Reeves came within inches of sealing the game for the hosts. His cross from the right-hand side sailed over the head of all the onrushing forwards but luckily for Gills the ball bounced off the top of the crossbar and away.
Gills were pushing hard, but the experienced Addicks defence were holding firm. Mark Byrne coming closest, but his low effort dribbled the wrong side of the post.
As the game entered the final ten minutes it was Charlton who were looking more likely of scoring. Ben Reeves, who was a threat all afternoon for the Addicks, fired over from 25 yards.
As the time ticked away Gillingham started to increase the pressure. First, Callum Reilly saw his effort deflected behind for a corner before Elliott List headed over after good work from Regan Charles-Cook who had come on for Brandon Hanlan.
With the Gills pressing, spaces were beginning to appear for the hosts and after Mark Marshall had fired straight at Holy the referee blew to signal full-time.
Charlton: Steer, Solly, Dijksteel, Bauer, Pearce (c), Bielik, Reeves, Aribo (Pratley 72), Fosu (Marshall) Taylor (Hackett-Fairchild 79) Ajose.
Unused subs: Phillips, Morgan, Stevenson, Sarpong-Wiredu.
Gillingham: Holy, Fuller (O’Neill 65), Zakuani, Lacey, Ogilvie; Oldaker (Reilly 45), Parrett, Byrne, Parker; Hanlan (Charles-Cook 70), List
Unused subs: Hadler, Garmston, Bingham, Rees
Referee: Mr Charles Breakspear
Attendance 12,836 (1401)