Gillingham’s safety in league one confirmed despite defeat.
First half goals from Joe Aribo and Josh Cullen helped Charlton to three points at Priestfield as the Gills came up short in their final home game of the season.
Caretaker boss Mark Patterson named an unchanged starting eleven to the side that drew 1-1 away to Bradford on Easter Monday. Barry Fuller and Leo da Silva Lopes were able to shake off knocks that were picked up in the game as they started. There was one change on the bench as Dean Parrett returned to the squad.
Former Gills forward Josh Parker was named amongst the Addicks subs with top scorer Lyle Taylor not included.
It was a scrappy opening five minutes, but in the sixth the Gills had a penalty shout waved away by the referee.
Luke O’Neill’s low free kick was swung towards the penalty spot and looked set to be met by Brandon Hanlan. However, he appeared to be tripped as he went towards the ball allowing Charlton to clear as the Gills had to settle for a corner.
From the resulting corner, Connor Ogilvie was the first to get his head on it, but his attempt at goal went well over the bar.
It took Charlton until the 15th minute to create their first chance of the game.
Jonny Williams did well to create space inside the penalty area following a smart turn, but he fired his shot over the crossbar as Tomas Holy was left untroubled.
Williams thought he was through on goal following some smart trickery, however, Barry Fuller was able to nick the ball off of him on the edge of the penalty area allowing Holy to collect the loose ball.
In the 21st minute Tahvon Campbell came close to giving the home side the lead.
He powered a shot from the edge of the penalty area towards the far corner of the goal. It forced Dillon Phillips to get a strong hand to tip it over the crossbar to prevent the Gills from going in front.
On 24 minutes the visitors took the lead when Ben Purrington’s low cross took a deflection off of Max Ehmer’s heel and it fell to the arriving Joe Aribo who stroked his shot into the bottom corner leaving Holy with no chance.
In response the Gills won a corner as Regan Charles-Cook’s shot was blocked and went out for a corner, however the delivery was easily dealt with by Charlton and came to nothing.
Charles-Cook had another attempt at goal in the 38th minute. He picked up the ball out on the left hand side of the pitch and drove towards the penalty area. He shot from a central position but it was a simple save for Phillips.
In the 42nd minute Josh Cullen doubled the lead for the visitors.
Jonny Williams was once again causing the Gills defence problems and he shot towards the front post. Holy was able to parry it out but it fell to the feet of Cullen who passed the ball into an empty net.
HALF-TIME: GILLINGHAM 0-2 CHARLTON
Mark Patterson made one change at half-time as Tahvon Campbell was replaced by top scorer Tom Eaves.
It was Charlton that created the first couple of chances in the second period as shots from Igor Vetokele and Aribo forced Holy into action.
The first chance fell to Vetokele whose shot inside the area was met by two strong hands from Holy. The second was a save low towards his front post as Aribo tried his luck from a tight angle.
Holy produced a fantastic save to stop Charlton from scoring a third just moments later. A low ball across the box evaded everybody until Purrington met it with a fierce shot at the back post.
He smashed his effort towards goal from close range, but Holy was equal to it as he parried it out for a corner.
Dean Parrett had the home side’s first clear chance in the second half in the 73rd minute. He found himself in acres of space and decided to shoot from 25 yards, but his left footed shot was dragged wide of the post.
Eaves tried a speculative bicycle kick from seven yards out moments later, but it failed to trouble the Charlton keeper.
In the 87th minute Cullen missed a golden chance to grab his second, and Charlton’s third.
The visitors broke on the counter attack as Aribo got the ball on the left hand side. He put a cross into the centre of the penalty area which was met by the onrushing Cullen, but his header went well over the bar as the Gills had a massive let off.
FULL-TIME: GILLINGHAM 0-2 CHARLTON
Gillingham: Holy (GK); O’Neill, Ehmer, Ogilvie, Fuller; Byrne, Lopes, Charles-Cook (Parrett 65’), List (Rees 71); Campbell (Eaves 46’), Hanlan
Unused substitutes: Hadler (GK), Garmston, Lacey, Oldaker
Charlton Athletic: Phillips (GK); Dijksteel, Pearce, Sarr, Purrington; Cullen, Lapslie (Morgan 86’), Williams (Parker 78’), Pratley, Aribo; Vetokele
Unused Substitutes: Maynard Brewer (GK), Page, Forster-Caskey, Reeves, Doughty