Gills leave SE7 empty handed despite strong second half showing at Charlton.
A strong second half showing from Gills wasn’t quite enough as Charlton secured a narrow 1-0 win at The Valley on Tuesday evening.
The visitors restricted Athletic to very few opportunities, although one of those was taken late in the first half by Alex Gilbey, firing home a powerful shot from inside the box.
Gills had a lot of the ball in the second half and made the best chances, the best one falling to Conor Masterson who shot inches wide of the post from 20 yards. The defender had another opportunity late on, but fired over from inside the box.
Neil Harris was forced into making one change for the game with David Tutonda replacing the injured Ryan Jackson. The former Bristol Rovers man lined up at left wing-back with Robbie McKenzie shifting to the right.
Charlie Kelman continued to partner Vadaine Oliver in attack with Bailey Akehurst coming onto the subs bench, with Tom Dickson-Peters and Josh Chambers for company.
The early exchanges were lively, with Craig MacGillivray having to be alert to stop Ben Thompson latching onto a long throw which was allowed to bounce inside the box, before the Charlton stopper also prevented Oliver from getting a shot away from close range.
Sean Clare, playing against his former club, had a shot well blocked from 20 yards with Stuart O’Keefe forcing a save at the other end from a similar distance.
A close range header shortly afterwards from Oliver lacked the necessary power to trouble MacGillivray before a precise shot at the other end from Alex Gilbey missed the target by a yard, with the midfielder shooting across Dalhberg who was rooted to the spot.
However, the midfielder did finally break the deadlock on 40 minutes when Dahlberg couldn’t hold onto a powerful effort from Blackett-Taylor. A follow up effort was well blocked by the keeper, but the third loose ball was fired home by Gilbey.
H/T: Charlton Athletic 1-0 Gillingham
The half started quieter than the first, with Charlton seemingly happy to retain possession. However, Gills were dealt a blow when Robbie McKenzie had to come off injured and Harvey Lintott came on in his place.
A strong defensive clearance from Max Ehmer seemed to spark Gills into another gear and the visitors had the best chance to draw level on 68 minutes when Conor Masterson had the ball 25 yards out, he took a touch and went for goal. His left footed effort was a good one, and MacGillivray was at full stretch to his left side, but the ball only just cleared the post.
Gills grew confidence from this and Charlton began to defend deeper as a result, however the hosts nearly added a second, against the run of play, when Blackett-Taylor burst into the box on the left side, and Dahlberg had to be alert to get down and palm away with his left hand.
A succession of balls into the Charlton box were defended well as Gills applied pressure late on and were the better side in the last quarter of an hour. As the clock approached the end of normal time, Masterson had another opportunity when a ball from Lee to the back post was headed down into his path, but he fired over from 15 yards.
F/T: Charlton Athletic 1-0 Gillingham
Charlton: MacGillivray, Dobson, Purrington, Blackett-Taylor (Peace 88), Lavelle, Gilbey, Matthews, Fraser (Lee 61), Clare, Stockley, Washington.
Unused subs: Harness, Gunter, Jaiyesimi, Leko, Burstow
Gills: Dahlberg, McKenzie (Lintott 59), Ehmer, Tucker, Masterson, Tutonda (Dickson-Peters 81), Lee, O’Keefe, Thompson, Kelman, Oliver.
Unused subs: Chapman, Maghoma, Chambers, Akehurst
Referee: Mr W Finnie
Attendance: 9728 (1559)