Sunday, 17 September 2017

Gillingham 1 Charlton Athletic 0

Match 31/17/1481 - Saturday, 16th September 2017 - League One

Gillingham (0) 1 Eaves 54
Charlton Athletic (0) 0
Attendance: 7,216

Entrance: Season Ticket
Programme: £3
Mileage: 58/1,772

Match Report

Life is strange as a Gillingham supporter these days, in fact it's plain weird.

In the wonderfully mad world of the internet there seems to be a new story, fake or otherwise, surfacing daily if not by the hour.

Since the last Gillingham game I saw, we have seen the vice-chairman resign in the wake of a multi-million fraud case in the States; the player of the year tear up his contract; the club fall to the bottom of the table and on the eve of this game against high-flying Charlton Athletic, a rumour that the Peruvian assistant manager was to take over from Adrian Pennock, win, lose or draw.

The week also had a bizarre interview with Pennock in which he made the claim that some players were at the club earning just £400 a week with some making the bench £200. It was a strange way to lift the spirits, admitting that they lacked quality but made up for it with endeavour.

I'm no betting man but if anyone had offered 10-1 in this two horse race I wouldn't have risked a single penny.

Gillingham started brightly with an effort from Sean Clare, who I liked on this first viewing, before Charlton got into their stride and with the impressive Ricky Holmes pulling the strings they began to create chance which were either wasted or denied by Tomas Holy.

Hands-up, I've been a critic of Holy, but he has slowly won me over and I'm ready to accept Pennock's assessment that the lad can go a long way in the game. His judgement is not always good, but that is something that takes time and good coaching for a young keeper.

Whilst the south Londoners had plenty of the ball, their efforts were mainly from distance and fairly routine for Holy.

Gillingham thought they had gone ahead after 42 minutes when a shot from Clare came back off the crossbar for Gabriel Zakuani to head in from close range but celebrations were curtailed by a linesman's flag for offside.

The second half began with Holy making a save with his legs to keep out a Josh Magennis shot.

It's no unkind to say that when Gillingham nudged their noses on front after 54 minutes it was somewhat against the run of play.

Max Ehmer, who was used in the unusual role of holding midfielder, made a strong run to the left bye line from where he pulled the ball back for Tom Eaves to score from close range.

Charlton tried to restore parity immediately with Holy saving from Fosu and Byrne heading from the line.

Holy made further saves before Charlton fans' frustration boiled over and a number of flares hurled onto the pitch brought the game to a halt. How they got through the so-called heightened security check is a question that Gillingham need to be asking themselves.

The delay caused nine long minutes of added time in which the visitors threw the proverbial kitchen sink leaving fears that the fans' misdemeanours would bring a reward. But the hero of the moment, Holy, made two massive saves to deny Ezri Konta and the points were saved and a first victory over Charlton in 92 years was sealed.

Every Gillingham player earned his £400 on the day, except of course, those that only made £200. The spirit is obviously not motivated by money and the support fully appreciated the great effort with not a dissenting voice against Pennock, or even Scally, to be heard. Whether spirit alone can carry the Gills to safety is for another day, for now we can bask on the sunshine of 20th position.

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