Saturday 16 September 2017

88-year old record comes to an end

It was always a risk of relying on our 88-year old record of not being beaten by Gillingham in the league. Charlton went down 1-0 at Priestfield this afternoon and are now 6th in the table.

The home defeat to Wigan was excusable, but failing to even get a point from the bottom club is far more worrying. It calls into question the narrative of the club having turned a corner. Charlton made Gillingham look good.

A further blow was that Ricky Holmes needlessly picked up a fifth yellow card in the nine minutes added on and will now be suspended. Referee Graham Salisbury subsequently apologised for giving the yellow card as all Holmes did was to throw the ball down on the ground to where the free kick was to be taken. He will still miss next Saturday's game against Bury: Referee's apology

The stats would seem to suggest that Charlton had the upper hand with 54 per cent of the possession. They had 23 shots on goal to nine for Gillingham and of those twelve were on target as against five for the hosts. The Addicks had eight to corners to two, but those they did have seemed to be cleared very easily. One needs chances, but one also needs to take them and get the ball in the back of the net.

The luxury away end at Priestfield was sold out with 2,358 Addicks present. They had to queue for some time to get in and then some had to stand in the aisles and gangways. Given what they then watched on the pitch, it was perhaps not a great surprise that three smoke bombs were thrown on the pitch towards the end of normal time. I am not advocating such action, but it reflects a deep sense of frustration.

On four minutes Holmes put in a cross to Magennis but he fired straight at the keeper, setting the scene for much of what was to follow.

On 12 minutes the home side got a free kick on the edge of the box. It rebounded off the bar and was headed in, but was ruled to be offside. Nevertheless, Sky and other websites had the score as 1-0 to Gillingham for some time, causing confusion among absent Addicks.

Ehmer received a yellow card for a foul on Holmes and this was followed by a booking for O'Neill. The Gills keeper Holy seemed to be leading a charmed life and was really man of the match. A volley from Clarke was blocked, and he put it straight back at the keeper from 25 yards.

There was a penalty shout on 40 minutes after Fosu got hacked down, but a corner was awarded. Further analysis suggested that the Gills had got the ball through Fosu's legs. Kashi got a yellow card for a foul on Byrne. Wagstaff was down for some time and had to be replaced by Parker.

HT: Gills 0, Addicks 0

After a Charlton corner, a Gillingham break saw Amos deal well with a dangerous cross with Eaves lurking. Magennis put in a shot from six yards out, but the keeper saved.

On Tuesday night, I thought that we were vulnerable on our right, although I wasn't sure why. This proved to be the case again with the Gills breaking through down their left, allowing Eaves to score from close range on 54 minutes. It's all very well saying it was against the run of play, but Gillingham seized an opportunity which Charlton had failed to do.

And so it went on. Clarke was hauled down on the edge of the box, but Holmes was not able to make anything of the opportunity and put the ball wide. Fosu was replaced by Dodoo on 68 minutes, but the substitution hardly made Charlton hearts beat faster. Indeed, Dodoo's main contribution seems to have been a tame shot from 25 yards out on 76 minutes.

In the meantime, Bauer had come close to scoring with a header, but his effort was cleared off the line by Byrne. Karl Robinson then made his last throw of the dice, taking off the unimpressive Forster-Caskey and the more impressive Clarke. Konsa came on, as did Ahearne-Grant. Unfortunately, the youngster's best is not good enough for League One. We simply don't have enough firepower up front. Indeed, it was Konsa who provided more of a threat with Holy having to deny him from point blank range on 88 minutes.

The keeper got a yellow card for time wasting. Magennis fired at the keeper on 89 minutes. Charlton matches usually go on well after 5, and nine minutes were added on. However, one could have added ninety minutes on and the Addicks wouldn't have scored. Holmes got an avoidable yellow card for bouncing the ball in frustration when a free kick was awarded against Magennis. Pearce put the ball into the side netting.

The report from Louis Mendez can be found here: Robinson will be deflated

Two pieces of good news about former Charlton players. Legend Dean Kiely has been appointed goalkeeping coach at Preston North End. Nick Pope made some superb saves to ensure that Burnley got a point from their fixture at Liverpool.

Indeed, two former Charlton keepers were interviewed on Match of the Day. Pope praised the team spirit at Burnley, while Newcastle's Rob Elliot also appeared, having made an excellent save against Stoke.

Also there is the Legends United match tomorrow to look forward to. Perhaps, as Louis Mendez has suggested, Ricky Holmes could serve out his suspension there.


  1. Wonder what the excuse is this time wrong type of grass for the weather conditions John W

  2. Absolute disgrace against the weakest Gills side in years looks like we're heading back to to the same old dross after another false dawn