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Gillingham 1 Charlton Athletic 0

Is it too early to be cynical?..

Our first defeat at The Priestfield in 88 years. Robinson is big on records, and it doesn’t get much bigger than that. Mind you we haven’t had the misfortune to play our Kent neighbours that many times over the decades but in recent years we have not played well there. Yesterday was no different.

We lost to a 2nd half goal from Tom Eaves, similar to one we conceded at home to Wigan in the week and we had no answer save for loads of balls pumped into the box. We huffed and puffed against a team that specialise in huffing and puffing, and we weren’t good enough. Sure we had hundreds of shots at goal, and apparently their ‘keeper was man of the match, but he hardly put in a Nick Pope type performance. 

Holmes, the one player who looked like he could turn the key, was booked stupidly, even though the ref apologized after. He will now miss Saturday. They had a goal disallowed, we should have had a penalty, Addicks fans threw smoke bombs on the pitch. End of report.

So, 8 games down. After 6 we were getting a little excited. It was too early then, and it is too early now, but worrying signs are there for Robinson, ones that we are all too familiar with. Yes the first XI is very decent, but players such as Magennis, Holmes, Solly, Kashi, JFC, Fosu cannot be expected to perform every week, or stay 100% fit. 

Gillingham, like Wigan, found a way to beat us. Robinson is not only wedded to his system, but doesn’t have the resources to change it. He also doesn’t have the personnel to rest players from the arduous Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday slog. He talks about Reeves’ fitness, but why the club waited until the last minute to sign him showed again a lack of orderliness and ambition, even though we know full well that Robinson pushed and pushed. 

1-0 down, and with 10 minutes to go we bring on Ahearne-Grant and Konsa, one league goal between them since they broke into the first team. Robinson was very critical of the lack of impact his subs have had this season, but as he said himself “it’s the way we’ve gone.” The Duchatelet way. Just enough. But as we have seen since the Belgian took over, not enough.

Quote: “They should be coming on with the talent that they’ve got and doing something different.”

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