Gillingham 1 Charlton Athletic 1
Seven more changes from Nigel Adkins tonight, include the dropping of skipper Jayden Stockley, and it really was sh1t or bust for the Addicks manager. By the end what we had was probably our best 45 minutes of the season followed by a reverting to type.
In isolation it was a good game bearing in mind where the two teams are in the table, and I’d always take a point from the Medway as we never play well down there. That’s okay if we’re hanging around the top end of the table, but sadly we are not and in the much grander scheme of things, the 90 minutes did little to convince me that we have what it takes to get ourselves into a position to challenge for promotion.
The Gills were there for the taking in the 1st half, they had some key personnel missing and Steve Evans must have looked at our line-up over his pile of chicken and chips before the game with great envy.
1st half was good. We sustained a good start unlike in previous matches and played quick on the ground counter attacking football with Elliott Lee, Josh Davison, Conor Washington and especially Corey Blackett-Taylor at our apex of real threat.
Lee scored a very good goal and we should have had more to show for our dominance. We did take the foot of the gas towards the end of the half, but that was quite understandable.
Conor Washington, guilty of missing our best chance to double the lead, had to be taken off at the half due to an injury, which did disrupt our rhythm.
Jonathan Leko, although a threat once or twice going forward, just doesn’t do the up and down graft that the Irishman does, and it showed.
Evans made two changes at the break and they came out firing and between a lack of confidence or game-plan we reverted to the team we have been every other week this season.
We dropped off. Refer to the goal and when they hit the post. We lost any faculty in moving the ball forward quickly on the ground, and instead tippy toed it around the back before hoofing it forward. Then, once we got it forward there was no one galloping up to support. This unlike in the first half when we often had 4 players in their box at an attack.
Davison, who had a good game, did draw a very good save from their keeper, but if anyone was going to score in the last 15 to 20 minutes it was them.
As I said, I’d take a point ordinarily, but we needed three, and that should have been the ambition, but Thomas seemed happy, which is worrying.
Let’s see which 6 or 7 players Adkins brings back for Portsmouth on Saturday. Your guess is as good as mine, but what I do know is that if we don’t start putting points on the board quickly this season will soon become inconsequential.
Mr Positivity: “We’ve had a lot of good opportunities. I thought we played really well, it’s just a shame we didn’t score a few more goals in that important time.”
Photo credit: Kyle Andrews