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Gillingham 1-0 Charlton
DANNY Kedwell’s first half header was good enough to earn a 1-0 victory for Gillingham over Charlton at Priestfield this afternoon.
The Addicks struggled throughout against their League Two hosts and can have few complaints with the result, which also ended their unbeaten pre-season record.
Chris Solly had to head behind Kedwell’s early cross but Ben Hamer made a comfortable save from the resultant corner.
Johnnie Jackson’s corner caused all sorts of problems in the Gills defence before the danger was eventually cleared upfield and Chris Whelpdale did well to create space and force Hamer to put his shot behind.
Matt Fish saw a speculative 20th minute shot sail harmlessly behind moments before Whelpdale tried his luck from long range with a stinging shot which again failed to trouble Hamer.
Charlton’s defence failed to clear a 24th minute corner but Tom Flanagan’s follow up shot came to nothing.
But they were undone two minutes later when Gillingham took the lead after a long Charlie Lee throw in found Danny Kedwell in the box and the former Welling striker headed home.
It was almost 1-1 immediately but Leon Cort’s header was scrambled off the line by Whelpdale.
Cort blocked Bradley Dack’s shot at the other end before the Addicks again went close when Yann Kermorgant’s pass put Bradley Wright-Phillips through on goal but his chipped shot was well gathered by Gills keeper Stuart Nelson.
Dale Stephens’ volley flew wildly over after he met Jackson’s free-kick and Kermorgant was ruled offside seconds before his lob ended up on the roof of the net.
Jordan Cook’s low drive forced a decent stop from Nelson two minutes before the break but Whelpdale could have doubled the advantage on the stroke of half-time with a close range header which Hamer saved.
Kermorgant was unfortunate not to draw the visitors level within five minutes of the restart when he met Solly’s cross with a scissor kick which just flew wide.
Whelpdale shot over after Kedwell’s flicked header had put him through.
Charlton manager Chris Powell waited until just after the hour before making his first change as Cort was replaced by Dorian Dervite before Danny Haynes came on for Wright-Phillips on 68 minutes.
Lee’s cross met Lewis Montrose, whose header had to be punched behind by Hamer, while Michael Morrison just failed to connect at the back post with Stephens’ free-kick.
Morrison made a crucial tackle at the other end to deny Kedwell a shot and goal and Lee headed just over as Gillingham again went close to adding a second.
Cook’s 25 yard volley flew wide seconds before he came off for Danny Hollands, while Bradley Pritchard saw a shot go just over the bar.
And Pritchard went close again in the 88th minute with a header that just went over after he met Rhoys Wiggins’ excellent cross.
That was to be the final chance of a disappointing game from Charlton’s perspective and one they will quickly want to forget.
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Charlton: Hamer, Solly, Cort (Dervite 61), Morrison, Wiggins, Pritchard, Stephens, Cook (Hollands 71), Jackson, Wright-Phillips (Haynes 68), Kermorgant. Subs not used: Sullivan, Wagstaff, Taylor, Wilson, Kerkar.