Lee Bowyer praises Chuks Aneke after Charlton secure point against Gillingham
Lee Bowyer praised substitute Chuks Aneke after his late leveller helped Charlton extend their unbeaten run to seven League One games with a 1-1 draw at Gillingham
A pair of penalties proved the defining moments as Charlton’s Conor Washington saw his first-half spot-kick saved and Jordan Graham put the hosts ahead from 12 yards after 73 minutes.
Both teams questioned referee Robert Lewis’ decisions but relief was the main emotion for Bowyer whose side have not been beaten in League One since September.
“It was a crazy, crazy game,” said Bowyer.
“On another day we probably score four goals but our finishing was a bit off. The most important thing is that we didn’t lose.
“We moved the ball the best I’ve seen us move it and we didn’t get sucked into their game. We kept on passing the ball, even when we went one down, and got a deserved point.
“I think both penalties were soft. I think the referee gave us a penalty so he wanted to even it up. It took him about 30 seconds to make the decision and even then it was the wrong one.
“It was another good finish from Chuks – I’m pleased for him. Before he would have lashed at that but he was composed.
“Omar (Bogle) does a lot of the dirty work for the team – then Chuks comes on and gets the glory!”
Gills goalkeeper Jack Bonham nearly gifted the visitors an early opener when his poor clearance fell to Andrew Shinnie, but the midfielder narrowly missed the target with his effort from 25 yards.
The Addicks missed out on a half-time lead when Bonham produced another excellent save to keep out Washington’s penalty six minutes before the break.
Washington’s miss came after the Charlton bench had to instruct Bogle, who won the spot-kick after being fouled by Ryan Jackson, to hand the ball over to his team-mate.
Graham put the Gills ahead from the spot 17 minutes from time after referee Lewis controversially ruled that substitute John Akinde had been bundled over by Chris Gunter.
However, Aneke denied Gillingham what would have been only their second league win in seven games when he capitalised on poor defending to fire past Bonham with eight minutes remaining.
Gillingham assistant manager Paul Raynor said: “I thought it was an extremely good performance. The only downside is that we came away with one point.
“I thought we nullified the threats Charlton have and we really kept the number of chances they had to a minimum. We should be talking about a clear victory for us.
“They’re always a danger but we felt comfortable and they played a lot in front of us. We got the goal but unfortunately we couldn’t increase the lead.
“You can’t give quality strikers like Chuks time in the box – we weren’t close enough to get any blocks in but it’s a good finish.”