"Kent" Derby in League One?: Gillingham on the Up, Charlton Athletic on the Down

Yoosof FarahSenior Writer IIIFebruary 28, 2009

With the ways things are going for the two professional football teams that receive the most media coverage in Southeastern county of Kent, it seems that next season there could well be two mouth-watering encounters in the Coca Cola League One [third tier of English football].

Gillingham pushed themselves ever closer to promotion glory with an important 1-0 victory over League Two [fourth tier of English football] rivals AFC Bournemouth.

Legendary player at the KRBS Priestfield Nicky Southall secured the much-needed win with a powerful blast into the top corner on 57 minutes.  

It's a result that now means the Mighty Gills move up to sixth in the League Two table, with key rivals Shrewsbury Town in seventh having played a game more.

With back-to-back wins and undefeated in their last three matches at home, things are looking rather rosy in the glum town of Gillingham.

Up in the most southeasternly point of London, where Charlton Athletic for some strange reason are included in Kent media coverage, the Addicks would also appear on the up, having also been undefeated for three games in the Coca Cola League Championship [second tier of English football].

However, look at the league table and note their position. Rock bottom, and 10 points off safety.

A hard-earned draw at Swansea City might've turned that around slightly, but unluckily for Charlton, their fellow struggling chums Southampton, Plymouth Argyle, Watford, and Nottingham Forest all managed to pick up vital points.

Nathan Dyer gave Swansea the lead at the Liberty Stadium on 42 minutes as Addicks' defender Graeme Murty slipped, allowing the Swans' striker the easy chance to score.

However, much to the disappointment of bitter Gillingham fans (such as myself), Charlton unfortunately managed to get an equaliser.

Midfielder Nick Bailey got his eighth goal of the season with a 25-yard strike that deflected in off Swansea substitute Albert Serran.

In the post-match press conference, with the way Addicks manager Phil Parkinson talks, it would seem clear Charlton Athletic do not having the mentality to avoid relegation.

He said: "I was well satisfied with our performance against a very good Swansea side, especially in the second half when the belief flooded back into our game. We could have even won had Darren Ambrose tucked away a very good chance."

Clearly, the belief deserted them in the first half, and that's why they went 1-0 down and could only draw. And clearly they seem surprised at winning games, note the word "even."

With Gillingham seemingly on the up, and Charlton Athletic looking very much on the down, it appears almost inevitable that next season The Valley and the KRBS Priestfield will at least once be two absolutely jam-packed, sell-out stadiums.

At the start of the season, us Gills fans were seriously thinking about the dull, boring, real Kent derby that could happen in League Two between Gillingham and Ebbsfleet United in the 2009/10 season.

Now towards the end of the season, we're thinking about the exciting, mouth-watering "Kent" derby in League One between Gillingham and Charlton Athletic.