A stoppage-time penalty from Corey Blackett-Taylor claimed a point for the Addicks at league leaders Stevenage on Saturday afternoon in the first game of the Michael Appleton era.
After a scrappy first half-hour with very few chances, the match exploded into life and Charlton had two strong penalty shouts waved away by referee Peter Wright.
On 32 minutes, James Abankwah, making his full league debut, played the ball inside to Karoy Anderson, whose first touch took him past Nathan Thompson. The defender stuck a leg out and Anderson went down under clear contact, but the referee was unmoved.
Moments later, the Addicks had another claim. Thompson was again involved, this time attempting to shield a long ball back to his goalkeeper. Miles Leaburn, making his first league start of the season, managed to get past him and toe-poke the ball around goalkeeper Taye Ashby-Hammond, who appeared to catch the striker with a trailing leg. All eyes were on the referee, but, after taking a moment, his verdict was the same: no penalty.
Appleton’s men were stung just a minute later when they found themselves behind. Right wing-back Nick Freeman played a one-two with Finley Burns and found Jamie Reid, who lashed it across Harry Isted and in at the far post.
The home side would dominate the rest of the first half, but after the break the Addicks found new energy kicking towards a sold-out away end who were in tremendous voice throughout.
On 57 minutes, after a good spell of pressure, Tyreece Campbell’s shot was blocked into the path of Michael Hector, who hit it first time from 25 yards. Leaburn managed to get a flick on the ball which took it just over the bar and onto the roof of the net.
Just after the hour-mark, Charlton would go close again as Blackett-Taylor beat Freeman on the left and laid off Louie Watson, though the substitute’s shot from the edge of the box did not have quite enough curl to take it in at the far post.
Despite the Addicks having the better of the second half, the Boro should have doubled their lead with 20 minutes to go. Jordan Roberts regained possession and sent Reid through on goal. The striker opened up his body but, with only Isted to beat, fired over from the edge of the box.
Not deterred by the threat of conceding a goal on the counter-attack, Charlton pushed forward for the equaliser, and in the 83rd minute had another big penalty shout turned down. Isted played a long ball down field to Chuks Aneke, who was making his first appearance since February.
The striker jostled with Nathan Thompson, the man at the centre of the first-half controversy, before the ball made contact with the defender’s arm, only for referee Wright to remain unmoved once more.
But then, in stoppage time, the Addicks finally got their penalty. Lucas Ness, only introduced as a concussion substitute for Terry Taylor three minutes earlier, got into the box on the right and pulled it back to another substitute Slobodan Tedić, who was brought down by Carl Piergianni after beating the hosts’ skipper to the ball.
Blackett-Taylor made no mistake from the spot. Ashby-Hammond guessed right and dived right, but the wideman’s penalty was perfectly placed to cue rapturous celebrations from the travelling supporters.
Appleton’s side will now look ahead to next weekend’s clash against Wycombe Wanderers to The Valley.
Charlton: Isted; Abankwah (Thomas 60), Jones, Hector, Edun; C Campbell (L Watson 60), Dobson (c), Anderson (Taylor 60 (Ness 88)); T Campbell (Tedić 76), Leaburn (Aneke 76), Blackett-Taylor
Sub (not used): Maynard-Brewer
Goal: Blackett-Taylor 90+2
Assist: Tedić 90+2
Yellow cards: Dobson 51 (foul on Freeman), Tedić 83 (dissent), Aneke 84 (dissent)
Stevenage: Ashby-Hammond; Sweeney, N Thompson, Piergianni (c); Freeman, Burns, L Thompson (Forster-Caskey 78); Butler; Roberts, Reid (List 80), Hemmings (MacDonald 61)
Subs (not used): Hegyi, Neal, B Thompson, McNeill
Goal: Reid 34
Assist: Freeman 34
Yellow cards: Butler 54 (foul on T Campbell), Reid 68 (dissent), List 90+10 (time-wasting)
Attendance: 5,119 (1,380 Charlton supporters)
Referee: Peter Wright