Olly Groome reports from The Valley
Charlton slipped to a first home league defeat since early October as they were beaten 2-0 by in-form Peterborough United at The Valley on Saturday.
Ryan Tafazolli’s header put the Posh into the lead before the break, while Gwion Edwards’ solo effort was enough to finish the Addicks off on a misty afternoon in South London.
Karl Robinson made six changes to his side. Dillon Phillips keeps his place in goal, while the back four consisted of Ezri Konsa, Patrick Bauer, Jorge Teixeira and Morgan Fox, with a midfield quartet of captain Andrew Crofts, Fredrik Ulvestad, Jordan Botaka and Ademola Lookman operating in front of them. Elsewhere, Josh Magennis and Nicky Ajose began up front.
In terms of injuries, Declan Rudd missed out after suffering a set-back in training on Friday. Meanwhile, Ricky Holmes, Chris Solly, Jason Pearce, Lee Novak and Ahmed Kashi remained sidelined.
Nine minutes were on the clock when the hosts got away the first decent attempt at goal when Botaka showed quick feet before firing a shot narrowly wide of the right-hand upright from 20 yards.
But, although the Addicks had started the stronger side in SE7, it was the visitors who took the lead after 21 minutes.
It came via a free-kick, awarded in controversial fashion when Konsa’s fine-looking sliding challenge was adjudged to be a foul by referee Charles Breakspear.
Paul Taylor swung the delivery in from the left which was met by Tafazolli, who powered a header past Phillips and into the roof of the net.
The goal put a sting in Peterborough’s tail, enjoying a spell of pressure having gone ahead.
Leonardo Da Silva Lopes dragged a shot just wide from 12 yards and wasted another opportunity just before half-time when he fired straight at Phillips from a good position.
Charlton, meanwhile, were struggling to make an impact at the other end, with a number of misplaced passes making for a frustrating first period for Robinson’s men.
After the interval, the hosts emerged with much more purpose, putting the Posh under pressure early on.
Magennis knocked down for Ajose to send a volley dipping over the crossbar, while the Northern Ireland international saw a shot come bouncing back off the post in agonising fashion on 50 minutes.
Moments later, the Addicks hit the woodwork once again with Botaka this time sending a shot sailing past stopper Luke McGee, only to come crashing back off the bar.
But just as Charlton had finally settled down, Peterborough hit a sucker punch to double their lead and knock the stuffing out of their hosts.
It came via a solo effort from Edwards which saw the midfielder skip through midfield with ease before finding himself one-on-one with Phillips, stroking confidently past the young stopper.
That provoked Robinson into making a double sub, introducing Joe Aribo and Adam Chicksen into the fray in place of Botaka and Ulvestad in hope of finding a way back into the game which was slowly slipping away from them.
With 10 minutes left, a Lookman corner was headed back into the danger area by Bauer, but Ajose could not get the right touch to knock it over the line from two yards out.
All in all, it was a hugely frustrating afternoon for Robinson in his first league match in charge, but his side have just four days to wait before they can make amends to make it a very happy Christmas for Addicks everywhere with a positive result at The Den against Millwall on Wednesday.
Charlton: Phillips, Konsa, Texieira, Bauer, Fox (Hanlan 81), Botaka (Chicksen 69), Crofts, Ulvestad , (Aribo 70), Lookman, Magennis, Ajose.
Subs (not used): Mitov, Foley, Johnson, Jackson.
Booked: Fox 58 (foul on Da Silva Lopes), Chicksen 90+2
Peterborough United: McGee, Smith, Hughes, Bostwicl, Tafazolli, Edwards (Inman 86), Forrester, Taylor (Almeida Santos 90), Coulthirst (Moncur 64), Lopes, Nichols.
Subs (not used): Tyler, Binnom-Williams, Oduwa, Chettle.
Booked: Bostwick 51 (foul on Magennis), Forrester 90+2
Goals: Tafazolli 21, Edwards 66
Referee: C Breakspear
Att: 10,193 (1,017 from Peterborough)
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