Lee Bowyer suffered his first defeat in caretaker charge as Charlton fell to a disappointing 1-0 defeat to AFC Wimbledon at the Cherry Red Records Stadium on Tuesday night.
The only goal of the game came right before the half-time whistle after a defensive slip handed an opportunity to Lyle Taylor to score and the Addicks simply did not provide a response on a hugely frustrating evening in Kingston.
Stephy Mavididi and Ezri Konsa will returned to the starting lineup as Lee Bowyer made two changes to his starting XI. The duo replacing Nicky Ajose and Anfernee Dijksteel – who both dropped to the bench.
The hosts were quick out of the traps at the referee’s whistle with Harry Forrester forcing Ben Amos to rush out to deny him a good opportunity, while Konsa put in an excellent last-ditch block to deny Lyle Taylor a certain goal on the rebound, while the Addicks’ first sigh of goal came from a central free-kick, 22 yards from goal in the sixth minute, which Sullay Kaikai dipped over the bar.
Kaikai was involved again moments later when he stretched to send Mavididi’s centre off target as the game began to stretch from end to end, with Liam Trotter putting a decent-looking, dipping volley only just over the bar at the other end.
Meanwhile, the hosts suffered a blow just after the half-hour mark when defender Will Nightingale was forced off through injury, replaced by Darius Charles.
With half-time approaching, Jacke Forster-Caskey’s teasing free-kick from the left very nearly caught out the Wimbledon defence, but no Charlton player could get that killer touch inside the six-yard box. And they came closer still from a corner which was headed goalwards by Bauer and had the keeper seemingly beaten, but Mavididi was unable to arrange his feet to turn it over the line.
But on the stroke of half-time, it was the hosts who took a lead which was quite simply gifted to them by Bauer’s slip. There was no danger whatsoever when the defender turned to play the ball back to Amos, but as his feet gave way beneath him, Taylor nipped in and was able to complete a simple finish one-on-one.
In truth, the Dons were probably just worthy of their lead after the first 45 and the Addicks continued to find it difficult to get themselves going after the restart, prompting Bowyer to make a 55th minute swap, introducing Josh Magennis into the fray in place of Mavididi.
With the home side continuing to get the better of Charlton, the next throw of the dice saw Mark Marshall come on for Ben Reeves and they were nearly level moments later when a corner from the left was won by the head of Jason Pearce and the ball flew agonisingly back against the left upright.
Ajose was next to be introduced for Kaikai and there were just 10 minutes left for the Addicks to turn the game around, but the agonising truth was that they simply did not have enough.
Indeed, the Dons goal led a charmed life for the last 20 minutes of the match, leaving the hosts to claim all three points.
Charlton: Amos, Konsa, Pearce, Bauer, Page, Reeves (Marshall 70), Forster-Caskey, Aribo, Kaikai (Ajose 80), Mavididi (Magennis 56), Zyro.
Subs (not used): Phillips, Dijksteel, Dasilva, Lennon.
Booked: Pearce 90+5 (scuffle with Taylor)
AFC Wimbledon: Long, Fuller, Meades, Oshilaja, Nightingale (Charles 34), Parrett, Soares, Trotter, Forrester (Francomb 82), Taylor, Pigott (Barcham 71).
Subs (not used): McDonnell, Abdou, Kaja, Kennedy.
Booked: Taylor 90+5 (scuffle with Pearce)
Goal: Taylor 45+1
Referee: C Hicks
Att: 4,457 (745 from Charlton)