A decent Charlton performance went unrewarded as they were stunned by two late Coventry City goals in Sky Bet League One on Saturday afternoon.
The Addicks were the better side throughout, but late goals from Amadou Bakayoko cancelled out Lyle Taylor’s 45th minute penalty that seemed, for so long, likely to hand Charlton all three points.
Lee Bowyer made two enforced changes from the 5-3 defeat against Scunthorpe United in midweek. Anfernee Dijksteel came into the side in place of the injured Lewis Page, who picked up a groin injury at Glanford Park, to make his first league start of the season.
Ben Reeves replaced the suspended Darren Pratley, after the central midfielder picked up his fifth booking of the season on Tuesday night. Krystian Bielik and Jamie Ward were fit enough to take their place on the bench after injury lay-offs.
It was a cold and rainy day in SE7, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of Addicks fans, with chants of Lee Bowyer’s red and white army bellowing from the Covered End. And within five minutes the Addicks almost gave The Valley faithful something to warm them up. Karlan Grant was played through and denied at point-blank range by goalkeeper Lee Burge, before Tariqe Fosu’s follow-up was cleared off the line by Tom Davies.
With Charlton looking dangerous, Fosu and Joe Aribo played a delicious one-two in the middle of the park, but the latter’s through ball to Grant was too slow and the striker was caught offside. Fosu then had an effort from outside the box pushed wide for a corner as they applied pressure in search of the elusive opening goal.
Coventry had their first chance with 13 minutes on the clock. Conor Chaplin cut inside the box, but he curled well wide. Liam Kelly then sent a low shot into the box, which found Chaplin unmarked, be he fired well over.
With 25 minutes gone, Charlton should have taken the lead. Chris Solly whipped in a delightful cross that found Taylor, who had peeled away from his marker, but it hit his back rather than his head. The ball went straight at Burge – who almost fumbled into the net, but recovered to keep the scores level.
Naby Sarr then played a good ball down the right which found Grant in the box but his attempted cut back to Taylor in the middle was narrowly cut out for a corner. Fosu then played Taylor into the box, but his pass was slightly overhit and the keeper managed to get out to make a block that rebounded off Taylor and went out for a goal-kick.
With the Addicks piling on the pressure, Fosu came agonisingly close to giving Bowyer’s men the lead before half-time. Reeves played a sumptuous ball out to Solly, who cut back to Fosu and his beautiful, curling effort was millimetres away from nestling into the bottom right-hand corner.
The contest seemed destined to remain goalless as the break. But, with 45 minutes on the clock, Taylor won a penalty.
Junior Brown felled the striker after he had twisted away from Brown and he made no mistake from 12-yards out. The summer signing from AFC Wimbledon picked himself up, dusted himself down and fired the spot-kick into the bottom left-hand corner for his seventh goal of the season, ensuring Charlton held a deserved half-time lead.
The second-half started much the same as the first ended with the home side well on top. Aribo found Taylor just inside the box to the left. The goal scorer attempted to cross back to Grant, but it was blocked out for a corner.
Coventry then applied some pressure of their own, firstly with Dijksteel blocking substitute Bakayoko’s shot for a corner, before Davies shot straight at Steer. Tom Bayliss then shot wildly over.
The Addicks looked to kill the game off and Josh Cullen, who was playing very well in midfield, played a delicious pass with the outside of his boot to Grant on the left. The attacker drove into the box but his shot was deflected safely into the hands of Burge. Reeves then saw a half volley sail over the bar.
Next up, Fosu played a wonderful ball to Taylor on the right of the box and, with Reeves waiting on the edge of the box, he elected to shoot and his shot was blocked away.
The Addicks were left to rue their missed chances as Bakayoko knocked in Thomas’ cross to level with nine minutes left to play.
The Valley, in unison, tried to rally their side on after the shock of the equaliser. Taylor almost scored when he turned in the box, but his shot was easily held before substitute Jamie Ward almost bagged the winner. His diving header at the back post flew agonisingly wide.
And Charlton were dealt a cruel blow in the 91st minute. Against the run of the match, Bakayoko headed home the winner.
The Valley faithful clapped their side off in recognition of their display as the Addicks somehow left the pitch with no rewards.
Charlton: Steer, Dijksteel, Pearce (c), Taylor, Fosu (Ward 84), Reeves (Lapslie 75), Aribo, Grant, Solly, Sarr, Cullen.
Subs (not used): Phillips, Bielk, Vetokele, Morgan, Ajose.
Goal: Taylor 45 (pen).
Coventry City: Burge, Willis, Davies, Kelly (Hiwula 56), Doyle ©, Chaplin, Brown, Sterling, Clarke-Harris (Bakayoko 56), Bayliss, Thomas (Shipley 87).
Subs (not used): O’Brien, Ogogo, Andreu, Thompson.
Goals: Bakayoko 81, 90+1.
Booked: Kelly 21 (foul on Fosu).
Referee: B Toner.
Attendance: 11,743 (1,879 from Coventry).