Charlton’s injury woes continued as the Addicks' three-game unbeaten run came to an end at Pride Park.
A late spell of pressure nearly got Charlton back into the game but the Rams were able to hold on to win 2-1 despite playing much of the game with 10 men.
Macauley Bonne was substituted at half-time to increase the pressure on the Addicks' already injury-ravaged squad but Charlton battled on and Lyle Taylor’s late penalty gave the visitors hope.
Manager Lee Bowyer made two changes from the side that rallied from 2-1 down to beat Bristol City on Boxing Day. Ben Purrington and Chris Solly returned to the side with Adam Matthews and Taylor, who had just returned to the side after 13 weeks out, moving to the bench. It meant the Addicks once again lined up in what looked like a 3-5-2 for much of the first half with Alfie Doughty supporting Bonne up front.
The Charlton defence was cut apart in the opening minute when Martyn Waghorn got in behind but Dillon Phillips was out quickly off his line to block away the danger.
The home side took a tenth-minute lead capitalising on the Addicks giving the ball away cheaply. Andre Wisdom crossed from the Derby right and Waghorn, who may have been offside on the cross, kept the ball alive with Jason Knight on hand at the back post to head home bravely for his first senior goal.
The dynamic of the game changed just six minutes later when last season’s Charlton loanee Krystian Bielik caught Conor Gallagher with a late, studs-up challenge. Referee Jeremy Simpson had no option but to give the Polish international his marching orders.
Gallagher, clearly highlighted as a Charlton dangerman, received some tough treatment throughout with Andre Wisdom’s first half tackle on the 19-year-old drawing blood.
With the man advantage the Addicks controlled the rest of the half but were unable to force another former Addick, Ben Hamer, into anything too testing. Deji Oshilaja headed straight at goal from an Albie Morgan cross and Bonne headed just over from a Tom Lockyer cross.
Bonne pulled up with what looked like hamstring injury towards the end of the first half and was replaced at half time by Taylor.
The striker immediately made an impact laying off for Gallagher in the second minute of the half but the England U21 international skied his effort.
Doughty then forced a save from Hamer, cutting in on his right foot and curling for the bottom-corner but the Rams’ stopper got down easily to deny the Addicks’ academy graduate.
At the other end Jack Marriott could, and maybe should, have doubled Derby’s lead when he went through on goal from a straight ball from the back but the striker’s chip over Phillips went well wide of the goal.
Morgan was next to have a sight at goal but snatched an effort on the volley wide from the edge of the area.
As the half continued the home side managed to take the sting out of the game. Bowyer looked to mix things up, bringing academy graduates Ben Dempsey and Josh Davison off his largely depleted bench.
The Addicks' fate was settled in the 77th minute when an unmarked Knight was on hand to sweep home at the back-post to put Derby 2-0 up.
Taylor pulled a goal back from the spot with seven minutes to go when Gallagher was bundled over the box. The Montserrat stepped up confidently and dispatched his penalty in typical calm fashion.
The Addicks in the dying minutes of normal time threatened again. Debutant Dempsey swept an effort at goal which Hamer got down very well to push clear and then just got up in time to deny Taylor but despite some further penalty box scrambles Charlton weren't able to find an equaliser.
Derby County: Hamer, Wisdom, Bielik, Waghorn (Fosyth 95), Marriott (Whittaker 90 +2), Clarke, Holmes, Lowe, Davies (C), Knight, Bird
Subs (not used): Roos, Dowell, Martin, Sibley, Malone
Goals: Knight 10, 77
Booked: Holmes 88 (dissent)
Sent-off: Bielik 16 (foul on Gallagher),
Charlton: Phillips; Lockyer, Pratley (C), Sarr (Davison 69); Solly, Gallagher, Oshilaja (Dempsey 69), Morgan, Purrington; Doughty, Bonne (Taylor 46)
Subs (not used): Maynard-Brewer, Matthews, Pearce, Ledley
Goal: Taylor 83 (pen)
Booked: Sarr 39 (handball), Gallagher 69 (foul on Lowe), Solly 80 (foul on Knight), Pratley 81 (dissent), Dempsey 90 (foul on Knight)
Referee: J Simpson