Two goals from Lyle Taylor and one for George Lapslie helped Charlton to a 3-1 win at The Valley to secure a crucial three points.
The victory sees the Addicks move nine points ahead of Luton Town and just eight points away from Lee Bowyer’s 47-point target.
Lapslie, a 55th minute substitute, made a real difference after coming on in his first game back after a long spell on the sidelines. Taylor too was outstanding throughout, netting his 10th and 11th goals of the season.
Bowyer made three changes from the side that played Blackburn Rovers the previous weekend with Deji Oshilaja, Erhun Oztumer and Andre Green replacing Jason Pearce, Aiden McGeady and Tomer Hemed. It also meant a change of shape with Oshilaja playing as holding midfielder in a 4-diamond-2 formation.
It was a frantic start with both sides knowing the importance of the game to their respective relegation fights.
Charlton had the first sight of goal when a short corner came back to Oztumer whose in-swinging cross from the right landed on Naby Sarr’s hip. The defender’s second touch was a powerful right-footed shot that bounced back off the crossbar.
The Hatters best chance of the opening exchanges came when Luke Berry shifted nicely onto his left foot on the edge of the area but Tom Lockyer recovered in time to deflect his shot behind for a corner.
Alfie Doughty then saw a fizzing shot from just inside the box tipped over by Simon Sluga in the Charlton goal.
The Addicks took the lead in the 34th minute and it was some goal. Luton looked to have kept out a Charlton short corner but David Davis found Lyle Tyler on the edge of the area who controlled improbably before driving a shot on the half-turn across Sluga into the bottom corner for his 10th goal of the season.
The visitors struck back immediately when a poor Charlton clearance fell into the path of Harry Cornick who made no mistake with a calm, first-time finish and the two sides went in level at half time.
Charlton had a brilliant chance to start the second half, Oztumer, a magician throughout, played a clever ball to Taylor on the left wing. The striker’s cross was Kevin de Bruyne-like but Green, sliding in at the back post, was unable to hit the target with his effort.
Luton had a 51st minute goal ruled out for offside when James Collins tapped in at the back post from a Cornick cross.
Green then cutback for Oztumer but the attacking midfielder’s first time shot blazed over.
Charlton took the second lead of the game and again it was from a short corner that looked to have broken down. The ball was rolled into the path of substitute George Lapslie just outside the penalty area and his smashed effort with his weaker left foot crashed into the out-stretched arm of Collins. Referee Andre Marriner pointed to the spot and Taylor made no mistake with his trademark slow run-up, sending Sluga the wrong way.
Chances for Josh Cullen and Tom Lockyer came and went for the Addicks while Dillon Phillips did well to tip over from George Moncur.
Charlton secured the win with a wonderfully worked goal that saw George Lapslie tap in from a pulled back cross from fellow substitute Macauley Bonne.
Charlton: Phillips; Matthews, Lockyer, Sarr, Doughty; Oshilaja (Lapslie 55), Davis, Cullen, Oztumer (Bonne 78); Taylor (C), Green (Pearce 88)
Subs (not used): Amos, Pearce, Smith, McGeady, Hemed
Goals: Taylor 34, 61 pen, Lapslie 88
Booked: Oshilaja (44, foul on Berry), Taylor (76, timewasting)
Luton Town: Sluga, Potts, Tunnicliffe, Pearson, Berry, Cornick (Moncur 70), Rea (McManaman 70), Mpanzu, Carter-Vickers, Collins (C), Bree (Bolton 82)
Goal: Cornick 36
Booked: Tunnicliffe (26, foul on Oshilaja), Rea (67, dissent), Pearson (84, foul on Cullen)
Subs (not used): Stech, Cranie, Hylton, Shinnie
Referee: A Marriner
Attendance: 18,969 (2,785 from Luton)