Charlton were denied all three points by a sickening 93rd minute Lukas Jutkiewicz strike after Macauley Bonne had given the Addicks a 58th minute lead at St. Andrew’s.
Lee Bowyer made four changes for the trip to Birmingham. Alfie Doughty replaced Deji Oshilaja at left-back with Jason Pearce, Tom Lockyer, and Adam Matthews completing the back four.
In midfield Sam Field came into the side for Darren Pratley while Jonny Williams replaced Albie Morgan on the left. Josh Cullen joined Field in the centre of the pitch, while Aiden McGeady started on the right flank, with Jonny Williams on the left. Up front, Macauley Bonne was partnered by Tomer Hemed as Chuks Aneke dropped to the bench.
The first chance of the game fell to Scott Hogan, but Lockyer was alert to deny the striker with a last-ditch tackle. Just moments later, Dillon Phillips denied Daniel Crowley from a tight angle as the hosts searched for an early lead. Jeremy Bela then fired wide from the edge of the box as Charlton struggled to assert themselves early on.
The Addicks’ first real attack of the match nearly ended with the ball in the back of the net when Cullen crossed dangerously along the six-yard box, but Williams’ back-post run was a fraction late.
Charlton were looking dangerous from wide areas and Doughty floated a cross towards the back post, just missing Hemed and Bonne in the centre of the box.
After a lengthy spell of Charlton possession, Birmingham had a golden chance to take the lead from the penalty spot in the 34th minute. Cullen’s under-hit back-pass gave the ball to Jutkiewecz and the referee pointed to the spot when Phillips clipped the striker. On his 100th appearance in a Charlton shirt, the academy graduate dove to his right to make a brilliant save from Hogan’s spot-kick before the follow-up was smashed over the bar.
Crowley had the final shot of the first period, firing high and wide from outside the box as the two sides headed into the break on level terms.
Birmingham started the second half on the front foot and Bela fired a warning shot over the bar before Lockyer blocked an effort from Crowley. The Addicks then broke dangerously and McGeady’s shot was blocked after smart play from Hemed on the right flank.
Charlton finally broke the deadlock in the 58th minute after a scintillating passage of play. Williams played a cute through ball to Doughty and the 20-year old’s speed took him past the Birmingham defence, to the byline, before he cut the ball back to Bonne who tapped home for his 10th goal of the season to give his side a priceless lead.
The hosts immediately came back down the other side looking for an equaliser, and Phillips was again called into action to keep Charlton in front. Sunjic hit a low volley through a crowd of bodies, but Phillips, who couldn’t have seen the ball till the last second, reacted late to push the ball to safety.
Charlton were inches from doubling their lead in the 69th minute, with only the woodwork able to deny the Addicks a crucial second. Doughty led a lightning counter-attack and released the ball to McGeady whose first touch took him inside before a curling effort hit the post.
The visitors continued pushing forward and Chuks Aneke, on as a second-half substitute for Tomer Hemed, so nearly provided Bonne with his and Charlton’s second of the game with just over 15 minutes to play. The forward burst into the box past a pair of Birmingham defenders before crossing for Bonne, his effort saved by Lee Camp at point-blank range.
Charlton were denied victory in heartbreaking fashion as Jutkiewecz prodded the ball over the line in the third minute of stoppage time. Phillips was still needed to tip a dipping cross away from the goal as the Addicks were denied three points at St. Andrew’s.
Charlton: Phillips; Matthews, Lockyer, Pearce (c), Doughty (Purrington 77); Field (Pratley 77), Cullen, Williams (Morgan 77), McGeady (Sarr 85); Hemed (Aneke 65), Bonne
Subs (not used): Amos, Oshilaja, Forster-Caskey, Davison
Goal: Bonne 58
Booked: Phillips (34, foul on Hogan)
Birmingham: Camp, Pederson, Roberts, Dean (c), Colin, Sunjic (Kieftenbeld 73), Gardner, Crowley (Boyd-Munce 95), Bela (Bellingham 59), Hogan (Reid 59), Jutkiewicz
Subs (not used): Trueman, Harding, Gordon, Burke, Fernandez
Goal: Jutkiewicz 93’
Booked: Gardner (30, foul on Cullen), Crowley (88, foul on Lockyer)
Referee: David Webb
Attendance: 0 (Behind Closed Doors)
Report by Benjy Nurick