Caretaker Manager Johnnie Jackson secured three points on his managerial debut as his Charlton side came from two goals behind against Bristol Rovers.
An action-packed first half saw the Addicks fight from two goals down to go into the break on level terms. A penalty from Luke Leahy was added to by an Ed Upson strike to leave Charlton up against it.
Jackson brought both Andrew Shinnie and Jake Forster-Caskey back to the starting line-up and was rewarded as both the midfielder’s found the back of the net. A minute after Bristol Rovers doubled their lead, Shinnie gave the Addicks a lifeline with a fantastic strike before Forster-Caskey pulled Charlton back level from a free-kick on the verge of half time.
The Addicks completed an inspired comeback in the second half with just five minutes to go, Conor Washington chasing down an Aneke header to play a one-two off the visitor’s post and finish from close range.
The opening quarter was a cagy affair, with no real chances until the opening goal, which saw the Gas take the lead.
The visitors were awarded penalty on the 18th minute as Ian Maatsen tripped Jonah Ayunga in the area. Bristol Rovers captain Leahy stepped up from the resulting spot kick to send Ben Amos the wrong way and slide the ball into the left-hand side of the goal.
Rovers nearly doubled their lead five minutes later as Ayunga tried an audacious off-balance chip from the wide right area of the pitch. Fortunately for the Addicks, the ball just bounced in front of the goal line before bouncing wide.
Another chance fell to the visitors on 25 minutes, but this time Amos denied Sam Nicholson. Brandon Hanlan did well to hold the ball up just inside of the Charlton box before sliding in midfielder Nicholson, whose low drilled shot was saved by the feet of Amos.
Rovers doubled their lead after half an hour, a long-range strike by Upson. The visitors launched a counter attack and the ball fell to the midfielder’s feet 30 yards from goal, his strike beat a wrong-footed Amos to give Bristol Rovers their second.However, the Addicks weren’t down by two for too long as the hosts halved the deficit just moments later. A headed clearance from a Washington cross was chested down by Shinnie on the edge of the area. The midfielder took a touch onto his left foot and hit a sweet strike into the bottom right-hand corner and past a helpless Joe Day.
Charlton were level on the stroke of half-time, through a Forster-Caskey free-kick. Jayden Stockley was brought down jumping for a header, resulting in Bobby Madeley awarding the Addick’s a freekick right on the edge of the Rovers box. Forster-Caskey stepped up to deliver a curling left footed strike over the wall and into the back of the net.
With an hour gone Charlton had their first shot on target of the half. A bright passage of play down the left saw Maatsen dribble out of his own half before combining with Liam Millar to feed Washington, who took a touch onto his right foot in the penalty area before his shot was smothered by Day.
The Addick’s kept pushing for a winner in the second half and were forcing the visitors into longshots.
Washington had a penalty appeal waved off as he pounced on a lose ball in the opposition box to challenge Bristol Rovers keeper Day for a 50/50. The goalkeeper appeared to make contact, but it was unclear whether he touched the ball first and referee Madely waved away the Charlton protests.
A chance fell to Charlton from a corner with 15 minutes left to play as Shinnie found Jason Pearce’s head, but Rovers cleared their lines. Then, moments later, a Shinnie cross found substitute Chuks Aneke at the far post, with the striker attempting an acrobatic effort that sailed over the crossbar.
Finally, the Addicks completed the comeback on 84 minutes and it was Washington with his fourth in three games. A looping ball over the top of the defence was charged down by Aneke, whose powerful header forward was met by Washington. The striker got a foot to the ball just inside the box to pass it around the onrushing goalkeeper and onto the post before chasing down the rebound to put into an open net from a yard out.
There was late drama as goalkeeper Day collided with Aneke outside of the box in added time to prevent a goalscoring opportunity and referee Madeley had no choice but to issues a red card to Rovers number 13.
The victory sees Charlton move into the play-off spots, but the surrounding teams have games in hand on the Addicks.
Charlton: Amos, Gunter, Pearce, Famewo, Maatsen, Forster-Caskey, Shinnie (Pratler 90+3), Morgan, Millar (Jaiyesimi 60’), Stockley (Aneke 63’), Washington.
Subs (not used): Maynard-Brewer, Oshilaja, Watson, Schwartz.
Goals: Shinnie 33, Forster-Caskey 43, Washington 84
Booked: Shinnie 73’ (foul), Morgan 87’ (foul)
Bristol Rovers: Day, Williams, Kilgour, Baldwin, Leahy, Westbrooke (Little 80’), Upson (van Stappershoef 90+3), McCormick, Nicholson (Hargreaves 65’), Ayunga, Hanlan (Daly 80’).
Subs (not used): Ehmer, Walker, Martinez.
Goals: Leahy 18 (pen), Upson 32
Booked: Upson 48’ (foul),
Sent off: Day 90+2’ (foul on Aneke)