Charlton made it back-to-back wins in League One with a 2-1 win against high-flying Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon.
The Addicks took the lead through Josh Scowen’s own goal after Ryan Inniss’ header, before Alex Gilbey’s maiden Charlton goal put the Addicks in control.
Sunderland pulled a goal back with 13 minutes remaining courtesy of Scowen, but Nigel Adkins’ men held on to secure a priceless three points.
Nigel Adkins named an unchanged side from the Good Friday victory at Doncaster Rovers as the Addicks again lined up in a 4-3-3 formation.
The Black Cats administered the first opening on Wearside as Charlie Wyke spurned a gilt-edged chance, volleying just wide of Ben Amos’ right upright after being found by Aiden McGeady.
Sunderland’s top scorer was involved again soon after, capitalising on Darren Pratley ceding possession to bear down on the Charlton goal, but, fortunately for the Addicks, Wyke’s chipped effort was superbly saved by the outstretched right hand of birthday boy Amos.
Just a minute later, Jake Forster-Caskey’s inswinging free-kick glanced off the head of Luke O’Nien, under pressure from Jayden Stockley, before striking the post and being scrambled behind for a Charlton corner.
McGeady continued to be the catalyst for Sunderland, this time delivering an inch-perfect cross for his countryman Aiden O’Brien, who was superbly denied by Amos from point-blank range, although Anthony Backhouse had blown his whistle for an infringement.
Charlton’s continued threat from set pieces paid dividends on 31 minutes, albeit fortuitously, when Forster-Caskey’s delivery was met by Ryan Inniss. The towering defender’s header was parried by Lee Burge, but Scowen’s attempted clearance was sliced into the roof of the net to gift the south Londoners the advantage.
Sunderland’s response was immediate, again courtesy of McGeady, but, again, Amos saved well to deny the former Addick.
Proceedings picked up as they had left off with play alternating between the boxes, before Stockley hit the woodwork from close range on 59 minutes with the goal at his beckoning after tricky feet from Diallang Jaiyesimi.
The Preston North End loanee had little time to rue his mistake, latching onto a throw in moments later to flick on for Gilbey, who cooly finished through the legs of Burge to double the Addicks’ lead.
A quartet of Sunderland substitutions either side of Charlton’s second signalled Lee Johnson’s intent to up the ante, as Adkins prepared for a Sunderland onslaught by replacing Jaiyesimi with Chris Gunter.
Scowen then atoned for his first half error, halving the deficit for the Black Cats on 77 minutes. Amos rebuffed the hosts twice, firstly repelling Wyke and then Ross Stewart, though the rebound fell to Scowen, who headed home from the edge of the box with the Addicks goal unattended.
Charlton were able to survive Sunderland’s late surge, however, to extend their unbeaten run to eight games and keep pace with the play-offs, now just two points behind fourth-placed Blackpool, who have a game in hand.
Sunderland: Burge; Power (C), Sanderson, O’Nien, McFadzean (Hume 62); Gooch (Stewart 62), Scowen, Winchester (McLaughlin 60), McGeady; Wyke, O’Brien (Jones 60)
Subs (not used): Matthews, Leadbitter, Diamond
Goal: Scowen 77
Charlton: Amos; Matthews, Inniss, Pearce (C), Purrington; Gilbey, Pratley, Forster-Caskey; Maatsen (Millar 66), Stockley, Jaiyesimi (Gunter 72)
Subs (not used): Maynard-Brewer, Oshilaja, Watson, Shinnie, Schwartz
Goals: Scowen 31 (og), Gilbey 61
Booked: Forster-Caskey 50 (preventing a quick throw), Gilbey 57 (dissent)
Referee: A Backhouse
Attendance: 0 (behind closed doors)
(Report by James Waller)