Charlton fell to a 2-1 defeat at Accrington Stanley on Saturday afternoon as first-half goals from Rosaire Longelo and Tommy Leigh cancelled out Jayden Stockley’s early spot-kick.
Sean Clare and Jonathan Leko both returned to Johnnie Jackson’s starting XI at the Wham Stadium as the manager made two changes from last weekend’s stalemate with Sunderland, whilst Conor Washington was named amongst the Addicks’ substitutes following a hamstring injury.
On his return from a three-match suspension, Clare made an immediate impact as he fed Elliot Lee, whose curling effort forced Toby Savin into a superb stop after just two minutes.
At the other end, Korede Adedoyin saw his low drive repelled by Craig MacGillivray before Ross Sykes headed narrowly wide from Sean McConville’s inswinging free-kick.
Sykes soon turned provider, this time rising highest to nod on Leigh’s long throw for Harvey Rodgers, though the defender headed over.
With 18 minutes gone, the Addicks were given a golden chance to take the lead as Liam Coyle was adjudged to have handled the ball by referee Simon Mather.
The resulting spot-kick was duly dispatched by Stockley, who coolly found the bottom right-hand corner to bag his 15th goal of the season in all competitions.
Stanley responded quickly, though. A game of headed pinball caused chaos in the Addicks’ six-yard box, prompting a goalmouth scramble which culminated with Longelo latching onto Rodgers’ flick-on to draw the hosts level.
Buoyed by restoring parity, John Coleman’s side countered to devastating effect just five minutes later. Harry Pell’s hoisted ball forward was nodded on by Colby Bishop for the advancing Leigh, who arrowed a low effort into the bottom corner from the edge of the 18-yard box.
Stanley had a chance to add to that tally 12 minutes into the second period, but a crucial intervention from Chris Gunter saw the Welshman nod Sykes’ effort off the goalline.
Moments later, Jackson upped the ante by introducing Washington as Jason Pearce made way.
The hosts were reduced to 10 men soon after when Leigh saw red after leading with an elbow while contesting an aerial duel.
And Charlton saw penalty appeals waved away by the referee on 70 minutes, despite Michael Nottingham appearing to have handled Jonathan Leko’s driven centre.
The Addicks thought they had a last-gasp leveller as Washington raced onto George Dobson’s pinpoint through ball before lobbing the onrushing Savin, only for the referee to penalise the forward for handball.
Accrington Stanley: Savin; Sykes, Nottingham, Rodgers; Longelo (Amankwah 79), Pell, Coyle (Hamilton 33), Leigh, McConville (c); Adedoyin (Conneely 66), Bishop
Subs (not used): Isherwood, Morgan, Butcher, Lewis
Goals: Longelo 28, Leigh 33
Booked: Coyle 22 (foul on Leko), Pell 38 (off-ball incident), Adedoyin 38 (off-ball incident)
Sent off: Leigh 63 (violent conduct)
Charlton: MacGillivray; Lavelle, Pearce (c) (Washington 58), Gunter (Burstow 86); Clare, Fraser, Dobson, Lee, Purrington (Jaiyesimi 71); Leko, Stockley
Subs (not used): Harvey, Matthews, Morgan, Gilbey
Goal: Stockley 18 (pen)
Booked: Dobson 38 (off-ball incident), Clare 40 (foul on Pell), Washington 90 (dissent)
Referee: Simon Mather
Attendance: 2,543 (424 from Charlton)