It was a frustrating afternoon at The Valley on Saturday as Charlton’s wasted chances cost them their unbeaten home record after Ipswich Town claimed a late, late victory.
Mick McCarthy’s men arrived in SE7 in good form, but it was the Addicks who looked the far better side throughout and probably should have claimed all three points but for an array of missed opportunities.
And that only made defeat all the more tough to take as an injury-time surge from the Tractor Boys, their best spell of the game, saw Noel Hunt place a low effort past Nick Pope to secure the points and inflict a cruel defeat on Bob Peeters' men.
With Stephen Henderson still struggling with a shoulder injury, Pope continued in between the sticks to face his boyhood club, while Callum Harriott made a starting return in support of Igor Vetokele up top, in place of the injured Yoni Buyens.
The action got under way in front of the cameras in scintillating fashion, with the play to-ing and fro-ing from end to end early on.
Indeed, both sides enjoyed good chances the opening 90 seconds.
First, the visitors came close through Callum Chambers' header which sailed narrowly wide of the post from a corner, before the Addicks opened up the Tractor Boys at the other end.
Igor Vetokele played in Johann Berg Gudmundsson in space to his left, but the Iceland international just lost his footing as his right-footed effort dipped over the bar.
And just when the assembled crowd in SE7 thought they would have time to take a breath, the wide open start continued to entertain as Daryl Murphy let fly from range.
His stinging, low effort moved wickedly on its way to goal, but Pope read it well, getting down to his left to make a solid save.
Meanwhile, with 14 minutes on the clock, the confident-looking Harriott had his own speculative eye on goal when his quick turn and snapshot whistled past the post, before coming much closer moments later when he pounced on Jordan Cousins’ rebound to force Bartosz Bialkowski into a save at his near post.
The academy product was looking dangerous, with most of the play coming through him, peppering the Ipswich goal with shots as Charlton got on top.
Another effort came as he cut in from the left to fire a good-looking, right-footer from the angle which bent the wrong side of the post, but the Addicks had to stay vigilant with the threat of Murphy in the blue of Ipswich.
The striker has been in top form this season and he tested Pope again with another awkward effort which he did well to palm away.
Peeters’ side, however, continued to look dangerous and carved the Tractor Boys’ defence open again in the 34th minute to send Francis Coquelin through on goal.
The Arsenal loanee had been impressing throughout with his defensive work and range of passing in midfield, but could not get the better of Bialkowski who raced out to smother the Frenchman’s shot.
At the other end, a well-worked free-kick very nearly caught out the hosts as Cole Skuse laid off David McGoldrick on the edge of the box, who curled low past the right-hand upright.
Charlton, meanwhile, were looking the more likely and very nearly took what would have been a deserved lead before the break via the unlikely source of Chris Solly’s left boot.
The right-back got into a good position inside the box to latch onto Harriott’s through ball and draw yet another good save from Bialkowski.
There was, though, still time for the visitors to give the Addicks a scare before the referee called for half-time with McGoldrick’s header down heading for the bottom left-hand corner, only for Pope to claw it away.
Into the second-half, and it was Ipswich who fired the next warning shot after a mazey Tyrone Mings run.
The full-back stormed forward before dancing across the face of the box and firing a vicious shot which, although it headed wide, was not far off.
The Tractor Boys may have made the better start to the second 45, but the Addicks slowly regained their footing, displaying some fine passing passages of play along the way.
Some neat interchanges between Coquelin and Gudmundsson resulted in a floated ball over the top which only just evaded the advancing Vetokele due to a heavy bounce, while the Angola international was inches away from a clean route to goal moments later when Harriott’s clever through-ball missed him.
Just as they did in the first-half, however, Ipswich were on hand to remind Charlton of their threat in attack and, in particular, Murphy, who shaped up to curl a deflected effort wide before a fantastic chance opened up for the hosts.
A swift counter attack saw Harriott surge forwards to play in Gudmundsson in acres of space.
He should have taken on the shot with his right, but instead opted to switch to his left by which time it was too late. The blue shirts descended en masse to snuff out the danger as they cleared their lines to prepare for the Addicks’ next attack which was coming with haste.
This time, Vetokele did well to beat his man and square the ball to Harriott unmarked in the centre of the box.
The youngster was in prime position to stroke the ball home, but his timing was off as it rolled on past.
Gudmundsson was getting in all kinds of good positions but was not able to capitalise from them as frustration set in that Charlton were missing some good chances.
The winger did all the hard work as he made his way across the Town defence, and with Vetokele making movement through the middle he may have been the best option, but instead opted to take a shot which flew well over the bar.
Another chance saw Vetokele break free into the box, but again, his touch was off as Ipswich recovered well.
The game was there for the taking and there could be no arguments; the Addicks would be deservedly in front if it were not for a host of missed chances.
André Bikey-Amougou was called into action a minute from time to prevent what would, in truth, have been an underserved Ipswich winner when substitute Conor Sammon was clean through on goal.
Just as the forward was about to pull the trigger, the big Cameroonian slid in to make a vital tackle which ultimately mattered not, because the kicker was still to come in the final minute of time added on.
When Morgan Fox could only half clear a ball over the top, it fell as far as McGoldrick to square to Hunt who drilled the killer blow into the bottom left corner.
It was a goal which not only broke Charlton’s hearts, but their unbeaten record at home.
And although the Valley faithful left with head in hands and a bemusement at just how they lost this game, there was one simple lesson learnt which will surely leave them haunted.
For all the chances in the world, it counts for nothing unless you take them.
Charlton: Pope, Solly, Fox, Bikey, Ben Haim, Gudmundsson (Bulot 90+2), Cousins, Coquelin, Jackson (Wilson 76), Vetokele.
Subs: Etheridge, Gomez, Onyewu, Tucudean (Harriott 86), Ahearne-Grant.
Ipswich Town: Bialkowski; Parr, Mings, Chambers, Smith, Skuse, Murphy, McGoldrick, Anderson (N Hunt 83), Tabb, S Hunt (Sammon 76).
Subs (not used): Gerken, Henshall, St Ledger, Clarke, Bajner.
Goal: N Hunt 90+5
Referee: D Bond
Att: 16,613 (2,520 from Ipswich)