Charlton’s long wait for a victory stretched to 12 games after a late Rotherham United equaliser denied Guy Luzon three points in his first game in charge at The Valley on Saturday.
When Jordan Cousins had put the Addicks 1-0 up with seven minutes remaining, it looked as though that winning feeling may just have been returning to SE7.
But substitute Danny Ward’s injury-time strike put a dent in the hosts’ hopes, rounding up what was, in truth, a somewhat dreary afternoon of football.
There was just one change to the side which earned a hard-fought point with Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend, with Rhoys Wiggins returning to the starting XI in place of Morgan Fox who dropped to the bench.
Meanwhile, there were Valley debuts for Marko Dmitrović in goal and Milos Veljković in the heart of midfield, while new arrival Christophe Lepoint took his place on the bench.
The visitors arrived at The Valley in high confidence having earned a convincing 4-2 victory over Bolton Wanderers in midweek, and Steve Evans’ side started on the front foot, coming inches away from taking a seventh-minute lead when Ben Pringle supplied a dangerous cross which was met by Conor Newton’s head.
The ball looped over Dmitrović before bouncing back off the left-hand upright and it was a real let-off for the Addicks who were struggling to find their feet against the Millers in the opening exchanges.
With 12 minutes gone, however, the hosts made their first inroads in the final third, earning a corner when Callum Harriott’s cross was deflected narrowly over the crossbar from which Vetokele struck just over following a training ground routine from the edge of the box.
Moments later, it was the home side’s turn to rattle the woodwork when Johann Berg Gudmundsson chipped a delightful effort over the helpless Adam Collin from a tight angle, only to come back off the inside of the post in agonising fashion, while Harriott saw a speculative effort from range spin wide on the half-hour mark.
It may have taken a while to get into their stride, but it was much better from Charlton who were finally looking more comfortable in possession after the initial shaky start.
After 38 minutes the Addicks very nearly capitalised from another corner; this time through the unlikely source of an acrobatic André Bikey-Amougou effort.
The big Cameroonian brought the ball down with his chest before adjusting to send a powerful scissor-kick sailing towards goal.
But while Collin looked beaten, it dipped over the bar to deny the defender what would have been a special goal as the sides retreated for the break on level terms.
There was an early half-chance in the second period when Jordan Cousins had two bites of the cherry in a crowded box.
Wiggins found the academy graduate with a pass from the left wing but could not find the space to fire off an initial effort before seeing his follow up well blocked by the Millers’ defence.
Then, with 57 minutes on the clock, Veljković found space to eye up a low effort from 25 yards which whistled just past the post as the Addicks began to get on top before Gudmundsson’s first-time strike took a wicked deflection to spin narrowly wide.
With 28 minutes left, Tony Watt received the call from the bench in place of Vetokele as the hosts kept plugging away in search of that all-important breakthrough.
At the other end, meanwhile, Rotherham looked to have been extremely hard done by when Bikey appeared to handle the ball in the box.
But despite the visitors surrounding the referee in protest, nothing was given as Charlton received anther let-off.
The Addicks had a good shout of their own when Watt showed great feet in the box to beat his man before being chopped down, while Yoni Buyens’ shot looked to have cannoned off an arm immediately after.
Once again, the referee played on as the action switched from end-to-end.
The Millers thought they had taken the lead when Matt Derbyshire took advantage of the hosts’ failure to clear Ben Pringle’s cross, but the Valley faithful were hugely relieved to see the flag had gone up as nerves began to jangle.
Rotherham were enjoying their best spell of the game, but just as it looked like they would get the upper hand, it was the Addicks who took the lead with just seven minutes left.
Charlton got the luck of the bounce as Lepoint held up the ball to allow Cousins to calmly stroke the ball calmly past Collin to send The Valley into raptures.
Luzon’s men were heading for their first victory in SE7 since October. Rotherham, however, had very different ideas.
Danny Ward’s header drew an outstanding save from Dmitrović, while Adam Hammill swerved a good-looking effort past the post as Evans’ side piled on the pressure which would, unfortunately, give way a minute into injury time.
Hammill was the provider, launching the ball into the box where the unmarked Danny Ward was waiting to prod the ball home and deny the Addicks what would have been a much-needed, and long-awaited three points.
Charlton: Dmitrović, Solly, Wiggins, Ben Haim, Bikey-Amougou, Gudmundsson, Veljković (Lepoint 80), Buyens, Cousins; Harriott (Gomez 89), Vetokele (Watt 62).
Subs (not used): Etheridge, Wilson, Onyewu, Fox.
Goal: Cousins 83
Rotherham United: Collin; Richardson, Arnason, Morgan, Fryers, Newton (Hunt 60), Smallwood, Green, Pringle (Hammill 80), Derbyshire, Sammon (Ward76).
Subs (not used): Thompson, Wood, Bowery, Barmby.
Goal: Ward 90+1
Referee: S Duncan
Att: 14,447 (783 from Rotherham)