Charlton could not end 2014 on a high as they fell to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of high-flying Ipswich Town at Portman Road on Tuesday evening.
Tommy Smith gave the hosts what was a deserved lead shortly after the half-hour mark before the Addicks emerged from the break with intent.
But despite an impressive start to the second half, a large slice of bad luck saw Daryl Murphy double the lead against the run of play before David McGoldrick struck in injury time to put Charlton on the wrong end of a harsh scoreline in Suffolk.
Bob Peeters threw caution to the wind, starting with a similar lineup to that which finished the Boxing Day draw with Cardiff City.
Oguchi Onyewu was due to come in for Joe Gomez on the left side of a three man defence, but an injury during the warm-up kept the United States of America international out, meaning the academy product would keep his place while Igor Vetokele made a return to the starting XI, joining George Tucudean in attack with Callum Harriott serving the first of his three-match ban.
Chris Solly, meanwhile, was making his 150th league and cup appearance for the club, and started on the right of a midfield five which also included Johnnie Jackson, Yoni Buyens, Jordan Cousins and Johann Berg Gudmundsson.
The Addicks made a quick start, coming at their hosts straight away with Gudmundsson stealing into the right-hand side of the box.
And with Cousins lurking at the back post, he found the 20-year-old with a low cross only for Cousins to send his effort into the side-netting from a tight angle.
That saw Ipswich spring into life as Smith glanced a header wide from a corner before McGoldrick stepped up for a free-kick after a clumsy challenge from André Bikey-Amougou just outside the box.
The in-form striker bent his strike round the wall, but could only watch as it crashed off the right-hand upright much to the relief of the rooted Neil Etheridge.
It was a storm which the Londoners were forced to weather early on as the Tractor Boys enjoyed the lion’s share of possession.
But a good-looking effort from distance courtesy of Gudmundsson at the other end showed that the Addicks still possessed a significant threat in the final third – the wide man’s shot curled narrowly wide of the post from 25 yards.
The home side, however, had the upper hand with McGoldrick turning a shot wide before a vital Solly interception prevented Christophe Berra with a chance at the back post.
But from the resulting corner, Ipswich took the lead in scrappy fashion.
When the ball fell to Murphy on the edge of the six-yard box, he mishit his shot which fell only as far as Smith to plant the ball into the roof of the net from close range.
Although the goal had, in truth, been coming, the Addicks provided a positive response.
A penetrating through-ball on 38 minutes sent Tucudean through on goal, prompting Bartosz Bialkowski to hare out to the edge of the penalty box and block the Romanian’s sliding effort as he tried to get there first.
And with the ball rolling back to Gudmundsson 30 yards out, he tried his luck, sending a lobbed effort towards the unmanned goal, only for a blue shirt to make the block on the line.
Moments later, Charlton were presented with their best chance of the half when Gudmundsson found Solly to send a clever cut back into the box.
Tucudean was on hand 12 yards out to divert his effort towards goal, but the striker leant back just too much as the ball sailed harmlessly over the bar.
It had been much better from the visitors as the half grew to an end, but the last piece of action would go the way of the hosts when McGoldrick, for a second time, hit the woodwork with another free-kick.
On this occasion the forward was some 30 yards from goal, sending a low shot whistling past the wall and striking the base of the left-hand post before bouncing back off of Etheridge and going out for a corner.
Charlton had shown promise in the first 45, but Ipswich’s physicality had just given them the edge over Peeters men, with plenty to play for in the second half.
And just as they did in the first period, the Addicks emerged for the second in promising fashion.
First, a neat bit of skill by Gudmundsson allowed him to turn his man and make space to send a stinging drive just wide before a quick breakaway saw the Londoners attack three on two.
Gudmundsson was involved again, driving forward and putting a ball through to Tucudean, but he could not get the ball under control as Ipswich cleared their lines.
There was another promising foray forward when Gomez broke forward to put a smart ball in behind the Tractor Boys defence, from which Vetokele raced onto the end of, only to be denied by the linesman’s flag as he approached goal with the just Bialkowski to beat.
Charlton continued to threaten and with 56 minutes gone the skipper came inches away when he nodded Tucudean’s floating cross from the right just over the bar as the home crowd grew nervous.
But just as the Addicks were looking likely to equalise, they were hit with a suckerpunch with Ipswich doubling their lead against the run of play.
With a shot drilled back into the box after a corner, it took a wicked deflection to take it into the path of McGoldrick stood on the other side of the defence.
And despite a hint of offside, the striker headed against the bar, only for Murphy to be on hand to knock the ball home for an easy finish.
It was extremely harsh on Charlton who had been going about business in exactly the right way before the Tractor Boys benefitted from their slice of luck.
On 65 minutes, Gudmundson stung the palms of Bialkowski with an angled shot as the visitors tried find a way back into the game, but it had become somewhat clear that that second goal had knocked the stuffing out of Peeters’ men.
The Addicks still showed plenty of fight as they continued to enjoy the better of the half, but just could not make an impact in front of goal with cross after cross coming close, but not having the desired effect in the final third.
And with the game all but over, McGoldrick raced through to take the Ball past Bikey and nestle the ball in the bottom right-hand corner to put an extremely harsh final nail in the Addicks’ coffin.
Charlton: Etheridge; Solly, Gomez, Bikey-Amougou, Ben Haim; Gudmundsson, Buyens, Jackson (Bulot 70), Cousins; Vetokele, Tucudean.
Subs (not used): Pope, Wilson, Fox, Pigott, Ahearne-Grant, Thomas.
Booked: Tucudean 85 (diving), Bikey-Amougou 90+1 (dissent)
Ipswich Town: Bialkowski; Chambers, Smith, Berra, Parr; Skuse, Tabb, Bishop (Bru 84), Anderson , (S Hunt 70), Murphy, McGoldrick (N Hunt 90+4).
Subs (not used): Gerken, Mings, Ambrose, Sammon.
Booked: McGoldrick 52 (foul on Gomez), Smith 82 (foul on Vetokele)
Goal: Smith 31, Murphy 59, McGoldrick 90
Referee: C Kavanagh
Att: 26,157 (1,023 from Charlton)