George Jones reports from The Valley
Charlton suffered defeat in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night, losing 2-0 against Crawley Town at The Valley.
Adi Yussuf and James Collins scored either side of half time for the visitors to earn them the points in Southern Group E.
The Addicks rallied late on and missed the chance to set up a tense finale when Lee Novak had a late penalty saved by Mitchell Beeney.
The news team-wise was that Morgan Fox made his 100th appearance for the club. The academy graduate made his Addicks bow back in 2013 and has been a near ever present over the last year and a half.
Elsewhere, Manager Russell Slade made six changes to the side that started against Rochdale on Saturday.
Fox was accompanied at the back by a new-look defence of Harry Lennon, Roger Johnson and Ezri Konsa.
Andrew Crofts skippered the side from the base of midfield and he was supported by Fredrik Ulvestad, Ricky Holmes and Adam Chicksen.
Novak – earning his second start in three days – and Nicky Ajose, led the line.
The game’s opening chance arrived on 13 minutes, and it fell the way of the hosts. Holmes broke clear of the visitors’ midfield and fired a strike just over the bar.
Moments later, Konsa whipped in a pacey cross that was turned behind for a corner and, from the set-piece that followed, Crofts drilled a couple of yards wide with a well-struck volley.
Charlton were on top and a powerful header from Johnson flew over the Crawley bar on the 25-minute mark.
At the other end, some good determination from Jason Banton saw him reach the byline, but no-one in the middle was able to connect with his cut-back.
Johnson came close to getting his head on another inviting Holmes cross with 32 minutes played and, two minutes later, Novak nodded wide from a Chicksen delivery.
A neat, Cruyff turn from Crofts bought him some space inside the box soon afterwards. He picked out Ajose in the middle but the frontman could only volley over the bar.
Crawley took the lead a minute before the break. Yussuf barged an off-balance Fox off the ball inside the box and he managed to squeeze his strike between Dillon Phillips and the post.
The visitors quickly grabbed a second goal five minutes after the restart. Bobson Bawling escaped down the right and sent in a low cross that substitute Collins scuffed up into the air, with his strike looping over the goal-line, having deceived Phillips.
The goalkeeper clawed the ball away before it hit the net and replays suggested that it may not have crossed the line, but the goal was given.
Crofts had a shot deflected wide by teammate Ajose, as the Addicks looked to provide a quick response, and the latter then fired a free-kick into the Crawley wall.
Slade introduced Joe Aribo for his Charlton debut on 62 minutes but it was Crawley that were next to go close when Jimmy Smith sent a volley over the crossbar.
Ajose shot wide of the target for Charlton 20 minutes from time and a vital block from Chris Arthur then denied Karlan Ahearne-Grant inside the box, before a curling drive from Ajose was kept out by Crawley stopper Beeney.
Ahearne-Grant sent a free-kick wide of goal and, as Charlton continued to look for a route back into the game, Novak had a strike deflected just wide.
The Addicks spurned a great chance to give themselves a lifeline on 86 minutes. Referee James Linington pointed to the penalty spot after Ulvestad was fouled at a Holmes corner.
Novak stepped up for the kick but Beeney dived the right way to make the save. It summed up a frustrating night for the hosts as the visiting ran out victors.
Charlton: Phillips, Konsa, Johnson, Lennon, Fox (Ahearne-Grant 62), Crofts (c) (Aribo 62), Ulvestad, Chicksen, Holmes, Novak, Ajose (Hanlan 81).
Subs (not used): Rudd, Pearce, Barnes, Dijksteel.
Crawley Town: Beeney, Young (c), Arthur, Davey, Connolly (Papoe 82), Banton, Bawling, Clifford, Tajbkahsh, Yussuf (Collin 48), Djalo (Smith 46).
Subs (not used): Mersin, Boldewijn, Blackman.
Goals: Yussuf 44, Collins 50
Attendance: 1,186 (182 from Crawley).
Referee: J Linington.