Charlton were victims of a cruel, late penalty as unbeaten Peterborough nicked a fortunate 1-0 win at The Valley.
Jason Cummings despatched his 89th minute spot-kick with confidence but the late decision by referee James Linington cost the Addicks a deserved point in a fast-paced game.
The penalty was given when a substitute Marcus Maddison crossed and Ivan Toney dove to try and head the ball at goal, there was contact with Lewis Page but for many in the stadium it looked a harsh decision.
It had been a very impressive second half performance by the injury-hit Addicks and if any team looked likely to score as time ran out it was the home side. The crowd recognised the effort and hard-work that had gone into the performance that saw Charlton more than match the table-toppers and the Addicks players got a standing ovation as they left the pitch despite the result.
Caretaker boss Lee Bowyer made one change from the side that drew 1-1 at Accrington Stanley on Saturday with 18-year-old academy starlet Albie Morgan making his first league start in place of George Lapslie. The youngster acquitted himself with aplomb and got an ovation of his own when he was eventually substituted.
Again Charlton lined-up in a 3-5-2 with Krystian Bielik holding the defence together and distributing well while Karlan Grant and Lyle Taylor continued to show what a threat they can be.
Peterborough were fastest out of the blocks though and had two early chances. First a cleared corner fell to midfielder Mark O’Hara who blazed high and wide when he should have done better. Then Solly cleared a Rhys Bennett header from another corner off the line just before the 20 minute mark.
The away side were in the ascendancy and both Morgan and midfield partner Darren Pratley were booked.
As always with Grant and Taylor in attack Charlton posed a threat on the break and a three-on-three counter attack gave Posh a scare but Grant’s pass was just a bit too heavy for Taylor who still managed to win a corner.
Bowyer was booked by referee Linington on the 35th minute following frustration at the treatment of his players and that stirred the Addicks into action as they controlled the last 10 minutes of the half.
Morgan played in Taylor whose shot across goal was saved by Aaron Chapman. A delicious Bielik ball found Grant and his shot from the edge of the area was blocked behind. From the resulting corner a snapshot from Taylor went just wide and despite some very positive play down the left from Page, the two sides ended the half all square at 0-0.
Bowyer wasn’t the only manager in the book as Posh boss Steve Evans was booked at half-time for his behaviour towards the officials.
The second half began at a frantic end-to-end pace with both sides a danger with their speed going forwards.
Cummings maybe shout have scored when he found himself free in the box following a clever throw-in routine. He was then denied a certain goal by a crucial touch from Sarr after a whipped Dembele cross from the Posh left.
At the other end Grant was still a menace on the last defender’s shoulder, while Joe Aribo had a shot well blocked after a fantastic Solly tackle to win possession.
The best opening of the game fell to Siriki Dembele in the 63rd minute when a Ivan Toney flick put the rapid winger through on goal. Phillips narrowed the angle well and blocked the low effort and Bauer got a crucial toe in to poke behind for a corner.
Shortly afterwards Colin Daniel then did incredibly well from left to create room for himself and powered a fantastic effort just wide from 22 yards out.
Bowyer responded by bringing on Nicky Ajose and the Addicks pressure upped again. With less than 15 minutes remaining James Naismith was forced to put a skilfully driven Taylor cross behind for a corner to stop a backpost Ajose tap-in.
Taylor then had a driven, left-footed shot of his own cleared off the line from the resulting corner as Charlton pushed for a winner.
With five minutes remaining a Posh defender just got to a tantalising Aribo cross from the left before Taylor, doing brilliantly to deflect behind for a corner as Charlton pushed for a winner.
With one minute of normal time remaining Peterborough were given a very generous penalty when Page was judged to have fouled Toney in the box. Cummings stepped up and coolly dispatched the penalty.
The Addicks pressed in stoppage time but with the Posh, with a little bit of gamesmanship, were able to see the game out.
Charlton: Phillips; Bauer, Bielik, Sarr; Solly, Pratley, Morgan (Ajose, 66), Aribo, Page; Grant, Taylor
Substitutes (not used): Steer, Dijksteel, Maloney, Marshall, Lapslie, Hackett-Fairchild
Booked: Morgan (17, foul on Dembele), Pratley (29, foul on O’Hara), Bowyer (32, dissent), Taylor (78, dissent), Page (89, foul on Toney)
Peterborough United: Chapman, Naismith, Daniel, Woodyard (C), Tafazolli, O’Hara, Godden (Toney, 62), Dembele (Cooper, 83), Ward (Maddison, 62), Bennett, Cummings
Substitutes (not used): Tyler, Reed, Cooke, Yorwerth
Goal: Cummings (89, penalty)
Booked: Woodyard (36, foul on Morgan), Evans (h/t, dissent), Maddison, 90, timewasting)
Attendance: 9,762 (745 from Peterborough)
Referee: James Linington