It was a night to forget at The Pirelli Stadium for the Addicks whose eight-game unbeaten streak came to an end against Burton Albion.
Despite a first Charlton goal from Paul Smyth and a wondergoal from Chuks Aneke, the Addicks fell to a 4-2 loss and can have few complaints about the outcome.
Alex Gilbey returned for Charlton as one of two changes Lee Bowyer made, with the Addicks starting in a traditional 4-4-2 formation.
The home side started the better with Burton’s Joe Powell forcing the first save of the game, shooting straight at Ben Amos from just outside the area, the Charlton keeper gathered comfortably.
The Millers took a ninth minute lead when Lucas Akins capitalized on a loose Charlton pass to go through one-on-one with Ben Amos, the onrushing stopper denied him well but the ball ran loose and Akins was able to get to the ball first to push into an open net.
Burton’s Kieran O’Hara made an excellent save to keep out a deflected Omar Bogle shot after the striker got on the end of a clever Ian Maatsen cross minutes later.
The Burton pressure though continued and Bowyer reacted by bringing on Aneke in the 34th minute with Bogle making way.
Ryan Edwards nearly made it 2-0 on 38 minutes when he headed over from close range. From the resulting goal kick the Addicks were 2-0 down and only had themselves to blame. High Burton pressure resulted in a turnover which allowed Powell to go through one-on-one with Amos. The midfielder confidently dinked the ball over the onrushing Amos from just inside the penalty area.
This time the Addicks responded immediately, Marcus Maddison’s shot from outside the area was palmed behind for a corner. Andrew Shinnie’s ball bounced around before Paul Smyth’s header was blocked on the line. The striker reacted quickest to smash home a volley from two yards out.
Burton went two goals clear again in the 53rd minute when Charlton struggled to deal with a corner and despite an excellent first save from Amos, Sam Hughes was on hand to sweep in from close range.
Bowyer introduced Conor Washington and Albie Morgan in the 58th minute and the pair nearly made an immediate impact. Morgan’s lovely ball in behind the defence played in Aneke on the right wing. His well-struck cross across the face of goal was going to be tapped in by Washington but O’Hara got a foot to it. The ball rebounded to Gilbey, who header from five yards out was cleared off the line.
Charlton got a goal back and it was the three substitutes involved. Washington got in behind the Burton defence but his shot was blocked by O’Hara. The Northern Ireland international retrieved the ball and fed Morgan whose first time cross was expertly controlled by Aneke on his chest with his back to goal. What followed was a piece of magic from the Addicks’ striker – his acrobatic, volley from near the penalty spot nestled in the back of the net to give Charlton hope.
The Charlton pressure intensified and Washington saw a shot on the turn go just the wrong side of the post.
The Millers’ two-goal lead was restored with 16 minutes remaining when Charles Vernham had a first shot blocked but pounced on the rebound.
Charlton's night was maybe summed up when they were unfortunate not to pull a goal back with three minutes remaining when Washington's shot appeared to hit his Aneke on the goalline when destined for goal.
Burton Albion: O’Hara, Brayford (C), Daniel, Edwards, Bostwick, Quinn, Powell (Fox 89), Akins, Vernam (Gallacher 84), Gillingan, Hughes
Subs (not used): Garratt, Wallace, Lawless, O’Toole, Ennis
Goals: Akins 9, Powell 39, Hughes 53, Vernham 76
Booked: Akins 64 (kicking the ball away)
Charlton: Amos; Matthews, Gunter, Pratley (C), Maatsen; Watson, Gilbey (Williams 75), Shinnie, Maddison (Washington 58); Smyth (Morgan 58), Bogle (Aneke 34)
Subs (not used): Maynard-Brewer, Pearce, Oshilaja
Goals: Smyth 42, Aneke 67
Booked: Gunter 30 (booked), Watson 65 (foul on Vernham), Maatsen 80 (foul on Edwards), Aneke 81 (foul on Vernham)
Referee: O Yates
Attendance: 0 (Behind-closed-doors)