Southend United was unable to back up their win over Bristol Rovers last weekend as Krystian Bielik’s late header secured a 2-1 win for Charlton with Blues finishing the game with nine men.
The game didn't come alive until the second-half when Lyle Taylor got on the end of a fizzing low ball from Karlan Grant to tap home from close range and open the scoring.
The Addicks’ lead though lasted no longer than three minutes as Southend equalised when Ben Coker’s strike went through the hands of Dillon Phillips and was tapped in by Theo Robinson.
With both sides going for the victory, the visitors snatched the three points at the death as Bielik nipped in to flick his near-post header past Mark Oxley and win it for Charlton.
The timing of the goal meant that Blues had little time to respond and were unable to grab an equaliser with the game ending in a fracas between both sets of players.
In injury time a confrontation in the corner resulted in Oxley and Michael Kightly being shown straight red cards while Tariqe Fosu was also sent off to make it a chaotic end to proceedings.
The defeat meant Southend have yet to record successive victories this season, with wins over Bradford and Bristol Rovers being followed by defeats against Luton and now Charlton.
Following last weekend’s win at the Memorial Stadium, Chris Powell named an unchanged line-up to take on his former club and Blues had an early opportunity when Stephen McLaughlin’s free-kick beat the wall but was unable to get past the sea of bodies in the Addicks’ penalty area.
Charlton was without a win in their last four outings, but they themselves created a couple of early chances with Jason Pearce heading wide before Lyle Taylor’s first-time strike was blocked, leaving John White to hurriedly clear to prevent the striker having a second bite of the cherry.
The visitors were growing into the game as the clock ticked on and midway through the half they had a penalty shout turned down by referee Brett Huxtable after Lewis Page went down under pressure from McLaughlin.
Southend was struggling to create any clear openings, but they had their best chance of the half around the half-hour mark when Tom Hopper cut back was perfectly weighted for the run of Jason Demetriou, but the makeshift midfielder’s curling effort went just wide.
Lee Bowyer’s side would end the half looking the most likely to break the deadlock, but they weren’t able to trouble Mark Oxley. A Patrick Bauer header lacked the power to beat Southend’s number one before Nicky Ajose’s volley was flashed well wide.
Blues began the second half brightly and almost broke through the Addicks’ defensive line when Hopper tried teeing up Theo Robinson, but the striker was hustled out of the ball by the stubborn defending of Page.
But Charlton put the lights out on Southend’s good start to the second-half by opening the lead just before the hour mark through Taylor. Grant did brilliantly to muscle Michael Turner off the ball before firing a low ball into the feet of the former AFC Wimbledon man the tap home.
Taylor’s simple finish was his third goal of the season and Charlton’s first goal in three games, but the lead didn’t last long as Southend equalised almost immediately with Robinson getting the vital touch needed to put Blues back on level terms.
Ben Coker found space on the left to have a strike on goal with the full-back’s effort squirming through the hands of Dillon Phillips and towards goal leaving Robinson to slide in and ensure the ball crossed the line.
Following the two goals in quick succession, the pace of the game quickened and Powell showed his hand by making three changes, bringing on Simon Cox, Shawn McCouslky and Harry Bunn with Bunn making his first appearance since signing from Bury on loan.
But with it looking like both sides would end with a point, the visitors would go on to nick the victory after Charlton won themselves a corner. The ball was swung into the near post and found the head of Krystian Bielik who flicked the ball in to put the Addicks back in front.
After the fourth official indicated five additional minutes at the end of the game, the match ended with a huge flair up between both sets of players which saw three players sent off after an altercation in the corner.
Charlton’s Tariqe Fosu was shown a straight red along with Southend’s Michael Kightly and captain Mark Oxley meaning Blues ended the game with nine men and with Ben Coker in goal as the full-time whistle eventually blew.
Blues XI: Oxley (C), Bwomono, Coker, Turner, Kightly, Hopper (McCoulsky 75’), McLaughlin (Bunn 68’), Mantom, Demetriou, Robinson (Cox 75’), White. Subs Not Used: Bishop, Klass, Kyprianou, Hendrie
Charlton Athletic XI: Phillips, Page, Bielik, Bauer (Fosu 55’), Pearce, Taylor, Pratley (Lapslie 72’), Grant, Solly (C), Cullen, Ajose (Vetokele 85’). Subs Not Used: Steer, Dijksteel, Sarr, Hackett-Fairchild
Referee: Brett Huxtable
Assistants: Andrew Williams & Leigh Crowhurst
Fourth Official: Michael George
Southend United: Theo Robinson 60’
Charlton Athletic: Lyle Taylor 57’, Krystian Bielik 87'
Southend United: Jason Demetriou 63’
Charlton Athletic: Jason Pearce 25’, Darren Pratley 45+2’, Tariqe Fosu 80’, George Lapslie 90+6’
Southend United: Michael Kightly 90+4’, Mark Oxley 90+5’
Charlton Athletic: Tariqe Fosu 90+4’
Attendance: 7,923 (1537 Away)