Nine man Bolton Wanderers let a two goal lead slip at Charlton Athletic with the hosts fighting back to win 3-2.
Marvin Sordell and Medo Kamara gave Wanderers a perfect start in the Capital with Charlton pulling a goal back through Johnnie Jackson in the 25th minute.
Early in the second half, Welsh international Sam Ricketts was dismissed for a second yellow card and the Addicks capitalised on their numerical advantage with two quick fire goals.
Bolton looked for an equaliser goal but couldn’t find a break through and with emotion high substitute Craig Davies was sent off for two bookable offences in stoppage time.
Manager Dougie Freedman made two changes from their last outing at Ipswich Town a fortnight ago.
Holding midfielder Kamara started in place of winger Chris Eagles and England U21 international Sordell, who scored for the Three Lions against Austria U21s on Monday, replaced Craig Davies in attack.
The visitors, lining up with Darren Pratley out wide in a 4-4-2 formation, raced out of the traps in the Capital and created the game’s first attempt inside the opening 90 seconds.
Chung Yong Lee, who has just returned from international duty with South Korea, pulled the trigger with his right foot from the edge of the box only to see his effort fly over.
Bolton sustained their pressure on the Addicks backline and a nice interchanging move from Sordell and David N’gog allowed the latter the space to race through on goal but the Frenchman couldn’t get any power on his shot resulting in a simple collection for Ben Hamer.
The Whites were soon rewarded for their early efforts and opened their account in the fourth minute as youngster Sordell continued his prowess this week in front goal to send the travelling support from the Reebok into raptures.
Collecting the ball 30-yards from goal, Sordell turned away with ease from the Charlton defence, closing in on goal with no Red shirts around, Bolton’s number 19 hit a low strike past the arm of Hamer.
Ten minutes were played until either team had a clear sight on goal and former Bournemouth midfielder Bradley Pritchard thought he levelled matters for Chris Powell’s men but was denied from point blank range by Wanderers goalkeeper Andy Lonergan.
The visitors, playing in their traditional home strip, soon got their grip back on the game and in the 19th minute doubled their lead in emphatic style as Kamara scored his first goal in English football.
The Sierra Leone international sweetly curled the ball from 30-yards past Hamer, clipping the inside of the post after Ngog’s initial attempt was blocked by the Charlton defence.
The Addicks refused to lie down after their early set back and six minutes later pulled one back through skipper Jackson.
Weaving his way through the Bolton defence, the box-to-box midfielder arrowed the ball into the far corner past Lonergan in an entertaining opening period in south London.
Charlton’s spirits were lifted after Jackson’s goal and looked more of a threat in possession but were limited to efforts from the outside the area with White shirts constantly throwing their bodies on the line.
The half time whistle blew on a cold March afternoon in London with Wanderers leading 2-1 at the home of last season’s League One champions.
Former Partizan Belgrade midfielder Kamara had Bolton’s first effort of the second half but was unable to repeat his heroics of the first half hitting an ambitious right footed shot high and wide from 25-yards.
The first change of the afternoon was an unfamiliar one, with one of the two linesmen having to be replaced after sustaining what looked to be a calf injury.
In the 56th minute the Whites were reduced to ten men after Ricketts was handed a second yellow card following a foul on former PNE and Stoke City striker Ricardo Fuller.
Boss Freedman made an immediate change following Ricketts’ dismissal, defender Danny Butterfield introduced for his debut in place of Sordell.
From the resulting free-kick, Charlton hit the post but Wanderers are unable to clear and Dorian Dervite is on hand to fire the rebound home.
Matters soon got worse for the visitors and in the 61st minute Charlton were awarded a penalty when Pratley clipped Fuller with the striker bearing down on goal.
Fuller’s strike partner Kermorgant stepped up and stroked the ball past Lonergan into the far corner to hand Charlton the lead for the first time.
After falling behind, Bolton made their second change of the afternoon, Lee replaced by Craig Davies as they went in search of an equaliser at The Valley.
The ten men of Bolton continued to work tirelessly, however the Addicks were making the extra man count by holding onto possession for long periods.
In Freedman’s final throw of the dice, the boss brought on youngster Samni Odelusi for his first team debut in place of Pratley.
With seven minutes indicated by the fourth official to be added on, Lonergan showed his qualities in goal with a superb save from Kermorgant’s close range header.
Deep into stoppage time, with Bolton applying all the pressure, substitute Craig Davies picked up two yellow cards, one for dissent and one for a late challenge on Michael Morrison as Charlton sealed all three points.