An Aaron Morley masterpiece and another Dion Charles’ goal under-pinned a top-notch Wanderers’ performance as they ended Charlton’s winning run to keep looking up the League One table.
A fifth away win of the season lifted the Whites level on points with fourth-placed Derby County – the only team to beat Ian Evatt’s men in 11 games.
Wanderers have bounced back from that loss with two wins in a week.
Their latest success at the Valley denied the Addicks a fourth successive league victory and should have been more emphatic than a single-goal margin.
Evatt’s side created chances all afternoon with a superb display of attacking football.
Morley set the tone with a sumptuous free-kick in the opening minutes and while Charlton weren’t completely killed off and got themselves level just after half-time, the outcome wasn’t in doubt once top-scorer Charles pounced to claim his third goal in four games to take Wanderers to 50 points and within eight of the automatic promotion places.
After a busy day in the transfer market 24 hours previously Wanderers named their two new arrivals on the bench as Kieran Lee and George Johnston came into the starting line-up.
Shola Shoretire started further forward to support Charles in attack after Charles’ mid-week red card was transferred to Elias Kachunga – who was at The Valley to support his team-mates.
And Shoretire’s ability to run at defenders paid immediate dividends as he won the free-kick which saw Wanderers take a stunning early lead.
The set-piece was a fully 30 yards from goal but Morley took aim and curled a delightful effort in off the inside of the post as he picked out the top corner.
Shoretire was at it again minutes later as he gave the Addicks’ defence the slip and set up Charles for a chance which he hit against the underside of keeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer with the ball spinning up to hit the crossbar.
Wanderers looked dangerous each time they went forward with another intricate move ending with Gethin Jones – switching to play in the left wing-back role – steering an effort just wide.
But Charlton were a threat when they worked the ball wide to Corey Blackett-Taylor and Jes Rak-Sakyi with on-loan Crystal Palace winger Rak-Sakyi forcing James Trafford into a scrambling save at the end of another mazy run half an hour in.
It was entertaining stuff and Morley almost produced another piece of magic to double Wanderers’ lead before the break.
Inevitably Lee was involved in the build-up and when he picked out Kyle Dempsey in the box, Dempsey laid the ball back for his midfield partner Morley to roll an effort inches wide with Maynard-Brewer wrong-footed.
The mask-wearing Charlton keeper then stood firm to keep out an effort from Charles after he ran onto an excellent Jones’ pass and beat defender Ryan Innis to create the shooting chance as Wanderers finished the first half well on top – peppering the home goal following a corner just before the interval.
Johnston was one of those to see a shot blocked as Charlton just held out but the defender was then unable to start the second half after taking a blow earlier in the piece.
He was replaced by Declan John but the Welshman hadn’t time for a touch of the ball before Charlton equalised less than 60 seconds into the second half as Trafford was beaten by a low strike from Albie Morgan which found the corner of the net.
Having been so dominant the Whites needed to do it all again and weren’t slow to regain the initiative as John got forward to cause Charlton problems and Morley saw another long-range effort touched over the bar by Maynard-Brewer at full stretch.
Wanderers lived dangerously at the other end as Trafford kept out a Morgan free-kick before Rak-Sakyi hooked wide a volley from in front of goal.
But the Whites continued to make chances as Victor Adeboyejo – making a debut in place of the injured Shoretire – did well to release Lee who found Charles for another shot that was blocked.
The pressure had to tell, though, and mid-way through the second half the Whites deservedly regained the advantage.
Again the strength and persistence of Adeboyejo was key as he kept the ball alive for Lee to clip in another clever ball.
Charlton couldn’t deal with it and when Dempsey nipped in to head the ball over Maynard-Brewer, Charles kept his cool to clip the ball into an empty net to make it 14 for the season.
Wanderers didn’t settle for what they had as they continued to create openings, Adeboyejo almost capping an impressive cameo with a third in injury-time as Cameron Jerome also came off the bench to help seal the deal.
At the other end Evatt’s men remained rock solid and with six minutes of added time safely negotiated they made sure of a suitable reward for one of their best road trips of the season.
Wanderers: Trafford; Jones, Santos, Toal; Bradley, Morley, Dempsey, Johnston; Lee; Shoretire (Adeboyejo 56), Charles (Jerome 80). Substitutes: Dixon, John, Sheehan, Isgrove, Williams.
Booked: Lee, Trafford
Charlton: Maynard-Brewer; Clare (Leaburn 76), Inniss, Ness, Penney; Fraser, Dobson, Morgan; Rak-Sakyi, Bonne, Blackett-Taylor. Substitutes: Harness, Sessegnon, O’Connell, Payne, Henry, Campbell.
Referee: Carl Brook
Attendance: 14,458 (Wanderers 1,511)