The Academy product, introduced into the action as 63rd-minute substitute, rose above Ben Purrington to head home from Kamil Grosicki’s floated cross with what proved to be the final touch of the game. Charlton had looked set to end a run of nine league games without a win after Darren Pratley headed in and Naby Sarr slotted in from close range to twice give them the lead, with Jarrod Bowen also on the scoresheet for the Tigers.
For the third successive game, Grant McCann named an unchanged starting eleven, and there were no changes on the bench either as the Tigers sought a return to winning ways at the first time of asking following the midweek defeat away at Leeds United.
On a cold night in south-east London, it was the visitors who went on the attack first when Jordy de Wijs was required to make a vital clearance from a left-wing cross at the near post while under pressure from Jonathan Leko.
The Tigers’ first effort of the game came on nine minutes when, following some neat passing play, Kamil Grosicki’s strike from outside the box was deflected behind. A training ground routine from the resulting corner kick almost caught out the home defence, only for de Wijs to see his well-struck effort on the volley blocked by a man in red and white.
Charlton came straight back at McCann’s men though and only a fine defensive block from Callum Elder prevented Albie Morgan’s thunderous effort – which looked to be heading on target – from testing George Long.
The game continued to be played at a frantic pace, with Leonardo Da Silva almost bursting through on goal following a throw-in before solid defending from Eric Lichaj halted a Charlton counter-attack.
Bowen’s first sight of goal came on the 22-minute mark when he collected Jackson Irvine’s lovely through ball, but the winger – off balance as he got his shot away – could only fire off target.
de Wijs survived loud penalty appeals from the home side before the Addicks broke the deadlock on 34 minutes. Conor Gallagher delivered a corner deep to the back post and Darren Pratley was on hand to head home. Lichaj was adamant he’d been fouled by the Charlton man as he rose to meet the ball but referee Davies was having none of it and ignored the full-back’s protests.
A response was needed from the Tigers but it was the hosts who came closest to scoring before the break. Morgan received the ball in space centrally and, after spotting George Long off his line, sent a curling effort over the keeper and narrowly wide.
Josh Bowler was introduced at the break as McCann looked to engineer a route back into the game. Dan Batty was the man to come off, which meant Irvine slotted into a sitting midfield role alongside Lopes and Bowen moving into the number 10 role.
The change almost paid dividends just 75 seconds after the restart as the substitute sent a low ball into the middle for Bowen, but his first-time effort was blocked. However, Bowen wasn’t to be denied moments later as he latched onto Grosicki’s teasing cross to fire home from close-range.
Frustratingly, within three minutes of getting back in it, the Tigers found themselves behind once again. With a move that started at the back, Charlton poured forward and Leko’s low cross was turned home by the unmarked Naby Sarr inside the six-yard box.
McCann made a second change on 63 minutes when Lewis-Potter was introduced into the action in place of Elder, which resulted in the Tigers switching to a three-man defence of Burke, de Wijs and Lichaj.
Lopes became the first player in black and amber to be shown a yellow card for a tactical foul midway inside the Charlton half before Lee Bowyer replaced Morgan with Deji Oshilaja on 67 minutes.
More Tigers’ pressure followed as Irvine just failed to connect with an attempted diving header before Bowen sent a volley wide of the target. Bowen went much closer to finding the back of the net on 74 minutes with another volleyed effort, only to be denied by a fine save from Dillon Phillips.
The Tigers were then forced into a third and final change of the evening as Tom Eaves came off with what looked like a head injury and was replaced by George Honeyman.
Grosicki looked to provide a spark to get his side back into the game when cutting inside from the left. Beating two men, the Pole worked his way into a shooting position 25 yards from goal but was left frustrated when his low effort failed to seriously test Phillips.
Irvine was booked for dissent four minutes from time for dissent before the fourth official indicated there would be a minimum of five minutes stoppage-time to be played.
A poor clearance from Taylor was almost punished by de Wijs, whose glancing header looked to be heading for the back of the net until a vital touch from Phillips guided it past the post.
That looked as though it would prove to be the Tigers’ final chance to grab an equaliser – until Lewis-Potter rose majestically to head home Grosicki’s inswinging cross in front of the 624 Hull City fans who made the long trip to The Valley.
Charlton Athletic: Dillon Phillips, Adam Matthews, Ben Purrington, Tom Lockyer, Jason Pearce, Conor Gallagher, Jonathan Leko, Darren Pratley, Macauley Bonne (Lyle Taylor 80), Albie Morgan (Deji Oshilaja 67), Naby Sarr.
Subs Not Used: Ashley Maynard-Brewer Joe Ledley, Chris Solly, James Vennings.
Hull City: George Long, Eric Lichaj, Jordy de Wijs, Reece Burke, Daniel Batty (Josh Bowler 46), Tom Eaves (George Honeyman 77), Kamil Grosicki, Jarrod Bowen, Callum Elder (Keane Lewis-Potter 63), Jackson Irvine, Leonardo Da Silva Lopes.
Subs Not Used: Matt Ingram, Ryan Tafazolli, Stephen Kingsley, Matthew Pennington.
Att: 14,447 (inc 624 Hull City fans)