Charlton 0 Forest Green Rovers 0 Forest Green won 5-3 on penalties).
Kevin Nolan reporting from The Valley.
In the 67th minute of this dismal Carabao cup-tie, Charlton were handed a golden opportunity to claim a place in the second round. To nobody's surprise, they blew it. Not that they deserved it. Or even appreciated it.
One of only two players -Ben Amos was the other - to escape Lee Bowyer's disapproval following a dreadful team performance, Naby Sarr irresistibly sliced through Rovers and was helped on his way by Macauley Bonne, before being chopped down near goal byLiam Kitching. Referee John Busby was perfectly placed to administer capital punishment, leaving the identity of the penalty taker the remaining issue to be resolved.
With Lyle Taylor on leave, the decision seemed obvious. Among Bonne's impressive goal tally with Leyton Orient were included a number of coolly converted spotkicks. Which made the choice of patently unready Jake Forster-Caskey to shoulder the responsibility difficult to understand. His pathetic penalty was duly dribbled into Joseph Wollacott's waiting hands and the tie was still alive - if alive it could ever claim to have been in the first place.
No doubt Bonne would have relished the morale-boosting chance to open his Charlton account. Almost inevitably he made his point by stepping up confidently to convert the first penalty in the shoot-out which decided this goalless mess.
"There was too much casualness, not enough urgency" commented Bowyer, "there are two people who could hold their hands up and that's probably Ben and Naby -the rest of them weren't good enough."
The "rest of them" didn't feature a single player who started against Stoke City three days previously, the wholesale changes perfectly in line with Charlton's traditional attitude to encumbrances such as Cup ties. A derisory home crowd of 2,534 was a clear message that their supporters are unwilling to pay first team prices to watch the reserves. They were swelled by 159 eco-warriors from Gloucestershire who were keen to scotch the rumour that their champions had arrived in a diesel-powered team coach driven, to be fair, by a bearded monk wearing bamboo sandals.
So what else do you want to know? What can I tell you? Well, it's good to report that the versatile Sarr, whose whiplashed shot almost broke Wollacott's nose in the first half, is match-ready to cover several defensive positions. Also that in Amos, who produced an excellent save to foil Junior Mondial in the late going, Dillon Phillips has an able deputy breathing down his neck. But on Tuesday's evidence, the depth of Bowyer's squad is more shallow than we thought.
Oh yeah, when the penalty shoot-out was arranged in front of the away end, there was this sense of resignation that Rovers would prevail. Bonne, Sarr and Dejo Oshilaja scored, Albie Morgan missed and the visitors gave Amos not so much as a sniff as they stuck away five in a row to prevail 5-3.
I'm disgruntled, I admit, but I'm getting over it. When it comes to Charlton's cup history, I peaked too early. The only way was down and that's where the Addicks have taken me ever since. But there's always Barnsley next Saturday...always another game..and another one after that.
Charlton: Amos, Wiredu, Oshilaja, Sarr, Doughty, Forster-Caskey, Field (Ocran 78), Lapslie, Morgan, Aneke (Quitirna 62), Bonne. Not used: Phillips, Dempsey, Stevenson.