Yeovil Town 2 (Obika 8, Huntington 50) Charlton 3 (Hollands 16, Kermorgant 60, Green 90).
Kevin Nolan reports from Huish Park.
It was a tediously long time coming but Danny Green's first ever goal for Charlton, when it finally arrived, was not only worth the wait but had the extra virtue of exquisite timing. For it was in the first of four added minutes that the winger struck a low drive across goalkeeper Rene Gilmartin, which found the net off the far post. His exuberant celebrations in front of over 900 Boxing Day pilgrims from South East London were just a little rueful because an earlier booking - his fifth of the season - means he will miss the short New Years Eve trip to Leyton Orient due to suspension. He won't be striking again while the iron is hot.
Charlton's delight at Green's late winner was promptly enhanced as news filtered through that their nearest pursuers Sheffield Wednesday had themselves succumbed to two added time goals at Walsall. The combination of results sent shock waves reverberating through League One and left the Addicks eight points clear at the top.
When the dust settles over this eventful game, however, Chris Powell might have mixed feelings about its fluctuating nature. His side made hard work of beating lowly Yeovil, falling behind twice before their superior pedigree asserted itself; the successful outcome will be rightly savoured but the overall performance will come under more critical scrutiny.
Though never completely satisfied, the manager was no doubt impressed by his side's confident start, during which Green's positive run deserved better than an off-target shot into the sidenet. Having settled down quickly, the visitors were shocked out of their complacency by the Glovers' opening goal.
A needless foul by Matt Taylor on Gavin Williams gave setpiece specialist Max Ehmer the ideal angle for a dangerously swerving free kick, which Yann Kermorgant inadvertently diverted behind sharp striker Jon Obika, who improvised a clever overhead effort. Undecided whether to leave his line, Ben Hamer was caught in no-mans land as the speculative shot sailed over his head.
As if affronted by the setback, Charlton wasted little time in equalising. A left wing corner, earned by Danny Hollands' long throw, was swung in by Green to leave Hollands the simple task of heading in at the far post. They should have forged in front shortly thereafter but Michael Morrison headed Green's delicious cross well wide. At the other end, Morrison misjudged Paul Wotton's lofted pass to allow Obika through but the advancing Hamer did enough to distract the forward, who flicked wide of the right post.
An untidy first half stint had done nothing for Powell's peace of mind but worse was to follow five minutes after resumption as Town forged ahead again. The goal was simplicity itself as centre back Paul Huntington was completely unhindered in heading Edward Upson's corner past Hamer. It seemed that Charlton were going out of their way to lose but, gamely, they rallied again.
While Bradley Wright-Phillips has encountered a hopefully brief scoring slump, his strike partner Yann Kermorgant has admirably picked up the slack in recent games. The Breton was chopped down by Bondz N'Gala and fitted the big centre back's punishment to his crime by bending a superb 25-yard free kick into the top left corner.
The pressure on the stricken home side was immediate as the visitors sought an important winner. They almost managed it as Rhoys Wiggins' deep cross was expertly volleyed back from the far post by Green and Morrison's point blank effort was brilliantly clawed off the line by Gilmartin. The outstanding young keeper also distinguished himself with an impressively agile adjustment of his feet to fingertip a clever chip from Hogan Ephraim over the bar.
It was all Charlton in the closing stages although Wiggins was reduced to blatantly hauling down Blizzard as Charlton's bete noire broke clear from his own half ( the Addicks have bitter memories of a dreadful foul by Blizzard, while a Bristol Rovers player two years ago, which had unpleasant repercussions on the unfortunate victim Grant Basey's subsequent career). In effect, Wiggins took a booking for his team which, while deplored by purists, is grist for the mill among pragmatists.
It was in the aftermath of Wiggins' self sacrifice that Green stepped forward to collar the plaudits. That's not to ignore the wonderful save later made by Hamer from Andrew Williams' delicately flighted chip but it was Green's day.
Yeovil (4-4-2): Gilmartin, Ayling, N'Gala, Huntington, Ehmer, Andrew Williams, Blizzard, Wotton, Upson, Gavin Williams, (O'Brien 76), Obika. Not used: MacLean, Massey, Stewart, Clifford.
Charlton (4-4-2): Hamer, Solly, Morrison, Taylor, Wiggins, Green, Hollands, Russell, Ephraim (Cort 90), Kermorgant, Wright-Phillips (Hughes 89). Not used: Hayes, Sullivan, Euell.
Referee: Brendan Malone.