Charlton 4 (Dijksteel 24, Aribo 55, Vetokele 63, Taylor 67) Scunthorpe United 0.
Kevin Nolan reporting from The Valley.
Seeking to balance the pressure for short-term results with the longer term imperative of preparing his squad for the play-offs, Lee Bowyer adroitly shuffled his pack for the visit of relegation haunted Scunthorpe United. Already without Chris Solly, whose ill-advised appeal against his Good Friday red card was predictably dismissed, he was also deprived of midfield maestro Krystian Bielik through a minor shoulder injury.
Solly's absence was brilliantly taken care of by Anfernee Dijksteel, who crowned a fine contribution with his first goal for the club; solid citizen Ben Purrington returned at left back, with fans' favourite Naby Sarr preferred to Jason Pearce as Patrick Bauer's partner at centre back. There were starts for Ben Reeves and teenage prospect Albie Morgan, not to mention the sooner-than-expected re-appearance on the bench of Jake Forster-Caskey. Bowyer's hand was also enhanced by the quick recovery from injury of Igor Vetokele, whose recent return to scoring form provides a timely boost for Charlton's promotion ambitions.
The resourceful manager, who so often during this arduous campaign has found himself between a rock and a hard place, was rewarded for his handling of another tricky situation by his side's biggest win of the season. A catalogue of close range chances missed by the visitors somewhat compromised his claim that "we were outstanding from start to finish" but he was spot-on that Scunthorpe had been "blown away", never more so than during the three-goal salvo that destroyed them within twelve explosive second half minutes.
Quickly out of the blocks, the Addicks showed early aggression as bright spark Morgan took Reeves' pass in his stride and fired forcibly into the sidenet. Bauer's far post header from Reeves' corner deflected unluckily wide off an unwitting defender but the breakthrough was not long delayed. Again Reeves was involved by alertly combining with Lyle Taylor near the left corner flag.
Turning sharply on to his right foot, Taylor's accurate cross was effortlessly controlled by Dijksteel, whose second touch was a firm finish into the bottom left corner.
Although looking like the relegation candidates they are, the Irons had opportunities of their own during a low key first half. Dillon Phillips was required to make competent saves from Funso Ojo and George Thomas before Ojo missed a sitter in added time. Set up at close range when Lee Novak expertly nodded down Adam Hamill's left wing cross at the far post, Ojo, with an "m" critically missing from his mojo, made a stumbling mess of prodding his shot miserably off target.
Taking up briefly as they'd left off, United began the second period brightly with Novak's near post flick sending Josh Morris' low cross narrowly wide, then Hamill's driven centre barely eluding Novak on its untouched way to the opposite touchline. At which point, the roof fell in on the unfortunate visitors.
Enjoying himself immensely, Reeves' inswinging right wing corner was emphatically bulleted into the roof of Jak Alnwick's net by Joe Aribo's head to begin the onslaught. Scunny were sitting ducks now and Aribo's deft pass sent Vetokele through to neatly steer his 4th goal of the season (all scored in 11 back-to-form appearances since February 23rd) past an onrushing Alnwick.
Working ceaselessly, meanwhile, and with one magical flash of ball control drawing bravos from his appreciative public, the inevitable Taylor provided a fitting flourish to the goalscoring. His crossfield run in search of a shooting chance was interrupted by James Perch's crude foul. From a position at the left angle of United's penalty area, Taylor exacted poetic revenge with an unstoppable free kick which soared into the top right corner. Celebrations of his terrific strike were long, loud and personally conducted by the ultimate performer.
If Scunthorpe manager Andy Dawson -their third of the season - seeks consolation for their heavy defeat, he will surely be comforted by the chances which his beaten side continued to create. Before the end, though perfectly placed, Thomas wildly volleyed effective substitute Kevin Van Veen's deep cross over the bar; Van Veen himself soloed through to unluckily hit the post; Novak marred an industrious shift by unforgivably nodding the point blank rebound over the bar after a wickedly swerving strike from marauding left back Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (twice a spectacular scorer in Scunthorpe's chaotic 5-3 win over Charlton back in November) was spilled on to his napper by a startled Phillips.
No late consolation was to be allowed Dawson's desperate Irons. There was an additional boost for Bowyer, though, in the 20-minute stint accomplished by Forster-Caskey. He won't be tempting fate by mentioning it but with Lewis Page in full training again, a full-strength squad might be available to him for the play-offs.
Charlton: Phillips, Dijksteel, Bauer, Sarr, Purrington, Cullen, Aribo (Forster-Caskey 79), Reeves (Pratley 72), Morgan, Vetokele (Williams 65), Taylor. Not used: Maxwell, Pearce, Parker, Lapslie.
Scunthorpe: Alnwick, Borthwick-Jackson, Webster, Ojo, Morris (Hallam 64), Perch, Lewis (Lund 74), Novak, Thomas, McCardle, Hammill (Van Veen 64). Not used: Flatt, Sutton, McGahey, Wootton. Booked: Morris.
Referee: Brett Huxtable. Att: 11,973 (309 visiting).