They believed this could have been the year, the match, the game, the time but Charlton once again fell to their South London Rivals.
By the time the two meet again in April it will have been 24 years and 11 matches since Charlton’s last victory over the Lions.
If the Addicks had nerves on arrival at The Den, they weren’t helped six minutes in. Charlton captain Jason Pearce fouled Jon Dadi-Bodvarsson. Shaun Williams delivered the resulting free-kick that found Shaun Hutchinson unmarked in the box to head Gary Rowett’s men in front.
The Lions were in control of the South-East London derby once again.
In truth, had Charlton been 2-0 or even 3-0 down in the opening 20 minutes, Lee Bowyer could have had no complaints. Jed Wallace wanted a penalty before the opening goal after his shot struck the arm of Pearce whilst Mahlon Romeo’s vicious drive from outside the box was beaten away by Dillion Phillips, before Jon Dadi-Bodvarsson’s shot across goal whisked past without anyone in blue getting a touch on it.
It took until the 38th minute for Charlton’s first effort on target. On loan West Ham midfielder Josh Cullen’s shot was too hot for Bartosz Bialkowski to handle. He saved it but saw the ball bounce up onto the crossbar and along the line before managing to clear it.
Charlton’s luck in this fixture summed up in one event.
Maculey Bonne tested Bialkowski again before the break. His powerful shot was saved brilliantly by the Polish International.
Another Bialkowski save followed early in the second half, but he would be beaten. Jonathan Leko equalised for the Addicks six minutes into the second half, his shot deflecting in off Mahlon Romeo.
Could Charlton finally get the better of Millwall?
After the goal, Charlton failed to create another clear cut chance. Their shot-stopper Dillion Phillips saved well from a Ben Thompson volley but the game was petering out into a draw.
Enter Gary Rowett.
He elected to bring on Matt Smith. The striker has scored some key goals already this season but none more important than the one he was about to score.
As the board went up for stoppage time, A Jed Wallace corner came in and landed perfectly for Matt Smith who wasn’t going to miss.
The result means Millwall are now unbeaten in their last 11 games in against the Addicks, winning six of them. Including the last three at The Den.
Lee Bowyer claimed his side falling to take anything from the game was “ridiculous.” He claimed his side were the better team and should have won the game.
However, other than Bialkowski’s super save from Bonne in the first half the Addicks failed to create many clear cut chances.
It all means the Lions head into the international break just a point behind their South London Rivals.