Charlton close to drop after Johnny Russell gives Derby victory at The Valley
Charlton will be relegated to League One if they fail to win at Bolton on Tuesday after Johnny Russell's 60th-minute header condemned them to a 1-0 home defeat to promotion-chasing Derby.
Darren Wassall's side were able to claim their third straight win with a workmanlike victory at The Valley and now seem sure to make the play-offs.
Despite their predicament, there were no fresh organised protests by home fans against owner Roland Duchatelet and no disruptions like in recent fixtures at The Valley.
After a cagey start Derby should have taken the lead with home keeper Nick Pope coming to his side's rescue with a terrific double save. Russell's cross from the right was met by Tom Ince but Pope saved with his legs amid claims the ball had crossed the line while Chris Martin's follow-up effort was also spectacularly saved by the goalkeeper.
From the subsequent Ince corner, Richard Keogh headed over while Charlton's pace made them a goal threat at the other end with Johann Gudmundsson denied by a last-ditch challenge by Cyrus Christie following good work by Igor Vetokele.
Derby themselves should have taken the lead with Russell shooting wide from Martin's pull-back, George Thorne failing to make proper connection on an effort from the edge of the area and a poor Ince free kick going over the bar.
Just before the break, Charlton went close when winger Callum Harriott's powerful drive went a fraction wide from the edge of the area.
It was the hosts who started the second half on the front foot as Rod Fanni headed straight at Scott Carson from Ademola Lookman's free kick.
Close footwork from Fanni set up a chance for Vetokele but he could not convert and Vetokele's header then hit the post from Lookman's corner.
Centre back Jorge Teixeira then had a goal chalked off for a foul on Carson from Vetokele's cross.
It appeared to be a matter of time before Charlton would score but it was Derby who broke the deadlock on the hour with a goal against the run of play.
The hosts had failed to clear Ince's corner, which Thorne headed on for Russell to nod home his eighth goal of the season from close range.
Charlton could have been level immediately as Lookman's free kick from the left was tipped over at the last second by Carson.
But it was Derby who finished the game strongly with Ince's precise shot just wide from sub Will Hughes' pass and Martin being denied a penalty after going down under a challenge from Fanni.