Tonight was Candlemas, marking the formal end of Christmas, and Charlton gave Portsmouth a late present as Pompey won 3-1 at The Valley.
Once again defensive errors cost Charlton. They did manage to get to 1-1, but could only hold on for a few minutes. After they went 1-3 behind, the Addicks showed some urgency but it was desperate stuff and they never looked like scoring.
Curbs said afterwards that Portsmouth dominated every area and defended well. They were the better side in every department and were stronger.
I was surprised that Millar did not start. He was Charlton's sharpest player in the second half, making good runs down the left and evading Portsmouth players. (Bowyer later said he had a tight hamstring after MK and will start on Saturday).
Albi Morgan hit the crossbar on eight minutes, but perhaps he should have laid the ball off to the available Stockley.
Portsmouth always looked dangerous on the counter attack. Pratley slipped and Portsmouth won a corner. Amos punched the ball out and Charlton were slow to react. Naylor was able to turn provider for Jacobs who slammed the ball in to make it 0-1.
Pratley was on a yellow card and being targeted by Portsmouth so Bowyer replaced him with Ben Watson. Millar replaced Morgan. Charlton had an early penalty call after Watson was pulled back, but the referee couldn't see it.
On 51 minutes a good corner by Shinnie allowed Stockley to score his first Charlton goal with a header which went in off the post.
We held on for just three minutes. A free kick allowed Naylor to put in a free header to make it 1-2.
Charlton failed to clear, Watson surrended possession in front of goal and Cannon made it 1-3.
Schwartz had made little contribution (Bowyer said he needed service) and Aneke came on to provide more of a physical presence.
Oshilaja, who had defended well, went down in a clash of heads but recovered.
Eight minutes added on saw no real chances for Charlton.
Lee Bowyer said afterwards: 'Portsmouth are very good at what they do, if you don't match them, you lose. We gifted it to them, we gave them the ball in bad areas, really sloppy in possession in the first half. We were soft, the referee was soft, he fell for all their play acting.'
'They were clinical and our final decision-making was not good enough.'
'I've said to the players, we've got to put a good run together. There will be no excuses.'
Candlemas is also an old Celtic festival marking the midway point between the winter and spring equinoxes and the end of the solar winter. It has been increasingly a winter of discontent for Charlton so let's hope for better times as we move towards Spring.