George Saville scored inside a minute to extend Charlton’s winless run to eight matches as relegation-threatened Middlesbrough secured a vital win at home.

In the first meeting between former team-mates Lee Bowyer and Jonathan Woodgate as managers, both sides were desperate for a victory at the Riverside Stadium.

But after former Millwall midfielder Saville pounced on a rebounded effort to hand the hosts a dream start, Woodgate’s Boro should have gone on to win the game comfortably.

Boro had glorious chances fall to both Marcus Tavernier and substitute Stephen Walker but neither could apply the clinical finish to increase the lead.

The defeat means the Addicks have now equalled their longest run in the league without a win since January 2018, and remain seven points off the drop in 17th place.

Joe Ledley debuted just 24 hours after joining Charlton, and Lyle Taylor made his long-awaited return from injury, as Bowyer made three changes for the trip up to Teesside.

Captain Jason Pearce also came back into the starting 11, alongside Ben Purrington and Conor Gallagher, while defender Tom Lockyer served an automatic one-match suspension.

Charlton’s search to end their barren run without a victory in the Championship got off to a nightmare start as they conceded after just 55 seconds.

Goalkeeper Dillon Phillips did well to deny Britt Assombalonga, after he capitalised on Pearce’s attempted headed clearance, but could not keep out Saville on the rebound.

Boro, who had won just one of their previous 12 league games heading into the clash, enjoyed a bright spell in the first half and had enough chances to go into half-time with a comfortable lead.

Saville and Assombalonga both went close before Tavernier could only put Hayden Coulson’s inviting cross narrowly past the post on the half hour mark.

Although the Addicks rode their luck heading into the break, Bowyer was keen to turn the tide as he brought on Albie Morgan and Taylor respectively.

The changes made somewhat of a difference, but Boro were still dangerous, and spurned the best chance of the game when Tavernier failed to hit the target from Djed Spence’s cross.

Charlton’s best scoring opportunity all game arrived in the last 20 minutes when Gallagher curled just off target, their first registered attempt.

The last 10 minutes of the game perhaps saw the most action as both sides pushed each other to the limit in a frantic, end-to-end finish.

Phillips pulled off a strong save to deny Ashley Fletcher before a defence-splitting pass from Saville put substitute Walker through on goal, only for him to blaze over the bar.

Charlton would have another half-chance through Gallagher, but Boro stopper Aynsley Pears was equal to it, and the Addicks would leave the Riverside Stadium empty-handed.

Charlton team: Phillips; Matthews, Oshilaja, Pearce, Purrington (Morgan 45); Pratley, Gallagher, Ledley (Taylor 45), Doughty; Leko, Bonne.

Subs not used: Maynard-Brewer (GK), Solly, Vennings, Davison and Sarr.