Football’s highs and lows were encapsulated in one game and, as has been the theme of recent weeks, they came in that order for Charlton on Tuesday (December 15).
An early two-goal lead was lost for the second time in three games by the reds.
However, rather than 10 men being overrun by the top of the table side, as happened against Brighton 10 days ago, this time it was almost unforgivable.
Bolton are rock bottom with their players unsure where their next pay cheque is coming from such is the club’s financial woes. The visitors were certainly there for the taking.
There were 26 seconds on the clock when Ademola Lookman fired Charlton in front.
It was nearly 30 years since Charlton had scored earlier – a nine-seconds effort from Jim Melrose against West Ham in 1986.
History was the first reward for the hardy souls who made it to the half-empty and murky Valley, which was shrouded in drizzle.
• Also online: 5 things we learnt when Charlton played Leeds
Another was a glimpse at the future – watching the likes of Lookman, who slammed home his second on 25 minutes after fine work from Reza Ghoochannejhad and Ricardo Vaz Te.
Unfortunately for the die-hards it was as good as it got Emile Heskey’s goal on 32 minutes put the visitors back in the game.
The flick-on from the ex-England striker came from nowhere and again exposed the Addicks’ defensive frailties.
Heads dropped and before the break the Trotters were level after a long-range effort from Josh Vela.
A Harry Lennon header came back off the bar in a second half Charlton largely controlled despite the referee’s often bemusing decisions. It stayed 2-2.
The last 20 minutes were characterised by ironic cheers for the Addicks’ giant substitute Simon Makienok every time he won a header.
It was a theme which – for some unknown reason – continued into his sixth and seventh success as the Dane showed the fight to get involved.
The Charlton back four would be an easy target for that sudden collapse but more of the responsibility lies with those in front.
Cousins and Jackson’s workrate was fantastic but they seemed to have too much pitch to cover because of the way Charlton were set up, while playmakers Ghoochannejhad and Johann Gudmundsson often wasted possession, inviting pressure on the back line.
One of those at the back, Lennon was stylish; like a more agile Stuart Balmer, for those who remember the name.
He battled with Heskey and should not be downcast about his performance.
The jury’s out on Karel Fraeye’s 4-2-2-2 (I think) formation, which has seen the side look exposed at the back.
But the greater concern is the size of the Addicks’ squad, an issue raised repeatedly over the course of the season to date.
El-Hadji Ba and Karlan Ahearne-Grant added next to nothing as Charlton’s fragile duo of Jackson and Gudmundsson took early baths.
If Charlton can’t beat Bolton from two goals up then they won’t be given much hope on Saturday (December 19, 3pm) against promotion chasing Burnley despite the Lancashire side failing to win in their last six.
But then Charlton’s best performances are against the top teams, so don’t rule them out just yet.