HULL city suffered their first defeat since being relegated and manager Steve Bruce warned it will not be the last if his players do not improve.
“For 30 minutes against Fulham we were superb and if we play like that then there won’t be many teams that can beat us.
“However, if we play like we did against Charlton for an hour then there won’t be many teams who won’t beat us,” he said.
Charlton went ahead in the 52nd minute through Simon Makienok but Hull hit back with an 89th-minute goal when Abel Hernandez pounced on a mistake by goalkeeper Nick Pope, who fumbled Isaac Hayden’s shot.
Hayden had also hit a post and the Tigers looked dangerous at the death, leaving Bruce livid that his team were hit by a sucker punch as Johann Berg Gudmundsson scored in the eight minute of stoppage time.
“Funnily enough I felt the longer the game went on we were the team more likely to win it. Don’t get me wrong, for an hour they deserved to win the match,” he said, with his side having claimed seven points from four games.
“The first half was probably the worst I have seen in a long time, whether it was the heat or what I don’t know but it was awful.”
Charlton head coach Guy Luzon was sent to the stands after sprinting 50 metres down the touchline to celebrate the winner with his players near a corner flag but was unrepentant.
“Yes, I would do it again,” he said. “If you could tell me we will score a winner so late then I would. I’m an emotional guy, it meant a lot to me.”
The win extended Charlton’s unbeaten record in the new season to five games and was all the more extraordinary given they have been hit by a series of injuries.
Midfielder Cristian Ceballos became the latest casualty and having to leave the pitch midway through the first half with an ankle problem.
Loven was delighted with the way his young players responded and added: “We have a lot of injuries and illness in the club but the young players came in, did very well, and showed we can trust in them. This was an important win for the club, for the fans, for everyone.”
Charlton Athletic: Pope, Cousins, Diarra, Bauer, Fox, Ba (Charles 69), Kashi, Gudmundsson, Ceballos (Ahearne-Grant 24), Makienok Christoffersen, Bergdich (Harriott 75). Unused substitutes: Sarr, Lennon, Mitov, Kennedy.
Hull City: McGregor, Odubajo, Dawson, Davies, Robertson (Clucas 78), Elmohamady, Meyler, Huddlestone (Hayden 58), Aluko, Jelavic, Akpom (Hernandez 64). Unused substitutes: Bruce, Taylor, Maguire, Jakupovic.
Referee: T Robinson (West Sussex).
Man of the match: Johann Berg Gudmundsson.