Sheffield United demolished their London promotion rivals with a four- goal blitz to leapfrog over Alan Curbishley's side.
The Greek international Vas Borbokis played a starring role with a hand in all four goals before running himself into the ground and being substituted in the 77th minute.
Nigel Spackman's side produced one of their best displays of the season against a Charlton team that arrived at Bramall Lane with four straight wins behind them.
The Sheffield side swept ahead in the eighth minute with a sweet four- man move started by Borbokis which sliced through the Charlton back four. Don Hutchison picked out Curtis Woodhouse on the left flank, he found Dean Saunders whose first-time shot cannoned off a post and Gareth Taylor finished from close range.
Carl Leaburn hit the bar for Charlton and Alan Kelly, who has reclaimed his place in the United goal from the injured Simon Tracey, palmed a fierce shot from Shaun Newton around a post before United grabbed a second goal, carved out by Borbokis, when Saunders drilled the ball past Mike Salmon from close range.
Brian Deane added a third in the 57th minute. Borbokis produced a teasing cross, Taylor headed against a post and Deane bundled the loose ball over the line for his 13th goal of the season.
Nicky Marker finished off Charlton in the 64th minute with a text-book header at the far post from a Borbokis free-kick. Kelly foiled Mendonca, diving bravely at his feet, and the former United striker fired over the top before the substitute Mark Bright netted for Charlton a minute from time heading in a Scott Parker corner.
Goals: Taylor (8) 1-0; Saunders (32) 2-0; Deane (57) 3-0; Marker (64) 4-0; Bright (89) 4-1.
Sheffield United: Kelly; Borbokis (Stuart, 77), Woodhouse, Ford, Lee, Nilsen, Saunders, Marker, Taylor, Deane (Kachuro, 80), Hutchison. Substitute not used: Fjortoft.
Charlton Athletic: Salmon; Brown, Bowen, Jones, Rufus, Chapple, Newton, Kinsella (Parker, 71), Robinson (Barness, 66), Mendonca, Leaburn (Bright, 66).
Referee: G Laws (Whitley Bay).
Bookings: Charlton: Chapple, Parker.
Man of the match: Borbokis.
Attendance: 18,677.Reuse content