Match ends, Charlton Athletic 0, Preston North End 3.
Paul Gallagher scored twice as Preston picked up their first Championship win in 10 games to move above opponents Charlton and out of the bottom three.
Captain Gallagher curled a free-kick into the bottom corner from more than 20 yards after Adam Reach was fouled.
Gallagher doubled the lead with good technique to net from a tight angle after his corner was cleared.
Alan Browne headed against the bar before Daniel Johnson hit a rasping left-footed shot to end the contest.
The heavy home defeat leaves Charlton in the relegation zone with no victories in their last eight league matches.
The game was less than two minutes old when Charlton midfielder El-Hadji Ba lost the ball and brought down Reach, with Gallagher punishing the mistake from the resulting set-piece.
North End had scored only seven Championship goals before the game, but Scotsman Gallagher was on form in only his second start since August.
His second came when Charlton goalkeeper Nick Pope, who started despite Stephen Henderson returning to the bench, could only clear Gallagher's corner back to him, and the finish was spectacular.
Johnson's strike maintained the theme of goals from outside the box, beating Tareiq Holmes-Dennis to a loose ball before driving in a fierce effort.
Guy Luzon's side now have the division's longest winless run and never looked like scoring, testing Preston goalkeeper Jordan Pickford on just one occasion.
Charlton head coach Guy Luzon:
"I always think positive. When we have an 11 with balance, and our good players on the pitch, we'll get results.
"No (it's not my toughest period as a manager). I've been managing for 15 years, and during those 15 years I've had a lot of obstacles.
"Now's the time for the club to be together - the fans, the players, the staff - this is the only way to come back. We will do everything to do that on Saturday."
Preston manager Simon Grayson:
"Games like this boost your belief and confidence.
"I told the players to this use a springboard. There will be highs and lows throughout the division.
"We feel we have put together a squad with quality. It will be nice when the strikers start scoring as well."
- 12DiarraBooked at 8mins
- 21FoxBooked at 47mins
- 19BergdichSubstituted forMcAlenyat 45'minutes
- 22BaSubstituted forJacksonat 61'minutes
- 18Ahearne-GrantSubstituted forMakienokat 61'minutes
- 2VermijlSubstituted forHuntingtonat 70'minutes
- 3CunninghamBooked at 55mins
- 16BrowneBooked at 47mins
- 12GallagherBooked at 26minsSubstituted forKilkennyat 79'minutes
- 13DoyleSubstituted forKeaneat 84'minutes
- Simon Hooper
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Charlton Athletic 0, Preston North End 3.
Daniel Johnson (Preston North End) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Jordan Cousins (Charlton Athletic).
Foul by Calum Woods (Preston North End).
Simon Makienok (Charlton Athletic) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt missed. Alan Browne (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Neil Kilkenny.
Attempt missed. Will Keane (Preston North End) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Neil Kilkenny.
Attempt missed. Will Keane (Preston North End) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Daniel Johnson.
Attempt missed. Alan Browne (Preston North End) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jordan Hugill.
Attempt missed. Jordan Hugill (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Adam Reach with a cross.
Substitution, Preston North End. Will Keane replaces Eoin Doyle.
Attempt missed. Conor McAleny (Charlton Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Jordan Cousins.
Attempt blocked. Tony Watt (Charlton Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jordan Cousins.
Corner, Charlton Athletic. Conceded by Calum Woods.
Substitution, Preston North End. Neil Kilkenny replaces Paul Gallagher because of an injury.
Attempt missed. Greg Cunningham (Preston North End) left footed shot from more than 35 yards is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Daniel Johnson.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Paul Gallagher (Preston North End) because of an injury.
Foul by Johnnie Jackson (Charlton Athletic).