Meetings between Leeds and Charlton have been few and far between in recent years as the two sides have slid up and down the divisions. The last five matches between the sides at Elland Road have taken 12 years to play out, and here we look back at those encounters.
3rd October 2009 – Leeds United 0 Charlton Athletic 0
A clash at the top of League One between two unbeaten sides in front of over 31,000 was spoilt by the weather. The wind blew a gale for the entire encounter, meaning that any attempts to play football were blown severely off course.
The Charlton side featured three ex Leeds men in its line-up, Frazer Richardson, Matthew Spring and a favourite of the previous season Sam Sodje. Lloyd Sam was also in the Addicks line up along with Jonjo Shelvey who was the best player on the pitch, showing the qualities which have now seen him play for England.
8th May 2004 – Leeds United 3 Charlton Athletic 3
The final top flight match played at Elland Road saw Leeds give Alan Smith a hero’s goodbye, only to have it thrown in their faces within weeks as he signed for Manchester United.
An emotional day saw Leeds fall behind early to a strike from Matt Holland before they came back to lead at half time. Matthew Kilgallon scored the equaliser before Jermaine Pennant put the Whites ahead with just the second goal of his loan spell from Arsenal.
A penalty from Smith with 20 minutes to go seemed to have sealed the perfect send off to the local hero, but two goals in a three minute spell from Jason Euell spoilt the wake. Smith was mobbed at the final whistle and carried off the pitch on his final appearance for the club. His act of perceived treachery has seen him never return to the stadium as a player.
1st December 2002 – Leeds United 1 Charlton Athletic 2
This was a match which signalled a severe downward turn in the clubs fortunes, with Terry Venables reign as manager placed under intense scrutiny.
Leeds were already struggling in mid-table but had returned from a UEFA Cup tie in Malaga with a creditable goalless draw. Things looked fine when Harry Kewell gave Leeds the lead just before half time, and with ten minutes to go it looked like a routine home win.
However Kevin Lisbie equalised for the Addicks with ten minutes to go, and worse was still to come as Scott Parker scored a stoppage time winner to plunge the home fans into despair. It was a third consecutive home defeat and when Leeds lost the second leg to Malaga ten days later the writing was on the wall for Venables. Despite a slight upturn in fortunes around Christmas, the sale of Robbie Fowler and Jonathan Woodgate in January against the manager’s wishes saw Venables and United part company.
24th February 2002 – Leeds United 0 Charlton Athletic 0
Following the shock FA Cup defeat to Cardiff City and the publication of David O’Leary’s book, Leeds United on Trial, the Whites started 2002 in free-fall. This forgettable 0-0 draw was United’s 8th game without a win as yet another season of promise disappeared into nothing. Leeds had slumped from the top of the league down to 6th place, and this game sandwiched between a UEFA Cup exit to PSV Eindhoven was symptomatic of the crisis of confidence which had gripped the club.
14th October 2000 – Leeds United 3 Charlton Athletic 1
If United were struggling in 2002, this game came in the middle of one of the most memorable periods in our recent history. Following on from a 6-0 win over Besiktas in the Champions League and a 4-3 win over Tottenham in the Premier League, this 3-1 win saw Leeds say some sparkling football.
Alan Smith put Leeds ahead and a routine victory looked to be on its way. There was a worry when Nigel Martyn pulled a muscle with around 20 minutes left, seeing Paul Robinson enter in his stead. It would be the start of a spell in goal for the United youngster which would make his name, with a memorable performance at home to Barcelona just around the corner.
Leeds doubled their lead through Mark Viduka, before Charlton pulled one back with a goal for Claus Jensen. Viduka though was in one of his goal gluts and he bagged his fifth goal in three games in the closing stages to restore United’s two goal advantage and seal our last home win over the Addicks.