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Charlton Crank Up The Relegation Fears For United

Leeds United lose 2-1 away at Charlton Athletic after conceding a stoppage time goal once again. Read the match report here.

Ben Hoskins

Leeds United started life after Neil Warnock at The Valley on Saturday afternoon as Neil Redfearn began his second stint in the role of caretaker boss of the Whites. Redfearn made some changes to the side that lost at home to Derby on Monday evening. Aidan White, David Norris, Michael Tonge and Ross McCormack all made it into the starting eleven as United took on Charlton Athletic.

The first half was a very drab affair but the best chances fell to the home side. There was some confusion in the United penalty as to how they hadn't managed to clear the ball after Jason Pearce carelessly swung a foot at the sphere shaped object known as a football. With the ball looping in the air, Paddy Kenny had to get up to punch away. Kenny was called upon again moments later and again it was because of some slack defending. Bradley Pritchard got up to meet a cross and Kenny prevented the first attempt from going in. However he only parried the shot straight at the feet of Michael Morrison and Charlton's number five blasted his shot over the bar when it was easier to hit the target.

Whilst it wasn't exactly relentless pressure on the Leeds goal, Charlton looked the more likely to hit the back of the net. When United did manage to produce some good play to create a chance, Paul Green sliced his effort way off the mark. Yann Kermorgant, somebody who would prove to be a constant pest for the Whites all afternoon, was the next to go close for Charlton. Paddy Kenny watched the front man's header go wide of his post and the chance of a rare clean sheet looked as if it would go on into the second half. Leeds were to make it to half-time level but the Addicks looked as if they could carve open United at will. I don't think any members of the Leeds defence could say they were having a good game.

The Leeds fans had barely had time to finish their half-time smoke and any hope of clinging on to a clean sheet had gone. Right at the start of the second half the home side got the goal that they probably deserved but it came from an unlikely source. The ball fell to former United utility man Andrew Hughes and his well struck shot was saved but the ball landed at the feet of Charlton captain Johnny Jackson feet and he lashed the ball past Paddy Kenny and into the net to make it 1-0.

The goal eventually woke Leeds up and the first to come to close to finding the equaliser was Michael Tonge. The former Sheffield United midfielder met the ball on the volley on the edge of the area. It was a decent attempt but a Charlton defender managed to clear the ball in what was a crowded penalty area. Seconds later, Steve Morison, who had little involvement all afternoon, smashed the ball against the post from a tight angle.

With the game looking as if it was Charlton's, United managed to force the ball home in a once again crowded penalty box. Luke Varney had replaced Aidan White on the left hand side of the field and when the ball reached him via a couple of blocked shots, his deflected shot went in the far corner past the keeper. It was a poor goal to concede from Charlton's point of view but Leeds didn't care and they were level.

Shortly after clearing a shot from the line, captain Lee Peltier was forced off through injury. As a result Jason Pearce is now the only fit and available centre back for the relegation showdown with Sheffield Wednesday at Elland Road next Saturday if the injury to Peltier is as bad as first feared. Chris Powell threw on an extra striker in injury time in the shape of Jonathan Obika and his gamble well and truly paid off when Obika flicked in a cross in the closing moments with his head to give the Addicks what they deserved. Leeds United are certainly addicted to conceding late goals and what was looking like a precious point had been thrown away.

Ross McCormack aside, there was no passion or desire from anyone in a Leeds shirt today. That has been the case for a while now which is why we are in the position that we are in. Most of the players give the impression that they couldn't care less, Steve Morison is one the worst for this at the moment. It's very, very worrying and regardless of how many teams there is between us and relegation, the possibility of us playing League One football again next season is very real. I just can't see where a win is going to come from, who's going to score the goals to keep us away from the drop zone? All Sheffield Wednesday have to do next weekend is turn and want it and the chances are they will leave Leeds with three points because these jokers who are currently representing Leeds United really are not interested.