One goal enough for Charlton to take the points...
UNITED 0, CHARLTON 1 (Ghoochannejhad 54)
United: Butland, Wootton (Poleon 70), Lees, Pearce, Warnock, Byram, Mowatt, Tonge, White, McCormack, Smith (Hunt 46). Subs. Cairns, Pugh, Brown, Murphy, Stewart.
Charlton: Hamer, Morrison, Dervite, Ghoochannejhad (Pettruci 85), Wiggins, Wilson, Jackson, Cousins, Pigott (Obika 53), Poyet, Ajdarevic (Harriott 78). Phillips, Sordell, Wood, Nego.
Referee: S Duncan
Booked: Tonge, Wootton, Mowatt, Pearce (Leeds), Poyet (Charlton).
The United manager made four changes to his side for the visit of Charlton. Michael Tonge started his first game since Boxing Day and Aidy White came back into the starting line-up for the first time since September 21. The two further changes saw Scott Wootton and Stephen Warnock come in at left and right full-back. There was one milestone for United as Ross McCormack made his 150th appearance for the club.
There was an early chance for United when Matt Smith came close to connecting with a McCormack cross in the first minute of the match, but the ball was just too high for the striker to head it goalwards.
United enjoyed the better of the early stages and Tonge caught the away defence napping when he got on the end of a free-kick. The ball was floated forward but the midfielder struck his shot over the bar.
20 minutes of the game had been played before United goalkeeper Jack Butland was called into action. The away side played some nice passing football but couldn't break down United's defense line, so Dorian Dervite tried his luck from distance but Butland turned the strike round his post. Moments later it took some great tracking back from Lawrie Wilson to prevent White sealing a counter-attack.
The game saw its first shot on target in the 25th minute when McCormack crossed for Smith. The two strikers combined well but Smith's shot was saved well by Ben Hamer.
Reza Ghoochannejhad's effort proved to be the final meaningful goalmouth action before the interval. The away midfielder cleverly turned and struck for goal but Butland saved comfortably for the game to remain goalless at the break.
United made one change at half time by introducing Noel Hunt in the place of Smith. The striker was involved straight away and would have had a clear sight at goal if it had not been for an interception by the Charlton keeper.
The away goal lived a charmed life in the opening minutes of the second period when McCormack tried his luck from distance. The United striker picked up the ball midway into the Charlton half and when the space opened up for him he struck for goal from 25-yards. The sweetly struck shot hit the underside of the crossbar but the bounce didn't cross the line.
United may have started the second half the better but if was the away side that hit the front with a superb curling effort from Ghoochannejhad in the 54th minute.
United were handed a good chance to hit the equaliser just minutes later. Hunt broke down the right-hand side and crossed for McCormack but the Scot's side foot strike went over the bar.
Brian McDermott added more attacking threat to his side in the 70th minute when Dominic Poleon replaced Wootton. The pacey Poleon went onto the left-wing with Byram dropping to right full-back.
With 10 minutes of the game remaining Dorian Dervite's free-kick forced a good save from Butland and the same player connected with the resulting corner, but he could only head the ball over the bar.
In five minutes of added time United were handed a great opportunity to take a point from the game when Diego Poyet brought White down in the penalty area. The spot-kick was awarded and United's top goalscorer McCormack stepped up, but Hamer pulled off a fantastic save to give his side the three points and help Charlton's fight for survival.