Ross McCormack strikes four times at The Valley...
CHARLTON 2 (Stewart 45, Jackson 70), UNITED 4 (McCormack 17, 48, 73, 90+1)
Charlton: Hamer, Wilson (Pritchard 86), Wiggins, Morrison, Dervite, Harriott (Kermorgant 67), Stephens, Jackson, Cousins, Stewart (Sordell 86), Church. Subs. Alnwick, Hughes, Evina, Lennon.
United: Kenny, Lees, Wootton (Zaliukas 46), Pearce, Peltier, Murphy, Brown, Pugh, Austin, McCormack, Blackstock (Smith 76). Subs. Cairns, Tonge, Green, Thompson, Poleon.
Referee: K Stroud
Booked: Morrison (Charlton), Kenny, Blackstock (Leeds).
The pre-match proceedings did not go as smoothly as both sides would have liked, with Keith Stroud and his team performing a pitch inspection because of rainfall in the capital. The referee decided that game was to go ahead after much deliberation but with a delayed kick off time of 30 minutes.
United manager Brian McDermott made three changes to the team that defeated Yeovil the previous week. The trip to Charlton saw Michael Brown and Danny Pugh in the starting line-up for the first time in the league for the injured duo of Stephen Warnock and Alex Mowatt. There was also a first start in a Leeds shirt for on-loan striker Dexter Blackstock, who partnered Ross McCormack in the attack.
There may have been a delay to the kick off but that didn't effect the home side as Callum Harriott threatened early on with a curling strike from just outside the box, but the shot went wide. The striker also went close again just before the 10 minute mark with the ball going wide of Paddy Kenny's right-hand post.
The sodden pitch at The Valley was causing problems with both sides guilty of surrendering possession in the opening minutes.
But not even the pitch could prevent United taking the lead in the 17th minute when McCormack latched onto a Blackstock knock-down. The striker outpaced the defender and coolly slotted the ball past Ben Hamer.
The home side came close to equalising on the 30 minute mark through Simon Church when he was played through by a superb pass but the post thwarted the striker.
With the first half drawing to a close United threatened through an unlikely source. Luke Murphy did well wide on the right to create a crossing opportunity and the midfielder's floating ball was met by Lee Peltier in the area but his header went just over the crossbar.
There was still time for one last effort in the first half for the home side. It was Church with the close range shot but Kenny made a fantasitc save to keep United in front.
United were dealt a late blow in the final minute of the first period when Cameron Stewart's wonder goal evened the contest. The Charlton youngster latched onto a clearence from the United defence and slammed the ball home from just outside the box.
In first half injury time the home side were unlucky not to have taken the lead. First Tom Lees made a goal-line clearence and then Harriott went close with a strike from distance.
There was a change at the interval for United with Marius Zaliukas replacing Scott Wootton, who had been struggling with a knock in the first half.
United had the perfect opportunity to regain the lead within three minutes of the second half when Danny Pugh was brought down in the Charlton penalty area. The referee pointed to the spot without hesitation, and McCormack was the man who stepped up and smashed the ball into the roof of the net for his second goal of the afternoon.
Kenny made another great save in the 55th minute minute by pushing the ball over his own bar to prevent Harriott equalising for the home side. Moments later McCormack crossed for Blackstock but the striker could only watch as his shot went wide of the mark.
The home side drew level for the second time of the afternoon on 70 minutes after great work from Church. Jackson was the scorer of the equaliser but it was Church who battled to create the chance for the Charlton captain, who turned the ball home from close range.
However, the home side's joy was short lived as three minutes later United were back in front. McCormack was the man with the goal after he latched onto Blackstock's header and hammered the ball home with a first time strike to complete his first hat-trick for United.
With five minutes of the game remaining and Charlton pushing for a third equaliser Chris Powell shuffled his pack by introducing Marvin Sordell and Bradley Pritchard.
The home pushed forward in the remaining minutes but it was United who had a great chance to extend their advantage with a free-kick from the edge of the box as the game went into four minutes of injury time. Man of the moment McCormack stood over the ball and sweetly struck his shot past Hamer to make it four for the afternoon for United and the striker.