Leeds United slide goes on after another late goal blow
Caretaker manager Neil Redfearn could not arrest Leeds United’s slide as they fell to yet another injury-time header to lose 2-1 to Charlton Athletic at The Valley.
A Luke Varney goal had appeared to have been enough to earn the Whites a point after they had fallen behind to a Johnnie Jackson strike, but Jonathan Obika scored a last-gasp winner to round off a miserable week for Leeds.
A fourth straight league defeat increased United’s relegation fears and left them down in 16th place in the Npower Championship, just five points above the bottom three.
Redfearn made four changes to the team that lost to Derby, reverting back to a 4-4-2 formation with Michael Tonge, David Norris and Aidan White back in midfield and Ross McCormack up front with Steve Morison.
It was United who had the first chance when Paul Green whipped in a dangerous ball, but Morison failed to beat home keeper Ben Hamer.
At the other end Charlton were almost gifted a goal when defender Jason Pearce sliced a cross towards his own goal and Paddy Kenny did well to save.
Kenny saved again from Yann Kermorgant’s scissor kick then denied Dorian Dervite.
Green fired over as Leeds went on the attack, but the half ended without score with United still waiting for their first goal in the first half of any league game in 2013.
They found themselves behind early in the second half as former Leeds player Andy Hughes saw his effort diverted in by Jackson.
Charlton looked to sit back and defend their lead as the half wore on and almost paid the price when Morison crashed a shot against the post.
But United levelled eight minutes from time, substitute Luke Varney firing home after Stephen Warnock’s cross was not cleared.
In a frantic finish play went from end to end with both teams looking for a winner. Lee Peltier made a great block to deny Chris Solly, but then had to come off through injury, leaving the Whites with only one recognised centre-back in injury-time.
The hosts pushed forward one last time and came up with a dramatic winner when on-loan striker Obika was left unmarked to head in from close range.
Once again it had been a late goal to do the damage for Leeds and yet again a header.
Charlton Athletic 2
(Jackson 46, Obika 90+5)
Leeds United 1 (Varney 82)
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Charlton: Hamer, Hughes, Jackson, Morrison, Pritchard, Wiggins, Kermorgant, Fuller (Kerkar 77), Solly, Harriott (Obika 86), Dervite.
Leeds: Kenny, Byram, Peltier (Austin 90), Pearce, Warnock, Green, Tonge (Brown 88), Norris, White (Varney 66), Morison, McCormack.
Referee: Stuart Atwell.