The match started off fairly scrappily, but within a few minutes of kick off, the Hammers had a corner, taken of course by Paolo di Canio - making his 100th league appearance in claret and blue. Tomas Repka headed just wide from the resulting corner, but at least the Hammers had the first noteworthy attack.
Despite a mild scare about 10 minutes later, when Repka's header back to James was a bit weak, there was a moments angst, but James collected in time, and the scare was controlled. Charlton had masses of corner's during the game, but it appears that Paolo isn't the worst corner taker in the league - out of their 13 attempts only a few were at a headable height, they were mostly about thigh high when they reached the goal area.
Cole had started off well in front of Sven's right hand man, Tord Grip, and had a good shot on target early on, and contributed to the first goal. Following some interplay by Cole and di Canio, Kanouté feeds the ball back to di Canio who twists and turns in the box to earn a penalty after a Kinsella bodycheck.
Paolo made no mistake to get his eighth goal this season, thie one from the spot, and for some reason (I only know it was for dissent) Addicks keeper Kiely is booked and West Ham settle a bit. Kanouté had a chance to double the lead within moments of the penalty, but he fired wide.
The Charlton players were throwing everything into the game, but at times their play was plain dirty. There were several two-footed challenges in the game, but Fortune was the first to go in the book after a disgraceful challenge on Joey. It could have been red had Mike Riley been in a bad mood at the time.
As the Hammers continue to seek their second, Steve Lomas' powerfully driven shot produces a great save out of the Charlton stopper, before the Addick's launch a counter attack that results in a corner.
David James took the corner expertly - we certainly look a lot less vulnerable from corners than when Shaka was our Number 1 - and spotted Cole's run down the left. An inch perfect throw enabled Joey to race away towards the Chalton goal.
In one of the best moves of the match, Joe fed Paolo who passed the ball through for Schemmel to run on to. The ball within an inch of going for a goal kick, Seb pulls it back for Kanouté to fire into the roof of the net, doubling the Hammers lead, and making it two in two for Fredi.
The remainder of the half entailed some fine play by West Ham, with di Canio almost making it three following a Sinclair run and a one-two by Kanouté and Carrick. Cole was again fouled by Kinsella, who unsurprisingly found his way into the ref's notebook.
The second half started off much the same as the first - rather scrappily, but it is Charlton who made the most of it, with the defence having much to do in the first 10 minutes. Fortune, Euell and Konchesky all had attempts, but none really trouble James. Kinsella had an excellent shot which clipped the top of the bar, almost bringing the Addicks right back into the game.
Michael Carrick ran the whole length of the pitch on a single man counter, and was lining up to shoot what would surely have been one of the goals of the month in the Premiership, when a perfectly timed last ditch tackle prevented his shot going further than his boot.
Charlton's luck continued to evade them, and the woodwork was the Hammers reserve keeper after James tipped another well-struck shot onto the bar. Paolo's 100th appearance was embittered when he caught his studs in the turf and was forced to go off less than 20 minutes before time.
During his treatment time on the pitch, those seated in the West Lower (or Dr Marten's or Rio) stand were provided with some entertainment courtesy of John Moncur who couldn't keep his hands away from the assistant referee's arse.
After being stretchered off to a standing ovation, Jermain Defoe was brought on to replace him. Only seconds after the substitution of our captain, West Ham conceded a penalty after Nigel Winterburn brought Johansson down.
Johansson sent 30,000 Hammers fans into delirium seconds later when he eumlated Chris Waddle's penalty taking style, blasting the shot yards over the right upright.
Roeder brought on Moncs for Cole in the dying minutes - the England youngster has broken a finger, but should be back on Saturday against Tottscum.
The first half was more of a spectacle than the second, and West Ham might have been punished for slack defending had they been facing a side with more potency in attack, but they weren't - they were playing Charlton.
The win made it three wins in three for the Irons, and Glenn Roeder's side moved up to 7th - the highest since midway through last season.
James 9 - Great performance by the England stopper - didn't put a foot wrong, and make some excellent saves.
Winterburn 6- Not a bad performance at all, but I felt that the game slowed a bit when the ball came to him. Also conceded the penalty.
Repka 7 - He is a solid player, and I think the reason for his occassional slip-ups is the language barrier - something that should hopefully be less of a problem by next season.
Dailly 7 - A slight injury worry in the second half was evidently not a problem, and Christian produced a good display.
Schemmel 8 - Some excellent runs up the right wing, and a brilliant cut-back for Freddie's goal.
Lomas 6 - Not a brilliant performance from Steve - he worked hard though.
Cole MOTM 9 - Excellent from young Joey - in this form he should to Japan.
Carrick 8 - Good to see Michael getting back to full fitness and sharpness. Almost got a superb goal too.
Sinclair 8 - Did well on the left, and almost set Paolo up for our third.
Kanouté 7 - Messed up a few times, and should have got a few more. However, he got his goal - and that is his job. A lot of moves seemes to capitulate with him though.
di Canio 8 - It was a shame to see him subbed, because he was beginning to show off a bit with Joey - pleasing the crowd. Hopefully his knee damage isn't too serious.
Defoe 6 - Didn't really have much of an affect on the match, with few chances coming his way in the few minutes that he was on.
Moncur - Not enough time to get a booking - let alone a rating.