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Match Report


Posted Sat 09 Apr 11 at 18:47 PM

Millwall 3 Leeds United 2

Millwall kept their Play-Off dream alive with a fourth win in five games against promotion rivals Leeds United.
On an afternoon when The Lions became the first club to produce a 3D matchday programme, Kenny Jackett's men stayed fully focused on the task in hand and served up a real spectacle, especially in the first-half.
"It was very nip and tuck," said Lions boss Jackett. "We did very well in the first half, but I thought Leeds would come back at us because they have scored a lot of goals recently.
We wanted to start fast and start well, and get the crowd going. I'm pleased to say we did that and our goals came at crucial times."
Two Millwall corners in the opening three minutes set the tone for a humdinger of a game between these two old foes who, at the same stage 12 months ago, were battling away for precious points at the top of League One.
Home keeper David Forde was equal to a spectacular overhead kick by Max Gradel on 13 minutes, although the linesman's flag shot up for offside just as Forde brilliantly tipped the ball over the bar at full stretch.
Three minutes later Tony Craig's sliderule pass down the line was intercepted by Leeds defender Andy O'Brien who slipped most inopportunely, enabling Steve Morison to gain possession. Morison charged forward only to have his dangerous break brought to a half by a timely tackle from Leigh Bromby.
Millwall broke the deadlock after 23 minutes when Kevin Lisbie was chopped down from behind around 22 yards out. James Henry stepped up to despatch a sublime curling free-kick that flew into the back of the net, despite keeper Casper Schmeichel getting a hand to the ball.
Roared on by a season's best crowd of 16,724, The Lions doubled their tally on the half hour when the lively Andros Townsend delivered a teasing corner and Liam Trotter flicked home from barely two yards.
Lisbie, who had been linking up so well with strike partner Morison, was forced off injured a couple of minutes later to be replaced by Neil Harris.
Leeds midfielder Robert Snodgrass could count himself very lucky not to have been sent off following a heated three-minute spell which saw him pick up a yellow card and then lead with his elbow when challenging left-back Craig.
Not surprisingly Leeds boss Simon Grayson made a change at the break with his eyes set on inspiring a fightback, and on came Davide Somma for Snodgrass.
Within five minutes the Yorkshire outfit had indeed clawed a goal back courtesy of Luciano Becchio's close range finish from Eric Lichaj's cross.
Spurred on by this, the visitors went close to grabbing an equaliser when Somma flicked on a long clearance from keeper Schmeichel and Gradel hit a stinging first-time shot that Forde did well to save low to his left.
At the other end The Lions showed that they remained a threat too with Townsend and Harris combining well on the left flank, and the latter's final delivery having just too much pace as the ball spun away from the unmarked Morison.
However Morison was not to be denied and when Henry's rasping 61st-minute drive was too hot for Schmeichel to handle, there was Millwall's goal poacher supreme to calmly clip the ball home for a 3-1 lead.
Henry dragged an effort narrowly wide following smart interplay by Trotter and Morison whilst Harris really should have put the result beyond reach 10 minutes from time when Henry's inviting delivery was placed over the bar from six yards.
Winger Henry, who was one of many Lions players to have a fine game, forced Schmeichel to get down low to keep out his crisply struck 35-yard free-kick six minutes from time and then Harris somehow headed over another Townsend cross 60 seconds later as Millwall pressed for a fourth goal.
However with the home fans whistling furiously for referee Scott Mathieson to bring the game to a close, Leeds defender O'Brien capitalised on some relaxed defending by Jackett's men to further reduce the arrears further with virtually the last action of the game to somewhat flatter a below-par Leeds side.

Millwall: Forde, Smith, Craig, Trotter, Robinson, Ward, Townsend (Bouazza, 88mins), Mkandawire, Lisbie (Harris, 32mins), Morison (McQuoid, 90+2mins), Henry. Subs: Mildenhall, Barron, Abdou, Purse.
Booking: Smith (36mins)
Scorers: Henry (23mins), Trotter (30mins), Morison (61mins)

Leeds United: Schmeichel, Connolly (Bannan, 73mins), Gradel, Becchio, Howson, Johnson, Livermore (McCormack, 82mins), Lichaj, Snodgrass (Somma, 46mins), Bromby, O'Brien. Subs not used: Higgs, Bruce, Naylor, Kilkenny.
Booking: Snodgrass (35mins)
Scorers: Becchio (50mins), O'Brien (90+4mins)

Ref: S. Mathieson
Att: 16,724 (away 2,191)

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