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Match Report


Posted Sun 18 Nov 12 at 16:32 PM

Full-time score from The Den

Chris Wood bagged his seventh goal of the season with a superb late winner as Millwall stretched their unbeaten run to 10 games with a hard-fought victory against Leeds United.
Wood stooped to head home Shane Lowry's delicious 85th-minute cross to send The Den faithful into raptures as the resistence of Leeds' 10 men was finally broken.
Until that point, Neil Warnock's outfit had repelled everything that The Lions could throw at them having seen Luke Varney shown a straight red card for a 48th-minute elbow on right-back Adam Smith.
"It was a really quality goal," said Lions boss Kenny Jackett, "It was a fantastic ball from Shane (Lowry) and Chris was in the right place at the right time.
I'm very pleased; any win in the Championship is hard-earned. Millwall v Leeds games are very passionate and today was no different."
Manager Jackett returned to the dug-out having missed The Lions' last outing against Derby County through illness, while midfielder Josh Wright stepped off the bench to replace Jimmy Abdou, who was in France following the birth of his baby daughter.
Ironically Leeds' last visit to The Den came on the back of a 7-3 defeat by Nottingham Forest, and they promptly edged to a 1-0 win.
On this occasion Warnock's side entered SE16 having been whipped 6-1 at home by Watford last week - and the Yorkshire outfit were hoping for a case of deja vu this time too.
Leeds certainly set their stall out early when El-Hadji Diouf was sent tumbling by Mark Beevers as he burst forward. A yellow card was shown to the Millwall defender and thankfully Michael Tonge's resulting free-kick crashed against the wall before the danger was cleared.
The visitors enjoyed more possession in the opening exchanges and Adam Drury's shot was deflected over the bar as the visitors pressed for an early goal.
But The Lions slowly and surely settled into their stride, creating a handful of half-chances of their own firstly, with Liam Feeney’s long range effort flying over, and then Chris Taylor just failing to connect with Feeney’s low cross into the box.
Liam Trotter fired narrowly over and Ryan Hall shot straight at home keeper David Forde as the two teams traded half-chances.
Jackett's men nearly broke the deadlock moments before the break when Beevers rose majestically to meet Taylor’s corner, but his header was cleared off the line by Tom Lees.
Andy Keogh was thwarted too with a snap-shot that Paddy Kenny did well to smother at his near post and the Irish international saw another 20-yarder fly just wide as the interval approached.
The match exploded into life just three minutes into the second half when Varney was dismissed after leading with his elbow into a challenge with Smith.
Thereafter, and roared on by a season's best home crowd of 13,117, Jackett's men upped the tempo - and the pressure - in a bid to make their numerical advantage count.
Wood was agonisingly close to connecting with a Feeney cross before the latter was replaced on the hour-mark by James Henry.
Both Taylor and Henry shot off target from distance and The Lions did have the ball in the back of the net when Kenny rushed out to try to gather Trotter's cross but collided with Wood and the ball bobbled over the line.
However, it was deemed that the keeper had been pushed and Millwall's celebrations were cut short.
Dany N'Guessan then entered the fray with eight minutes remaining - and manager Jackett got just the response he wanted as the big man made an instant impact. Just two minutes after coming on, N'Guessan did well to keep the ball in play and slipped a pass back to Lowry who in turn despatched a perfect cross which was met by Wood, who powered a header past Kenny from six yards.
Despite Leeds' frantic attempts to force a leveller - their best chance a free-kick 18 yards out woefully fired over in stoppage time by Tonge - it was to be Millwall’s day yet again with a win that moves the team to within two points of the Play-Offs.

Millwall: Forde, A.Smith, Lowry, Wright, Shittu, Beevers, C.Taylor (N'Guessan, 82mins), Trotter, Keogh, Wood, Feeney (Henry, 59mins). Subs not used: M.Taylor, Malone, Racon, Osborne, J.Smith.  
Bookings: Beevers (3mins), Henry (70mins), Taylor (71mins) 
Scorer: Wood (85mins)  

Leeds United: Kenny, Hall (McCormack, 65mins), Peltier, Byram, Lees, Diouf, Drury, Tonge, Green, Varney, Becchio. Subs not used: Kisnorbo, Ashdown, White, Norris, Gray, Pugh. 
Booking: Green (65mins) 
Sending off: Varney (48mins) 

Ref: M.Halsey

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