Leeds United Football Club - Matchreport Leeds United vs Millwall

Leeds 1 Millwall 1
Pre-Match
United boss Kevin Blackwell has been able to name un unchanged side to the one that drew with West Ham a little over a week ago, with David Healy, Matthew Kilgallon, Jermaine Wright and Frazer Richardson having all shaken off injuries.
The Match
United were looking to build on the valuable away point gained at West Ham and they knew they would have to work for the full 90 minutes against a Millwall side that thrive on bringing a physical approach to the game.
They could have been given a rude awakening after just a minute when Lions skipper Darren Ward was left unmarked inside the area but fortunately sent his header well over the top of Neil Sullivan's goal.
Leeds though took control of the opening exchanges, Healy setting John Oster free down the right after two minutes but the offside flag was up against the Welshman.
With five minutes having been played the first real chance of the game came Brian Deane's way, but his header from the penalty spot was glanced just wide of the right hand post.
The dangerous and much coveted winger Paul Ifill could have given the visitors the lead in the tenth minute when he got past the United backline but fired his shot wide across the face of goal.
Former Leeds transfer target Barry Hayles, who rejected a move to Elland Road in favour of joining Sheffield United, swung an arm out at Sean Gregan in an act of retaliation to pick up the first yellow card of the game.
When Gregan fouled Peter Sweeney five yards outside the penalty area it presented Millwall with a good position from which to test Sullivan, but Sweeney's free-kick was straight into the keeper's arms.
Jermaine Wright was the first United player to go into referee Tony Leake's notebook when he went in with a crude challenge on Mark Phillips with quarter of an hour played.
Midway through the half Hayles shot from just to the left of the six-yard area not well taken by Sullivan and Ifill nearly got the ball off the Whites keeper but just couldn't control it.
Leeds best chance came eight minutes before the break, a cross in from Kelly was flicked on by Deane and Danny Pugh looked certain to score as he came in on the ball but poked it wide of the target on the volley.
Then Wright sent in a free-kick and it fell into the middle of the penalty area, hit Dichio and fell for Gregan whose shot flew well over the top as he lost his balance.
Leeds upped the pressure on the visitors as the half drew to a close, and when Pugh's corner was met well by the climbing figure of Matthew Kilgallon, the opening goal beckoned but his header was well held by Andy Marshall in the Millwall goal.
The breakthrough finally came two minutes before the break, Oster put through in the left of the penalty area by Healy, and instead of shooting first time he skipped the challenge of Livermore and curled his shot into the net left-footed. Although it hit an arm on the way in there was no way the referee was not going to allow the goal to stand.
No changes for either side at half-time, Kevin Blackwell would have sent his side out with the message that one goal was unlikely to be enough to secure the win and Leeds set about the task of getting a crucial second.
It was Millwall though who had the first shot on goal, Ifill trying his luck from 25-yards and drawing a smart save from Sullivan.
Nine minutes into the half and from a central position Kelly threaded through a perfect pass for Oster to collect and the on loan winger should really have scored his second goal but put his low drive too close to the keeper for an easy save.
Shortly afterwards Healy took Elliott out with a rash challenge near the sidelines and picked up a booking.
Worse was to follow barely a minute later when Sean Gregan was booked for a challenge on Ifill. That was his fifth booking and now he must sit out United's trip to Sunderland on Boxing Day.
As the hour mark approached David Healy shot wide from a good position, the oohs and ahhs of the crowd telling just how close he was to making the score 2-0.
Leeds continued to pour forward and create chances but Brian Deane missed another opportunity to put his name on the scoresheet when he headed a Kelly cross over from seven yards out.
It needed a good recovery from skipper Paul Butler to prevent Ifill from getting in a shot that could have levelled the scores on 65 minutes. The skipper had initially lost his footing as the ball came into the area but he got up well and blocked the winger's shot.
The crowd expected United's second to come when John Oster beat the off-side trap and squared the ball across the face of goal into the path of Healy. The Northern Ireland international tried to sidefoot the shot home but the keeper managed to block the shot with his body and the ball broke into space away from any Leeds player who might have had the opportunity to tuck it home into an empty net.
Millwall brought on a sub after 70 minutes and he nearly scored on his first opportunity but his shot from eight yards out went wide.
With quarter of an hour left Frazer Richardson suddenly burst into action and his shot from 25-yards looked to be heading towards the bottom right hand corner of the net but the keeper made the block and the ball squirmed under his body and out for a corner.
Jermaine Wright's afternoon came to an end on 78 minutes when Kevin Blackwell brought on the youngster Simon Walton.
A few minutes later and Brian Deane left the field to a standing ovation for his hard work and Julian Joachim was given a run out.

Having failed to get the second goal which would have killed the game, true to form Leeds were hit by the sucker-punch once again.
Paul Ifill appeared to handle the ball as he forced his way into the box but when Kelly stuck out a foot and sent him tumbling the referee pointed straight to the spot.
To make matters worse it was former United midfielder Jody Morris who stepped up and sent Sullivan the wrong way, blasting his spot-kick into the opposite corner of the net.
One suspension for the Boxing Day game at the Stadium of Light became two as Simon Walton picked up a needless booking for dissent.
The equaliser with five minutes left set up a frantic finish to the game with Leeds desperate to claw back all three points but despite piling on the pressure, that elusive second goal just would not come.

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