BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Adam Barrett enjoyed a dream start to his caretaker spell in charge of Millwall as they ensured Leeds’ miserable record in London continued.
The Lions first-team coach took charge after Neil Harris’ resignation on Thursday evening.
And Leeds were heavy favourites with the bookies to pick up victory, just as they had been at Charlton last weekend.
Once again they were left pointless though as Jed Wallace’s penalty and Tom Bradshaw’s excellent finish put them 2-0 ahead at the break.
Leeds recent record in London reads one win, five draws and 11 defeats.
The question was whether Leeds centre-back Gaetano Berardi should have seen red for the spot-kick – with claims that Bradshaw dropped to the turf in a delayed reaction.
But once referee Linington made his decision, he ruled that the United defender was last man and brought out his red card.
Ezgjan Alioski did halve the deficit moments after the second half restarted but Millwall’s game management was on point in the closing stages as they ended a seven-game winless spell and moved up to 15th in the table.
Barrett made two changes to the side which picked up a 1-1 draw at Luton on Wednesday night with Ben Thompson and Shane Ferguson, available again after serving a one-match suspension, coming in for Connor Mahoney and Matt Smith, who both dropped to the bench.
Leeds United were missing some key personnel with Gaetano Berardi and Luke Ayling coming in for injured duo Liam Cooper and Jamie Shackleton. Playmaker Pablo Hernandez is still sidelined.
Millwall were clearly fired up and had their first chance in less than 90 seconds but Kiko Casilla kept out Mahlon Romeo’s drive with his legs.
A huge moment came in the 14th minute as Bradshaw went down in the box when he was in on goal and referee Linington showed Swiss Berardi a straight red card – the eighth dismissal of his United career. Wallace made no mistake with his emphatic penalty.
Thompson was relishing being in a roaming role behind Bradshaw and had an opportunity in the 26th minute but slipped as he went to strike the ball, Casilla making the save.
Millwall were forced into a change before the half-hour mark with Ryan Leonard, twice needing lengthy treatment on his right leg.
It was 2-0 on 43 minutes. Thompson popped the ball down the left for Ferguson and his low delivery was expertly taken first time by Bradshaw, the ball kissing off the base of the right upright on its way into the net.
Leeds cut the deficit within seconds of the restart through Alioski. But it was their only shot on target of the afternoon, despite still controlling possession they found the hosts tough to fully open up.
Millwall were content to sit deep and also slow the play down with keeper Bartosz Bialkowski booked for time wasting in the 82nd minute.
Substitute Jon Dadi Bodvarsson produced a tame effort straight at Casilla after Jayson Molumby had hassled possession on the edge of the box.
PICTURE BY BRIAN TONKS
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