Millwall enjoy away day at Leeds United as they prevail in ding-dong Elland Road encounter

LEEDS 3
Lasogga 46, 62 Roofe 55
MILLWALL 4
O’Brien 18 Gregory 42 Elliott 87 Wallace 90
By ROSS HEPPENSTALL at Elland Road

Of all the ways to end your away-day woes, this was surely it.

A seven-goal thriller, an injury-time winner against one of your most bitter rivals and a first away victory of the Championship season.

Life as a Millwall supporter does not get much better.

Around 1,500 Lions fans headed to Elland Road to see their team bury an awful record which had left them as the only side at this level yet to win away this season.

Despite a vibrant first-half display which saw Neil Harris’ men establish a two-goal lead and Leeds defender Liam Cooper sent off, Millwall switched off at half-time.

The 10 men of Leeds, roared on by a vociferous support in a bumper crowd of 33,564, took advantage and somehow turned the game on its head to lead 3-2 in the 62nd minute.

The drama, however, was far from over.

In the 87th minute, substitute Tom Elliott, Leeds born and nurtured in the youth ranks at Elland Road, levelled matters with a smart finish before Jed Wallace hit a deflected winner two minutes into added time.

Tom Elliott – Pic by Brian Tonks

It was an incredible finish to an amazing game and left Millwall boss Harris beaming with pride after Millwall’s first win on this ground since 2010.

As the noisy travelling contingent were kept in by police for around 40 minutes after the game to prevent trouble, Harris emerged from the tunnel and headed towards the away section.

As he was serenaded by the Lions supporters, the club’s all-time record goalscorer signalled his delight with a double fist-clenched salute.

Millwall fans celebrate – Pic by Brian Tonks

It said everything.

Millwall have been unfortunate on the road at times this season, but this success encouraged hopes they can compete closer to the top six rather than the bottom six in the second half of the campaign.

Old foes Leeds were top of the league after losing for the first time this season in a 1-0 reverse at The Den last September.

Ambition still pulses around Elland Road but the way Millwall played them off the park for much of the opening 45 minutes suggested even a top-six finish could prove beyond Thomas Christiansen’s side.

The Lions could have led inside the opening minute when Aiden O’Brien’s curling shot was palmed away by Felix Wiedwald before Pierre-Michel Lassoga was twice denied by Jordan Archer.

The lively start continued when Wallace fired home a well-struck right-footed volley but the goal was ruled out due to Steve Morison being judged offside, much to the disgust of Harris.

Morison, who rarely produced his best form as a Leeds player but was outstanding on Saturday, then crossed from the right flank and O’Brien nodded home at the far post.

Aiden O’Brien – Pic by Brian Tonks

Shaun Hutchinson headed a corner against the crossbar before Cooper’s reckless late lunge on George Saville saw him dismissed.

That sparked an ugly melee between the rival coaching teams which led to Lions assistant boss Dave Livermore and Leeds coach Paul Butler being sent to the stands.

Three minutes before half-time, Gregory bundled home Morison’s right-wing cross from close range at the back post to make it 2-0.

From there, and against 10 men, Millwall should have coasted to victory.

They did not.

Within seconds of the restart, Lassoga got Leeds back into contention with a well-struck shot from 12 yards before Kemar Roofe bundled in a 55th-minute equaliser.

Remarkably, Lassoga struck again with a fine left-foot shot in the 62nd minute to put Leeds 3-2 up, but the drama was not over.

As Leeds began to tire, Elliott hit a clinical right-footed shot into the bottom corner from 12 yards with just three minutes remaining to make it 3-3.

Then it was Wallace’s turn to take centre stage two minutes into added time, hitting a deflected effort which flew past Wiedwald and sent the travelling Lions fans into ecstasy.


Please support your local paper by making a donation

 

 

Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ


Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.

So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.

Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *