Our jurors have their say on United’s 2-1 home win over Millwall
United fan for: 38 years
Leeds United registered their first win in seven Championship games and their first on home soil since the first week in February.
The narrow 2-1 win was a welcome boost for the manager and players but most of all the long suffering fans of the club. A great welcome too for Vinnie Jones, who returned his Second Division Championship medal to the club. How Leeds wish they had a player of his ilk in the starting XI.
With still no news on the protracted takeover of the club, the Football League are due to either approve or reject the bid from Massimo Cellino in the next day or so. The matter most on the fans’ minds is the horrendous run of form, that has included 5-1 and 4-2 home defeats and only two victories in 15 Championship fixtures.
Leeds’ first attack of note brought a goal, Matt Smith headed in Connor Wickham’s long throw.
Millwall came back with efforts from Martyn Woolford and Mark Beevers but Jack Butland dealt with the efforts and on 41 minutes the Leeds score was doubled, Ross McCormack was found with a punt up field and he took the ball into the area and, cool as you like, put the ball into the net past the despairing David Forde.
The mood was lifted even more by ‘Vinnie’s’ rendition of ‘Marching on Together’ with the fans during the half-time break.
The Lions started strongly and Butland had to save well from the lively Beevers. The Leeds stopper was again called into action when he scrambled to get a ball from McDonald’s feet. The impressive Luke Murphy hit a shot just wide of the mark and then McCormack wasn’t far away with a shot that crept past an upright.
Millwall’s persistence paid off when, with less than 20 minutes to play, substitute DJ Campbell hit a fantastic strike to reduce matters. Within minutes they were nearly level, only for Butland to thwart Millwall with a great save. Michael Tonge was introduced as the home side clung to their slender lead. The introduction of another midfielder moved Rudy Austin in front of the back four to support the defence.
Players worthy of a mention include Butland, Jason Pearce and Murphy who had another good game and the front two, Smith and McCormack.
This was a desperately needed win in the circumstances, it’s been regularly said a win is a win and even though Leeds were under the ‘cosh’ for some periods of the game they still deserved the victory.
The win moved them up to 13th in the Championship. This will give Leeds some confidence for their trip to Bournemouth tomorrow evening.
Man of the match: Jack Butland – the busiest keeper with some good saves at key times.
United fan for: 19 years
Well, a win is a win. We looked nervous in the first and last 15 minutes but were comfortable the other 60. I’m just glad we got over the line. I thought Connor Wickham was brilliant considering he was out of position. The feeling of netting three points was magical.
Man of the match: Connor Wickham.
United fan for: 18 years
Three points, what a relief! Two goals from our strike duo of Matt Smith and Ross McCormack before Vinnie Jones’ half-time well-orchestrated rendition of Marching on Together gave us a much needed win that ended a turbulent week off the pitch.
It was our first win in seven matches which left Millwall in the relegation zone and I genuinely hope this is the last time we play them for a long while.
The rest of this campaign is about two things, sorting out this takeover and ending this season on a high and giving both us and the manager encouraging signs to build on for next season.
Man of the match: Vinnie Jones.
United fan for: 23 years
It was an awful performance that saw us hanging on grimly at the end against a struggling side. Both our goals had an element of good fortune in them, Smith’s header looping over the keeper and McCormack capatalising on slack defensive work.
Man of the match: Jason Pearce.
United fan for: 18 years
Two rather fortuitous goals gave Leeds victory against Millwall.
It made a pleasant change to be able to capitalise on another side’s defensive mistakes for once.
Matt Smith was excellent, he held the ball up well and won most of his duels in the air. His inclusion meant another game on the left wing for Connor Wickham. I think that is a waste of his talents but the effort he put in as a loanee playing out of position was outstanding.
The performance overall was disappointing but the three points finally put an end to any lingering relegation fears.
Man of the match: Matt Smith.
United fan for: 41 years
United registered a much- needed victory to claim their first three points in six weeks with a hard-fought victory over relegation-threatened Millwall at Elland Road.
After another week of endless takeover rumour and counter-rumour, manager Brian McDermott was able to name an unchanged side from the one that showed a much- improved performance in last week’s defeat at Turf Moor with Rodolph Austin managing to shake of an ankle injury.
It was Ian Holloway’s side who started much the better and they forced a succession of corners and only a smart save from Jack Butland prevented Jason Pearce from putting through his own net for the second week in succession. It took the Whites almost 20 minutes to fashion their first real opportunity which led to the opening goal courtesy of a Connor Wickham long throw, leaving the visitors’ keeper David Forde out of position as Matt Smith converted. Just before the break skipper Ross McCormack seized on a defensive error to score from an acute angle for his 25th goal of the season.
Credit to the Lions who refused to lie down and substitute DJ Campbell halved the arrears to ensure the obligatory nervous ending for the excellent crowd of 23,211. However the central defensive due of Pearce and Lees were outstanding to ensure United held on for the victory.
Man of the match: Jason Pearce.