Leeds United 2 Millwall 1: Whites end poor run

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Leeds United ended another bad run of form with a scrappy but badly-needed win over Millwall at Elland Road.

First-half goals from Matt Smith and Ross McCormack set up a victory which drew a line under three straight defeats and six matches without a win.

Millwall had most of the game but were punished for sloppy concessions, and DJ Campbell’s classy volley 18 minutes from time failed to avert a result which pushed them closer towards relegation from the Championship.

Ian Holloway’s side ran Leeds ragged in the early stages and were lucky to see Jack Butland tip a Jason Pearce flick past a post after the defender headed Ed Upson’s free-kick towards his own goal.

United created nothing until the 18th minute when Smith snatched the opening goal out of very little. The striker rose to meet a long throw-in from Connor Wickham and David Forde’s misjudgement allowed Smith’s header to float over his head and inside the far post.

Heavy rain ruined much of the first half, though neither side offered great quality, and Butland denied Millwall an equaliser by dropping down to save Scott McDonald’s shot after Upson cut Leeds open again.

And United snatched a second fortuitous goal four minutes before the break when Tom Lees’ sliding tackle flew up field and McCormack nipped in behind Millwall’s defence to slide the loose ball under Forde.

Smith went close again soon after the break with an off-target attempt but Leeds were forced into desperate defending to stop John Marquis’ free header sneaking over the line on 50 minutes.

McCormack then dragged a shot wide after Millwall were caught on the break

Campbell, however, produced a blistering volley on 72 minutes to pull Millwall back into the game and set up a tense finish which Leeds survived.

Leeds United: Butland, Byram (Wootton 90), Lees, Pearce, Pugh, Mowatt (Tonge 84), Austin, Murphy, Wickham (Hunt 86), McCormack, Smith. Subs (not used): Cairns, Warnock, Stewart, Poleon.

Millwall: Dunne, Robinson, Beevers, Lowry, Upson (Campbell 57), Garvan, Onyedinma (Jackson 59), McDonald, Woolford, Marquis (Maierhofer 57). Subs (not used): Bywater, Fredericks, Abdou, Powell.

Paul Heckingbottom.

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