They came, they scored two, their fans smashed bus windows, but Leeds United took all 3 points with a 4-2 victory over relegation candidates Millwall. The victory moves Leeds up into 6th place and the playoff positions.
Before the game, a number of bus windows were smashed as Millwall fans attempted to provoke on looking home supporters. The buses were provided in order to ensure that the `Wall fans were transported safely from the railway station, a small number of thugs obviously decided they didn’t wish to take the benefit of this service. The police meanwhile were attempting to keep the mindless fools that call themselves Leeds United supporters from getting near the vehicles with riot and mounted police getting involved.
Anyway, onto the football.
With Gus Poyet not attending due to not wishing to disrupt the pre-match preparations, injured captain Alan Thompson took up the assistant manager role for the game. He was joined at Elland Road by over 30,000 supporters, the 4th highest attendance in England on Saturday, beaten only by Manchester United, Chelsea and Sunderland.
Millwall started the brightest, as Will Hoskins found the net on just 3 minutes however this was ruled out by the referee’s assistant for scoring from an offside position. Leeds hit back immediately as Beckford fired across goal after picking up a Tresor Kandol flick on.
The opening goal came on 36 minutes, a Seb Carole cross was poorly cleared by the Millwall defence, falling to David Prutton who fired home with a neat half-volleyed finish. In the second half Leeds moved further ahead as Tresor Kandol chased down goalkeeper Lenny Pidgely, who’s attempted clearance struck the striker, falling to Beckford to side foot into the open net. Whilst Pidgley will feel very silly, he was lucky not to have made contact with the Leeds top scorer, thus avoiding an automatic red card.
Jonathan Douglas made it 3-0 on 57 as he turned and shot across goal from 6 yards, somehow avoiding a number of players standing in the way to nestle gently in the bottom corner. Two minutes later, Douglas found the opposite corner with a low drive from a free kick just outside the 18 yard box.
It was at this point that Dennis Wise is no doubt going to be working to eradicate at training this week. Leeds switched off and in turn, started to allow Millwall back into the match despite the 4-0 head start. A quick break was dispatched by Will Hoskins, followed by Ahmet Brkovic scoring a second to bring on a nervous finish to a match that mostly passed without action.
The action off the field however continued, as the bizarre decision to allow this game to take place at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon was made to look even more stupid as the police kept the away supporters inside Elland Road until they were able to move Leeds supporters far enough away from the stadium to ensure that they could leave peacefully. A number of mounted police charged at home supporters as they stood their ground outside the statue of Billy Bremner.
Whilst I don’t condone the actions of Leeds fans, there is a baffling tactic used that I still am unable to work out. Only a small number of Millwall fans were making their way to Elland Road, yet it was the Leeds United supporters that police attempted to keep away from the stadium both before, and after the game. Surely getting the away mob in and out of the ground first would have been a heck of better idea.
Congratulations go to Yorkshire Police; I hope you’re proud of the chaos your mismanagement of the situation caused.
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