Leeds United suffered a fourth successive defeat and failed to score again as they lost 2-0 at a Millwall ground where they have always found it difficult.
With five losses on their last six visits to the London club the Whites knew they faced a tough task to turn their form round, but two second half goals condemned them to yet another defeat at the New Den.
Leeds boss Brian McDermott made changes from the team that also lost 2-0 at Newcastle in midweek, recalling Lee Peltier at right-back and Luke Murphy in midfield, but keeping teenage midfielder Alex Mowatt in for his first league game.
McDermott named four midfielders in a change of formation and United created the first half-chance, Rudy Austin breaking forward before hitting a shot that went just wide.
Play was generally scrappy, however, and it was a surprise when Millwall suddenly hit the woodwork with Martyn Waghorn’s shot following a poor clearance.
Leeds finished the half the better only for Murphy to hit a shot over and Luke Varney to try an overhead kick that sent the ball over.
Defender Jason Pearce was still left looking for his first goal for Leeds as he fired well over from Ross McCormack’s pull back.
The second half saw Leeds start well as Mowatt fashioned a chance for McCormack only for the Scottish forward to hit his effort inches wide.
But it was the hosts that took the lead through their Pontefract-born wide man Martyn Woolford, who beat keeper Paddy Kenny with a well struck shot following a good ball by Lee Martin.
McDermott threw on Sam Byram and Matt Smith as subs, but before they could play much of a part Millwall doubled their lead when Scott Malone was allowed space in the box and made no mistake to make it 2-0.
United looked to hit back, but McCormack’s long range strike was saved by David Forde and the Millwall keeper also denied Austin after he raced through following clever play by McCormack.
It was the home team that went closest to another goal, however, when Woolford hit the post with only Kenny to beat.
Manager McDermott was unhappy with his side’s second half display in particular.
He said: “”We didn’t do the ugly stuff well enough in the second half so I’m very disappointed. It’s the first time that’s happened with me.
“I’ve been here many times and know what to expect and you’ve got to do it for 90 minutes, not 45.
“The second half came as a shock to my system. I’m bitterly disappointed with the players we’ve got, who are decent but are not at the level at this moment in time.
“If you let runners go at your goal or get the wrong side of players, then that’s what happens. I’ve got no complaints about the result after the second half.”
(Woolford 65, Malone 76)
Leeds United 0
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Sky Bet Championship
Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Shittu, Robinson, Trotter, Easter (Martin 49), Bailey, Woolford, Abdou, Malone, Waghorn (Keogh 81).
Leeds: Kenny, Peltier, Pearce, Wootton, Warnock (Green 80), Austin, Murphy, Mowatt, Tonge (Byram 69), McCormack, Varney (Smith 69).
Referee: Chris Foy.