Leeds gave debuts to three players signed over the summer with Marco Silvestri in goals, with Souleymane Doukara and Nicky Ajose taking to the field, but the new faces did little to inspire a team dominated by last years selections. With the departure of Tom Lee's, it fell to Wooton and Pearce to hold the defence steady in the centre, and as you would expect, they failed miserably. A midfield pairing of Murphy and Austin created as much as they did last season, which was next to nothing and Hockadays decision to keep faith with Noel Hunt up front did not win him any favour with the Leeds fans.
Millwall dominated the first 45 minutes, certainly in terms of attacks. It took just 11 minutes for them to open their campaign with a goal from a well worked short corner that was converted by Beevers on the volley. A second could have followed just five minutes later when Mark Beevers headed wide of the goal when it would have been easier to score. Further chances calm and went for Millwall, including a valid penalty claim and it was Leeds that ended the half thankful the score was only 1-0.
The second half was better, but remember this was better than being absolutely dire! Hunt had a clear cut chance in the opening moments when the Millwall keeper failed to deal with the ball - but he fluffed the finish, and Millwall broke to the other end to create a chance of their own. Although Leeds enjoyed some possession, they failed to create real clear cut chances. Millwall looked dangerous against a shaky defence and always looked like getting a second.
With Leeds pushing, and Smith and Poleon on, there was a glimmer of hope of stealing a draw from the game, but it would have been daylight robbery.
On 87 minutes, the match was settled when substitute youngster, Lewis Cook was deemed to have brought down Lee Gregory in the box. Shaun Williams converted the spot kick and Millwall took the three points.
Hockaday was resolute after the game, pleased with how the players had responded in the second half and promised discussions would be taking place today (Sunday) with the President, Cellino about the strength of the squad. It was clear from the performance that further strength is needed and quickly before the transfer window shuts. A defender and proven goal-scorer are essential but if the truth be told, we need to build in all areas of the park.
The defeat, and the manner of the performance has given further doubt to the supporters as to the ability of Hockaday and three home games coming up over the next ten days are going to be very telling to the Elland Road faithfull and the ex-Forest Green manager.
Millwall 2-0 Leeds United - Player Ratings (give your ratings and see how they compare).