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Page last updated at 20:47 GMT, Thursday, 14 May 2009 21:47 UK

Leeds 1-1 Millwall (agg 1-2)

Djimi Abdou scored the crucial goal for Millwall
Abdou's equaliser earned Millwall victory on aggregate

Jermaine Beckford missed a penalty as Millwall drew with Leeds to reach the play-off final 2-1 on aggregate.

Leeds had the better of a lively first half, with Beckford and Fabian Delph denied by a double save by David Forde.

Beckford had another chance from the spot when Sam Sodje was pulled back in the box but Forde saved his effort.

Luciano Becchio put Leeds ahead after 53 minutes before Djimi Abdou poked home Lewis Grabban's cross to level the game after 74 minutes and win the tie.

With so much at stake it was inevitable the match would be a full-blooded affair and Millwall's Adam Bolder wasted little time in picking up the first booking of the match for a crunching tackle on Robert Snodgrass in the first minute.


But any fears that the tension of the night would get to the players proved ill-founded, as both teams played their part in a rugged but entertaining first half.

With Millwall 1-0 up from the first leg Leeds knew it was vital they scored first, but the visitors defended stoutly.

Clear shots on goal were rare, and when he was finally called into action, Millwall keeper Forde was on top form.

After Snodgrass laid the ball off to Beckford his shot was pushed away by Forde into the path of Delph, but fortunately for the Lions he was off-balance and his follow-up shot was weak.

Having survived the first half, Millwall must have felt fate was on their side when Leeds missed a penalty just after the restart.

Referee Mark Halsey saw Andy Frampton pull back Sodje in the box, despite few other people in the ground having noticed it, and Beckford had the chance to score from the spot.

But his weak effort was blocked by Forde, who also smothered Delph's follow-up effort, and the tension in the ground rose accordingly.

Within three minutes, though, that miss was forgotten as Parker's cross from the left found Becchio in the middle and he slid in between two defenders to poke home.

With time running out Tony Dunne's frantic defending denied Beckford a chance of a breakaway goal and a minute later the full value of that intervention became clear.

Dave Martin's cross from the left found substitute Grabban and he knocked the ball back into the path of Abdou, who stabbed home from close range.

In the dying seconds Bradley Johnson saw a long-range effort flash just inches wide of the post, as Leeds went all out for a second goal.

But despite six minutes of stoppage time, the Millwall defence stood firm and they held on to reach Wembley and their first ever play-off final.

Leeds manager Simon Grayson:
"I thought we'd go on and get the winner, but now I'll sit down with the chairman.

"We had plans for Championship football and League One football, we know where we are with players and budgets.

"So we'll get over it, start again and give it a real good go for automatic promotion next season."

Millwall manager Kenny Jackett:
"To overcome Leeds, who are a very good team, over two legs is a very good achievement.

"It was one of the best atmospheres here tonight that I've been involved in and when their goal went in there was some momentum there and we came back from that very well.

"I've got to say the Leeds crowd were magnificent. Walking back myself, they were first class, congratulating us and although it's no consolation they were a credit to their club."

Leeds: Ankergren, Douglas, Sodje, Naylor, Parker (Johnson 77), Delph, Snodgrass, Howson (Grella 90), Kilkenny (Robinson 35), Beckford, Becchio.
Subs Not Used: Lucas, Marques.

Booked: Delph, Robinson, Ankergren, Beckford.

Goals: Becchio 53.

Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Whitbread, Craig, Frampton, Henry (Robinson 86), Abdou, Bolder, Martin, Alexander, Harris (Grabban 64).
Subs Not Used: Pidgeley, Barron, Laird.

Booked: Bolder, Martin, Dunne, Craig, Abdou.

Goals: Abdou 74.

Att: 37,036

Ref: Mark Halsey (Lancashire)

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see also
Fans' anger at M1 ticket pick-up
14 May 09 |  West Yorkshire
Bignot turns up pressure on Leeds
12 May 09 |  Millwall
FA to probe Millwall fan trouble
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Pitch invasion over-reported - Jackett
12 May 09 |  Millwall
Ankergren fumes at Millwall fans
09 May 09 |  Leeds
Millwall 1-0 Leeds
09 May 09 |  League One

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