Lee the leader at a loss in the Den of dark despair

Millwall 1 Ipswich Town 2

Millwall fans must need to pinch themselves to remember that they had a team good enough to reach the FA Cup final in 2004. They began this season so immersed in dark farce that Ipswich's mid-week dismissal from the Carling Cup by League One's bottom club, Yeovil Town, seemed like a comparatively minor stumble. After all, Ipswich had already won a couple of Championship matches while Millwall were simply grateful that their own cup win over Bristol Rovers had given the slightest of hints that there might be hope amidst the chaos.

Colin Lee, their latest manager after the 36-day reign of Steve Claridge and the earlier departure of Dennis Wise, accepts it is going to be the "toughest job of my career".

Behind the scenes, the former chairman, Theo Paphitis, who is still a director, is said to remain the major player off the pitch. On it, Lee has admitted there is no longer enough quality to getnear the top of the division and little money to do much about it.

Among other problems, Millwall are short of goalkeepers. They have borrowed Paul Jones from Wolves but yesterday felt some reassurance since Andy Marshall was back after suspension, or that was what they thought until the 13th minute when the Ipswich fans delighted in seeing their former keeper offer them a goal. Marshall cleared directly to Jim Magilton, who knocked the ball forward for Darren Currie to beat the embarrassed goalie.

That was slightly more than Ipswich merited, but they had been playing some modestly attractive football. Basic lack of ball control continuously jeopardised Millwall's chances of recovery. Hardly any of them seemed capable of effective trapping. Lee attempted to enliven his midfield and attack by bringing on Ben May and Marvin Elliott for the second half, soon followed by Don Hutchison. To some extent that had a beneficial effect. Having May wide on the right meant that Ipswich found themselves a shade more stretched, but Richard Naylor was sharp, quick and decisive in the centre of their defence.

When Naylor was eventually unable to create an intervention, May was left a few yards outside the penalty area with a good sight of goal but, on earlier evidence, there seemed little chance of anything spectacular ensuing. Yet May chested the ball down and firedan enormous shot past Lewis Price.

Things went from bad to worse for Ipswich when they were reduced to 10 men in the 76th minute, Naylor being sent off for dragging back Barry Hayles. But they secured the win four minutes later when Currie crossed to Sam Parkin, who outjumped the Millwall defence to score.

"Our basic defending is letting us down," Lee said. "Today it was frightening. Also, we couldn't get accurate balls into their penalty area or even keep possession."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks