McIntosh steals Leeds' thunder

Rotherham United 1 - Leeds United 0
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The Independent Online

Leeds United's first visit to Millmoor in over two decades ended in an improbable defeat last night as Rotherham won their first League match of the season at the 21st attempt.

Leeds United's first visit to Millmoor in over two decades ended in an improbable defeat last night as Rotherham won their first League match of the season at the 21st attempt.

Martin McIntosh scored the decisive goal, forcing the ball over the line from close range after Shaun Barker's back-heel. It was almost the South Yorkshire club's only attack of the evening.

It saved Rotherham from what would have been the worst start to a season in the club's history. Newport County's record of four draws and 21 defeats before a win in the 1970-71 season is safe for another year.

"We were lucky," said Ronnie Moore, the Rotherham manager. "They destroyed us in the first half and we were just lucky still to be in the game at half-time because we could've been 5-0 down. But we've played better in other games and not been able to hold on so we'll take it and hope it kick-starts our season."

Leeds dominated the entire match but squandered a host of excellent chances. In a 10-minute spell at the start of the match alone, they hit the woodwork on three separate occasions.

Clarke Carlisle was the unlucky player in each case. The central defender first deflected Jermaine Wright's corner into the woodwork then fired a header the same way 30 seconds later. He completed his sorry hat-trick by shooting against the post and, to finish an eventful 13 minutes, then sustained an injury and was promptly substituted.

It didn't stop Leeds from continuing to dominate the game in a way rarely seen by an away side in the opening period of a League match.

It was an hour before Rotherham's first attempt on goal, a Junior free-kick comfortably fielded by Neil Sullivan. They had only one more chance - and McIntosh took it.

"I can't believe it," said Kevin Blackwell, the Leeds manager. "We dominated the game from start to finish. Rotherham should be reported for a mugging - but life's not fair. I'd just love for this football club to have a little bit of luck."

Rotherham United (4-4-2): Pollitt; Stockdale, Swailes, McIntosh, Hurst; Campbell-Ryce (Mullin, 86), Barker, McLaren, Proctor; M Buller, Junior. Substitutions not used: Montgomery (gk), Scott, Vernazza, Monkhouse.

Leeds United (4-1-4-1): Sullivan; Kelly, Carlisle (Richardson, 13), P Butler, Kilgallon; Gregan; Oster (Lennon, 70), Wright, Walton (Joachim, 84), Healy; Ricketts. Substitutes not used: Carson (gk), Spring.

¿ A Leeds source last night dismissed as "another flyer" Sebastien Sainsbury's latest £25m bid for the club. Sainsbury, who claimed proof of funds would follow "imminently", had his last American-funded bid rejected by Leeds on 12 November.

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