A gritty draw against a fluent and skilful side.
Match report by Silverlion for Millwall 0-0 Derby County
It started off fairly even for the first five minutes before either side got into their stride. We strung together the first good move. A good crossfield pass from Williams to McLaughlin wide right set Wallace free to hit a peach of a cross to the far post but it was hit a bit too well and Fergie couldn’t make contact. They had other ideas. They started to string some good passes across the middle and almost looked as if they had an extra man in the centre. They played out through Huddlestone, had some good wide men, tried to get behind us but we stood firm. We were trying to get some forward movement going ourselves and Wallace looked lively on the right and Fergie similarly on the left. Sadly, it wasn’t sticking for Elliott down the middle and he often chose the wrong option. Hence, the ball kept coming back at us and we had to really dig in. From a decent long ball from Cooper it was knocked back into Elliot’s path and he hit it on the volley from the edge of the box but the keeper made a decent save. We tried hard to build up some momentum but they had the bigger share of the play. And then came their best chance. The ball was swept out to their right. Fergie gave him too much time and space the hit the cross which Archer parried and then saved the follow up. In between all of that the ref was watching another game. The ball got played into their box, Gregory headed it but their defender kicked him on the top of the head but the ref played on. From another attack the ball was played forward to Gregory who just got to it first. Keogh pushed it past him, stumbled and fell and the ref gave a free kick. Lee never even touched him. It ended all square at half time.
They clearly had instructions to step up the pace and go for it as we were there for the taking. We were completely under the cosh for about twelve minutes. They came at us from all sides, the right back pushed forward at every opportunity and we were pressed back. We gave the ball away cheaply and it just seemed a matter of time before they scored. Despite having great forward movement and speed in their build up they never really created a direct chance. Then we got a break. A long ball out of defence down the left saw Gregory chase it down and it was only a last minute tackle that saw the ball go off for a corner. They put on Jerome and Winnall and took off Nugent and one other and carried on the forward movement. We stuck to our task well, stuck our foot in when we could and halted their progress. The put on Anya who looke do full of running and he did get the ball in the net but the Lino put his flag up for offside.
We did sense that we could nick it and a late flurry saw a firm header from Cooper and a kick off the line at the death but the deadlock could not be broken.
Archer had an assured game. McLaughlin looked solid but Hutch and Cooper were very steadfast in the middle. Hutch was a rock and got my MOM. However, Merdith had a very tidy and energetic game and ran him a close second. Wallace was good in parts and Williams had a similar 90 minutes. Saville was good but can play better. Fergie had some good moments but made way for Fred with about ten to go. He had a decent cameo with three good threatening runs down the left. Sadly, he was in headless chicken mode with his head down and no eye for a pass but at that stage of the game it served us well.
Elliott was good in parts but made some poor decisions. He just does not have the guile and skills of Morison. Gregory had an energetic game with no end product as he just could find the space to shoot.
All in all a decent point against a very fluent and skilful side who had everything except a potent threat up front.
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