An enthralling and physical game which ended all square.
Millwall 1-1 Cardiff City
It started all fairly even but it didn’t take long for the writing to be on the wall. Their Hoillet, playing wide left skipped past Romeo who made a lunge, caught their bloke and it was a foul. .The ref got a bit high handed and booked him. The free kick came to nothing. Romeo was clearly shocked and a few minutes later was caught in the middle with the ball. He had time to play a pass but it just bobbled away from him, Hoillet nicked it, strode forward pulled it onto his right foot and hit it sweetly from 25 yards into the back of the net. My first thoughts were that Archer might have got to it but the replay showed it hitting the side netting before it hit the back of the goal.
We struggled to get back into it as we were clearly rocked. However, it was one of those physical games where there was lots of tackles flying here there and everywhere. We clawed our way back into it. Everybody was getting their foot in, Marshall looked a threat on the left, Wallace looked similar on the right and they were getting pushed back. A sweet cross from the left went over Bamba’s head, Morison chested it down, hit it powerfully with his left foot and it struck the bar with the keeper well beaten. Morison had two more chances but both were weak shots directly at the keeper. In the meanwhile Wallace wasted a free kick which he hit too firmly and Marshall hit one over the bar. Then our chance came. Morison squeezed one down the line to a scampering Wallace who hit it early to Gregory in the box. He was half a yard in front of the defender and he swept it home from 12 yards. The Den went nuts. We then had ten minutes where they were under the cosh. We tried everything to get another but it wouldn’t come and it ended up all square at half time.
We picked up where we left off first half but it wasn’t quite working. The early balls into the box were not coming off and they started to use their physical dominance. We stood up to them well but they kept powering forward. They had a whole bunch of giants on the bench and they sent on all three and began to dominate the play. Long throws into the box, corners and free kicks which were awarded for robust challenges but we stood firm. A couple of scampering runs from Gregory came to nothing and so we brought on Fred for Marshall who got a standing ovation for a decent debut. Fred added little and gave the ball away three times trying to play his way out. Despite them getting the ball in our net the ref pulled it back for a free kick. They pressed but lacked real quality up front. We did bring Tim Cahill on for a cameo five minutes at the end. He managed to block a clearance but it came to nothing.
Archer had little to do but played well. Mahlon came back well after his error early on and he did hold his head in his hands when he realised what a mistake he had made for their goal. Hutch was a colossus for us and was my MOM. Cooper played very solidly beside him and so did Meredith who was full of energy.
Wallace was good in parts. made a stunning run. back heel and return pass but then over ran the ball. Saville played well and tackled headed and passed the ball well. This was Tunnicliffe’s type of game. all rush and energy and he had one of his better games for us. Marshall made a good debut. He has two good feet,is physically stronger then Fergie and posed more threat.
Morison played well but should have scored one of his three decent chances. Sadly, he didn’t. Gregory played well, covered every blade of grass and scored a great goal. Fred threatened a lot but delivered very little and Cahill tired hard but it was very difficult to have much influence in five minutes.
It was a decent game with lots of physical challenges but only one goal each and a draw was about the right result.
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