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Match Report


Posted Mon 28 Dec 09 at 18:48 PM

Millwall 2 Bristol Rovers 0

Steve Morison found his goal-den touch at The Den again as Millwall signed off 2009 with a vital victory against Play-Off rivals Bristol Rovers.
Morison took his season's tally to nine - and seventh on home soil - with a thunderous 62nd-minute effort to break a resilient Rovers rearguard.
And an own goal in injury-time from Pat Baldwin, who stabbed the ball into his own net after Morison's shot had been parrried, secured The Lions' eighth home win of the season.
To make it a double cause for celebration, Millwall recorded their first clean sheet in the league since Stockport County away on 17th October.
Lady luck was certainly smiling on the home side during a scrappy opening half during which the visitors could have edged ahead.
Morison had Millwall's first chance of the game after just two minutes with a fierce half-volley from Jason Price's chest-down that flew narrowly over.
But it was The Lions who were left breathing a huge sigh of relief on 17 minutes when Chris Lines picked out nippy little frontman Jo Kuffour. The former Brentford man sprinted clear before despatching a low shot that looked destined for the bottom corner. However his effort smacked the foot of the post and the ball cannoned back across the goalline where Tony Craig swung at it - and missed - with the ball eventually spinning off Kuffour's shin for a goal-kick.
Five minutes later Rovers were denied by the woodwork for a second time, although on this occasion it took a magnificent fingertip save by keeper David Forde to push Lines' 22-yard free-kick onto the bar and over.
At the other end The Lions struggled to really gel as an attacking unit from open play.
The only half-chances were a direct result of set pieces; Tony Craig's 34th-minute free-kick picking out Paul Robinson whose drilled shot was parried and then from a Chris Hackett corner (38mins), Morison volleyed over.
Lions boss Kenny Jackett brought on Lewis Grabban for Price at the start of the second-half, and the substitute was a whisker away from firing Millwall ahead with a 25-yard piledriver that flew inches over.
Jimmy Abdou then fired wide as Jackett's men posed more of an attacking threat in the opening 10 minutes of the second-half than they had the entire first.
The breakthrough finally came on 62 minutes following a superb sweeping move.
A soaring defensive headed clearance by Andy Frampton sent Dave Martin away down the left. He in turn provided the pass of the match - a magnificent 60 yard crossfield ball that picked out Morison, who controlled with his chest, lifted the ball over an oncoming defender before lashing an unstoppable shot past keeper Mikkel Andersen.
Millwall could have added a second on 74 minutes. This time Abdou's slide-rule pass picked out Grabban, his cross saw Morison exquisitely shimmy out of the way leaving Martin time and space to pick his spot. Sadly, the latter's finish didn't match the approach work and he drove well wide of the target.
Morison then got his feet in a tangle as he tried to meet Martin's delicious 78th-minute delivery as The Lions continued to press for the cushion of a second goal.
With Rovers piling forward in a bid to salvage a point, Millwall desperate to keep their first clean sheet in 12 league games and five minutes of injury-time shown by the fourth official, it all added up to a nail-biting finale.
A flying save from Forde and a last ditch block from Robisnon kept the lead intact.
The anxious whistles of Lions fans begging the referee to blow for full-time were replaced by cheers of relief deep into injury-time.
Good work by Grabban and Hackett created an opening for Morison, and although his angled shot was parried by Andersen, the ball fell in the path of defender Baldwin, who turned it into his own net under pressure from Grabban to put the result beyond doubt.

Millwall: Forde, Smith, Robinson, Craig, Frampton, Hackett, Laird (Bolder, 87mins), Abdou, Martin (Schofield, 80mins), Morison, Price (Grabban, 46mins). Subs not used: Sullivan, Barron, Ward, Fuseini.
Bookings: Abdou (22mins), Morison (64mins), Grabban (66mins)
Scorers: Morison (62mins), Baldwin (90+2mins og)

Bristol Rovers: Andersen, Regan, Wright, Lines, Coles, Campbell, Williams, Lescott (Blizzard, 87mins), Swallow (Duffy, 70mins), Baldwin, Kuffour. Subs not used: Evans, Elliott, Anthony, Reece, Richards.
Booking: Baldwin (52mins)

Referee: F. Graham
Att: 10,014 (away 529)

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