Millwall's five-match winning run came to a shuddering halt as plucky Wycombe completed a double over The Lions. Julian Kelly, making his Chairboys debut, marked it with a goal, albeit with a huge assist from Lady Luck. His left-foot strike from far over on the right eluded everybody before nestling into the net, as Millwall then laid seige to the home goal. Neil Harris had a penalty saved, Shaun Batt and Alan Dunne both hit the crossbar and Batt missed a great chance as the visitors just could not find a way past a stubborn Wycombe side. Even when Wanderers were reduced to ten men following Gareth Ainsworth's straight red card for an elbow on Tony Craig, Millwall could not force a way through, and could only reflect on what could have been.
The Lions made a single change to the side that beat Exeter City a week ago. Match-winner Harris dropped to the bench, with Scott Barron replacing him and taking up position on the left side of midfield, leaving loan striker Batt to partner Steve Morison in attack. Joining Chopper on the bench was the fit-again Danny Schofield and the recalled Adam Bolder.
An even opening saw both sides prod and probe at each other's defences but ultimately failing to free their forward players, and it wasn't until the 20th minute that there was an effort on goal. It was, however, Millwall who created it. Nadjim Abdou's driven pass was brilliantly controlled by Chris Hackett, and when the Wycombe defence parted, he strode on before unleashing a drive that stung the palms of Chairboys keeper Tom Heaton. The home side immedietly hit back, but Matt Harrold could not connect properly with Kevin Betsy's centre.
Millwall fashioned another chance some minutes later, as a neat passing move found Craig, who crossed for the onrushing Liam Trotter. The tall midfielder rose well, and ultimately unfairly, and nodded a header over, as the ref blew for a foul. Then, the chance Millwal had been waiting for. Trotter and Abdou combined to find Hackett on the right. He cut back on his left and delivered a fine, curling cross that met the head of the unmarked Batt. But the Peterborough loanee headed wide of the target.
It proved the wake up call Wycombe needed, and in first half injury time, they went ahead in fortuitous circumstances. Right-back Kelly found space, cut inside onto his left foot wide on the right and sent over an inswinging cross that evaded everyone, clipped a post and bobbled in. Shocked, The Lions went in search of an immediate equaliser. A cross from the left was flicked on by Morison, but as Batt met it with a thumping header, a grown from the travelling support greeted the sight of the ball thudding the woodwork.
Lions boss Kenny Jackett responded to his side going a goal down by introducing not only Harris for Morison, but also wideman Schofield for Barron. The replacements brought an urgency to Millwall's quick, passing game but when they did put the ball in the danger zone, either a Wycombe player was up to the task of clearing it, or Millwall fluffed their lines. And it very nearly cost them a second goal. Alex Revell won a corner and when the set piece was delivered, Chris Westwood almost capitalised on a weak David Forde punch. Forde, however, recovered in time to beat out the goalbound header. But The Lions worked another opening as Hackett skipped away down the right and crossed low for a host of red and black shirts in the Wycombe box. Agonisingly, however, the ball just would not fall for any of them and trickled across the goalmouth. Unpeturbed, Chopper went for the long range option but his shot curled harmlessly over Heaton.
Wycombe almost doubled their lead seconds later when Harrold controlled well and rifled a volley narrowly wide with Forde beaten, as the game opened up. Millwall were throwing everything at the hosts and when Dunne and then Batt were both felled in the box, The Lions were awarded a penalty. Harris stepped up and powered a shot towards the bottom left corner. Heaton was equal to it though, and his strong hand denied Chopper an equaliser. Jackett made his last throw of the dice introducing Jon Obika for Batt as the game took a controversial turn. When substitute Ainsworth leapt with Craig, he lent with an elbow, flooring The Lions' defender. Schofield, closest to the incident reacted and pushed Ainsworth in the chest, resulting in a 22-man melee. As the dust settled, off went Ainsworth and Schofield, perhaps fortuitously, escaped with a yellow. Schofield then had the chance to twist the knife, but screwed his shot wide after Harris had teed him up following a Craig long throw. The Lions relentlessly looked to capitalised on their man advantage and nearly brought themselves back in it. Dunne just needed a little bit more luck when his mishit cross bounced off the top of the bar. Then Paul Robinson guided a header over from a good-looking Hackett corner. In a frantc last few minutes, Kelly nearly added his second, before Obika forced a terrific stop out of Heaton with a fierce drive from inside the box. But despite piling on the pressure, Millwall just could not break Wycombe down and it ended, frustratingly, 1-0.
Wycombe: Heaton, Woodman, Bennett, Keates, Harrold (Pittman, 89mins), Revell (Phillips 90mins), Mousinho, Westwood, McLeod, Betsy (Ainsworth, 71mins), Kelly. Subs: Shearer, Oliver, Montrose, Beavon.
Goals: Kelly (45+2mins)
Sendings Off: Ainsworth (77mins)
Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Craig, Abdou, Robinson, Ward, Batt (Obika, 71mins), Trotter, Barron (Schofield, 46mins), Morison (Harris, 46mins), Hackett. Subs: Sullivan, Frampton, Fuseini, Bolder.
Bookings: Trotter (37mins), Robinson (61mins), Schofield (77mins), Harris (84mins), Ward (90+1mins)
Ref: A R Hall