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Match Report


Posted Sat 13 Mar 10 at 18:08 PM

Millwall 4 Charlton Athletic 0

Darren Ward picked the perfect time to score his first Millwall goal in six years as The Lions crushed promotion rivals Charlton Athletic.
Defender Darren last scored for The Lions six years ago to the day in a 3-1 away win at Ipswich Town.
And the towering centre half was on target this afternoon with a perfectly placed 43rd-minute header from Chris Hackett's corner to hand The Lions a 1-0 half-time lead.
Steve Morison's brace coupled with an own goal by Christian Dailly in a stunning six minute second-half spell moved Kenny Jackett's side to within six points of second-placed Leeds United - with the next game a trip to Elland Road!
Lions boss Jackett stuck with the same side that won at Carlisle United, with Morison and Shaun Batt again the front two and fit-again Neil Harris back on the bench in place of Ashley Grimes.
Scoring chances were limited in a nervy first 45 minutes during which at times the ball seemed to spend more time in the air than on the deck, with both sides engaging in head tennis.
Charlton's Kyel Reid sent a second-minute free-kick floating onto the roof of the minute with Alan Dunne's header from Hackett's deep delivery comfortably held by Robert Elliot 60 seconds later for Millwall.
Morison showed great awareness to get the right side of Miguel Llera, but ran out of space as he tried to squeeze a shot in whilst Akpo Sodje fired high and wide as the visitors tried to respond.
A finely weighted pass from Dunne to Batt on the right sent the latter sprinting clear and although he did superbly to weave his way to the byline before pulling the ball back, unfortunately it was a yard too far for the onrushing Morison to make contact with.
Morison then sent a header off-target after Liam Trotter had flicked on Hackett's delivery before Reid's crossfield pass picked out Nicky Bailey, only for the Charlton midfielder to lash a 25-yarder wide.
Batt had a great opportunity to open Millwall's account just past the half-hour mark, picking up Danny Schofield's fine through ball, but he hit his shot straight at keeper Elliot.
The Lions finally made the breakthough three minutes before half-time courtesy of Ward's deft header from Hackett - and Millwall's - fifth corner of the opening period.
Jackett's men, roared on by impeccably behaved Lions fans in a sell-out crowd of 17,632, bossed proceedings after the break.
Morison's sizzling first-time volley was held by Elliot and substitute Harris, a 65th-minute replacement for Batt, provided a fabulous delivery with his first touch of the ball that was just cleared at the far post.
But The Lions were not to be denied a second goal that their dominance deserved, and it duly arrived 16 minutes from time.
Morison and Harris combined well to set up Hackett on the right, he in turn drilled over a low cross and the unfortunate Dailly turned the ball into his own net at the near post.
The former West Ham man clearly doesn't like playing at The Den, having scored an own goal for The Hammers in their 4-1 defeat back in 2004.
Harris had a hand in The Lions third goal barely two minutes later, capitalising on a woeful square pass by Llera and slipping a neat ball through to Morison, who showed great composure before firing an unstoppable shot beyond Elliot's reach.
With the Charlton fans streaming out of the ground, matters went from bad to worse for the visitors on 81 minutes.
Harris picked out Hackett again, his rasping drive was parried at full stretch by keeper Elliot but Morison responded quickly, shrugged off the attentions of Llera and thumped home goal number four to send the home fans wild.
Charlton by now looked completely out-of-sorts and with the away end virtually empty, the Lions supporters started the celebration party long before the final whistle.
Dunne could have added a fifth right at the death, but sent his header from another Hackett cross over the bar.
By then, though, the damage had been done - and the bragging rights for now, belong firmly in SE16 tonight.
Most important of all, three more points, a clean sheet and win number 10 from the last 13 league games has kept the race for second spot very much on.

Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Craig, Abdou, Robinson, Ward, Schofield, Trotter, Batt (Harris, 65mins), Morison (Obika, 83mins), Hackett (Barron, 88mins). Subs not used: Sullivan, Frampton, Laird, Smith.
Scorers: Ward (43mins), Dailly OG (73mins), Morison (75mins & 80mins).

Charlton Athletic: Elliott, Richardson, Bailey, Llera, Semedo, Racon (Sam, 65mins), Solly, Mooney, Reid (Wagstaff, 89mins), A.Sodje (Burton, 74mins), Dailly. Subs not used: Randolph, Shelvey, Spring, S Sodje.

Bookings: Llera (85mins)

Ref: Neil Swarbrick
Att: 17,632 (away 2,966)

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