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Match Report


Posted Mon 05 Apr 10 at 15:50 PM

Colchester United 1 Millwall 2

Millwall maintained their automatic promotion dreams with a crucial victory at rivals Colchester United.
Steve Morison fired Kenny Jackett's side ahead with a superb 43rd-minute strike only for Kevin Lisbie to take advantage of an error by keeper David Forde to level on 49 minutes.
But The Lions were then handed - or should that be headed?! - victory when U's subsitute Danny Batth glanced the ball into his own net 12 minutes from time to send over 3,000 travelling fans into ecstasy.
In an absorbing, open encounter both teams created a host of scoring opportunities throughout.
Colchester certainly got into their stride quickly, and for the first uncomfortable five minutes the home side penned The Lions into their own half, with a penalty appeal for handball turned down and then Danny Schofield taking up a perfect position to head David Prutton's 20-yarder off the line.
Millwall began to settle down with Morison's shot deflected into the grateful hands of keeper Ben Williams, who then denied Neil Harris with a breathtaking fingertip save to keep out the striker's goal-bound shot from curling into the back of the net.
The Lions had a penalty appeal of their own turned down on 23 minutes when Harris' stinging shot seemed to hit the hand of John White before an almighty scramble ensued. Referee Andy D'Urso, who somehow managed to brandish seven yellow cards in the game, brought proceedings to a halt, awarding a free-kick to Colchester.
At the other end Anthony Wordsworth squandered a great chance, heading narrowly wide from Prutton's cross from four yards out before Ashley Vincent contrived to top that with a truly woeful miss, when he lashed over, unmarked from barely three yards from a Lisbie cross.
Morison's chipped pass was then played inside for Harris, and when White slipped, Chopper looked odds-on to score only for Williams to fling himself across goal and push the striker's goal-bound effort away.
Play switched straight to the other end and when Lisbie sprinted through, it then took a magnificently timed tackle by Darren Ward to nick the ball from his toes as he was about to pull the trigger.
The deadlock was eventually broken three minutes before half-time - and what a superb solo effort it was from the in-form Morison.
Picking up the ball on the right, the former Stevenage man shimmied his way past one player, produced some deft footwork as he broke into the danger zone and then hit an unexpected, yet unstoppable angled shot past the static Williams.
Unfortunately The Lions lead was short-lived and within four minutes of the restart Colchester had hauled themselves level when Forde fumbled the sort of high ball that are normally meat and drink to him, Lisbie was on it like a flash and promptly buried the ball into the back of the net.
Colchester boss Aidy Boothroyd introduced Batth and Ian Henderson in quick succession to try and keep the momentum going, and for a brief spell, the home team again tested Millwall's defensive resilience.
The visitors were forced to make a change of their own on 61 minutes when Morison, who appeared to be struggling a tad after a heavy knock earlier, was replaced by Shaun Batt.
Chris Hackett was a foot away from firing The Lions ahead 19 minutes from time, but his rasping drive was always rising that bit too much and promptly flew over the bar from 12 yards.
That proved to be Hackett's last contribution to the game and he was replaced by Jon Obika shortly after.
The sub made an instant impact, chasing a seemingly lost cause on the right and winning a corner.
From the resulting set-piece, Craig's curling left-foot delivery was met by Ward, his effort was blocked on the line as were follow-up efforts by Liam Trotter and then Robinson.
Millwall were clearly on a mission to add a second, decisive goal, and that duly arrived with 12 minutes remaining.
Alan Dunne's incisive throw down the line was picked up by Batt, who produced a delicious first-time delivery into the area - so inviting in fact that Colchester sub Batth couldn't resist getting a piece of the ball and heading it past his own keeper into the top corner.
Incredibly, Batth's own goal was the fourth that Millwall have benefited from in five games, following on from Christian Dailly (Charlton), plus the two Stockport County players Danny Swailes and Paul Huntington.
A sublime piece of skill by the ever-impressive Schofield set up Obika a couple of minutes later, with the young loanee frontman thwarted by the agility of Williams.
At the other end Anthony Wordsworth's free-kick appeared to shave the outside the foot of the post, but considering the absurdity of the non-foul by Robinson on Lisbie leading to the Millwall skipper being booked as well as penalised, justice was seen to be done.
Despite five minutes of additional time added on, Jackett's men played a great possession game and wound down the clock superbly to ensure that three priceless points were heading back to south east London.

Colchester United: Williams, Okuonghae, Queudrue (Batth, 51mins), Tierney, White, Prutton, Wordsworth, Izzet, Vincent (Henderson 62mins), Platt, Lisbie. Subs not used: Cousins, O'Toole, Gillespie, Ifil, Fox.
Bookings: Lisbie (37mins), Wordsworth (76mins), White (79mins)
Scorer: Lisbie (49mins)

Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Craig, Abdou, Robinson, Ward, Schofield, Trotter, Harris, Morison (Batt, 61mins), Hackett (Obika, 73mins). Subs not used: Sullivan, Frampton, Barron, Laird, Smith.
Bookings: Ward (37mins), Schofield (45+1mins), Robinson (65mins), Craig (84mins)
Scorers: Morison (43mins), Batth (78mins, og)

Ref: Andy D'Urso
Att: 7,393

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