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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 28 Aug 10 at 18:18 PM

Millwall 3 Coventry City 1

Steve Morison got his birthday celebrations off to an early start by firing home his fourth goal of the season as Millwall swept aside 10-man Coventry City.
Wales international Steve, who is 27 tomorrow, kept his cool to slam home Millwall's third and decisive goal from the penalty spot to extend The Lions' unbeaten home run to 20 games.
Martin Cranie (17mins) turned the ball into his own net to hand Kenny Jackett's men the lead, only for Aron Gunnarsson to haul the Sky Blues level on the hour mark.
But the visitors were then reduced to 10 men when sub Carl Baker - already lucky to escape with only a yellow card for clearing kicking out at Jimmy Abdou after fouling the French midfielder - then saw red on 71 minutes for kicking the ball away after Scott Barron had been fouled.
And Millwall took full advantage of their numerical superiority, with a sublime Liam Trotter chip and Morison penalty wrapping up the points.
Victory was no more than The Lions deserved as boss Kenny Jackett beamed: "It was a great win.
Coventry scored their equaliser on 60 minutes and I felt that it would be a real test for us to step up and try to win the game.
But I was pleased with how the whole place responded, from the players to the fans, and we earned an excellent result."
Coventry set out their stall early on, using Clive Platt as a lone striker in the hope that attacking support would be provided by a midfield flooded with five players.
But the tactic didn't work and at times the former Colchester front man cut a sad, solitary figure up against Paul Robinson, who was in commanding form at the back.
After a quiet opening quarter of an hour, the game sprung into life.
Morison picked up the ball deep inside his own and showed great speed and strength to shrug off a couple of challenges before whipping over a low cross that the unfortunate Cranie turned into his own net under pressure from James Henry.
Coventry tried a tactical switch immediately, with David Bell and Gary McSheffrey swapping wings, but with Danny Schofield and Henry following suit, it proved a fruitless exercise and five minutes later the players were back in their starting positions.
Millwall could have added further goals before the break with Neil Harris heading over from a Henry cross and then smacking the bar from an acute angle following great work by Morison.
Lions boss Jackett was forced to make one change just before the interval when Henry's contribution was cut short with what looked like a hamstring strain.
Nonetheless, it was a good strong first-half display from the home team and Millwall continued to ask questions straight after the restart.
Harris had a first-time shot well held by Ian Turner in the visiting goal and then a sizzling piece of skill from Alan Dunne so nearly reaped a second goal, only for the right-back's final shot following a mazy run into the heart of the penalty area to flash over the bar.
A dipping volley from Morison dropped a yard wide as The Lions pressed forward, but it was Coventry who stunned The Den faithful by producing an equaliser out of nothing on the hour when Gunnarsson broke down the left, outmuscled Darren Ward and then slotted home a low shot past keeper David Forde.
But spurred on by the crowd, who again sensed that positive vocal support really does make a difference, Millwall regrouped and came back with a powerful performance in the final 30 minutes.
Baker's 73rd-minute red card following his second booking in seven minutes merely made life tougher for Coventry, who at this stage were under the cosh - and The Lions capitalised.
Within 120 seconds Abdou had the vision to spot a great forward run by midfield partner Trotter, lofted the ball into his pass and Trotter drew Turner out of his goal before despatching an exquisite chip that sailed over the keeper's head to edge the home side ahead.
Four minutes later The Lions made the game safe.
Sky Blues keeper Turner had already denied Trotter at full stretch, palmed Morison's looping header away from under the bar and then flung himself across goal to push Schofield's 25-yarder round the post.
Hackett then sent over the resulting corner and James McPake, with virtually his first contribution after coming on as a sub, wrestled Morison to the groud right infront of referee Jon Moss.
Morison picked himself up and promptly smashed home the resulting spot-kick into the top right corner giving keeper Turner no chance.
With a comfortable two-goal cushion there was to be no way back for Coventry's 10-men and infact it could have been even worse for the Sky Blues.
Darren Carter was denied his first goal in a Millwall shirt by Turner and a sweeping move right at the death saw Morison fire over from Carter's delivery as The Lions finished in the ascendancy.

Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Barron, Abdou, Robinson, Ward, Schofield (Carter, 81mins), Trotter, Harris (Lisbie, 86mins), Morison, Henry (Hackett, 38mins). Subs not used: Mildenhall, Mkandawire, Smith, Marquis.
Booking: Abdou (66mins)
Scorers: Cranie (17mins, og), Trotter (75mins), Morison (79mins, pen) Coventry City: Turner, Keogh, Cranie, Cameron, Wood (McPake, 75mins), Bell (Baker, 58mins), Clingan, Carsley, McSheffrey, Gunnarsson (Eastwood, 62mins), Platt. Subs not used: Westwood, Doyle, Clarke, O'Donovan.
Booking: Baker (66mins)
Sending off: Baker (73mins) Ref: Jonathan Moss
Att: 11,688 (away 704)

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