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Match Report

 

Posted Fri 28 Jan 11 at 23:34 PM

Millwall 2 Barnsley 0

Millwall marched to a fifth successive Championship home win and to within five points of an automatic promotion spot after grinding out a victory against Barnsley on Friday night.
In a scrappy affair it took first-half goals from Steve Morison (17mins) and James Henry (37mins) to ensure that Kenny Jackett's men clinched all three points.
Boss Jackett made four changes to the side beaten at Leicester City, handing home debuts to Darren Purse and Craig Eastmond, with Tam Mkandawire and Liam Trotter returning to the starting XI following injury.
"We are pleased to bounce back after losing to Leicester," said Kenny, "But it was a bit surreal. It wasn't really a Millwall performance and we never quite got going.
Certainly in the second-half we could have done better, but we deserved the win."
Few could doubt that, certainly on the balance of play in the opening 45 minutes, The Lions deserved victory. However this really was a game best remembered for the result rather than the performance.
The Lions looked sharp enough in the opening exchanges, and a smart move involving Scott Barron and Liam Trotter nearly played Morison through on goal, only for Matt Hill to anticipate Trotter's final pass and squeeze in ahead of Morison and chest the ball back to Tykes keeper Luke Steele.
Debutant Eastmond and Morison then combined, the latter's square pass to Danny Schofield on the edge of the area intercepted by Hill once more.
At the other end Hugo Colace sent a fizzing effort over the bar with the visitors' only effort on goal in the first half.
Morison, who looked much more like his usual bustling self, broke the deadlock on 17 minutes when he ghosted in at the far post to slide the ball home following some neat wing play on the right by Eastmond and James Henry for his 13th goal of the season.
Henry then added his name to the scoresheet, scoring for the second successive game with a fierce 25-yarder that flew into the back of the net following a deflection off the unfortunate Hill.
There could - and should - have been more goals by The Lions before the break. Morison spurned a glorious opportunity when, having been played through by Trotter, his effort was blocked by keeper Steele.
The striker's harrying almost paid off handsomely when he charged down a clearance by Steele, the ball spun up in the air and fell invitingly for Trotter, whose shot was blocked for a corner.
Henry's resulting delivery from the left was half-cleared, the ball broke for Purse, but he volleyed over.
Not surprisingly Barnsley flew out of the traps after the break in a bid to grab a lifeline, and came close to doing so when former Lions loanee Danny Haynes saw his shot on the turn flash wide.
Jason Shackell then sent a header narrowly off target as Barnsley tried to build up a head of steam, but never really managed to.
Likewise The Lions didn't really find their attacking rhythm, and sporadic forays into the visiting half rarely tested Steele in the Barnsley goal.
On the one occasion they did, it was again the sheer determination of Morison that nearly created an opening, the frontman winning a ball he had no right to on the byeline, powering into the danger zone and picking out Henry, whose effort flew over the bar.
Barnsley virtually gave up the ghost 11 minutes from time when Jacob Butterfield had time and space to pick his spot from 12 yards, only to screw his shot off target.
Neil Harris, a 70th-minute replacement for Eastmond, had The Lions' last chance of the game, picking up Morison's pass and despatching an exquisite chip that dropped onto the roof of the net.
It was a rare moment of quality in the second-half, with the final whistle bringing to a close a workmanlike display by Millwall.

Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Barron, Abdou, Purse, Mkandawire, Schofield, Eastmond (Harris, 70mins), Trotter, Morison, Henry. Subs not used: Mildenhall, Smith, Hackett, Lisbie, T.Robinson, Marquis.
Scorers: Morison (17mins), Henry (37mins)

Barnsley: Steele, Shackell, Hassell, Doyle, O'Connor (Bennett, 73mins), Trippier, Hill, Butterfield (Taylor, 82mins), O'Brien, Colace (Arismendi, 70mins) Haynes. Subs not used: Preece, Gray, Lovre, Branson, Taylor.

Ref: G Scott
Att: 10,087 (away 276)

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