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Match Report


Posted Sat 24 Sep 11 at 18:01 PM

Derby County 3 Millwall 0

Millwall's barren run in front of goal now stretches to 485 Championship minutes after The Lions were made to pay for their profligacy in front of goal by the ruthless Rams at Pride Park.
Kenny Jackett's men must be wondering where their next goal is going to come from after doing everything but score in a game where they matched Derby County for much of the time, but again lacked the finishing touch in the final third of the field.
The team's luck in front of goal could not have been better summed up than when, with the very last kick of this clash, Dany N'Guessan was clean through only to see his shot cannon off the woodwork.
The Lions can in no way be faulted when it comes to effort and endeavour, but that alone is not enough to win matches and manager Jackett will no doubt go back to basics both defensively and offensively on the training ground to address this mini slump in form and kick-start Millwall's campaign.
He said: "While I didn't think it was a 3-0 game because we matched Derby for long periods and created plenty of chances, we are not scoring at one end and that is putting pressure on ourselves at the other.
Good players are making mistakes at the back because of that and we have to address both issues.
I felt Dany N'Guessan and Jay Simpson caused them problems in the first half particularly, but when their second goal went in some of our body language was defeatest and that's not acceptable."
That the games are coming thick and fast could prove beneficial for The Lions as Jackett's side will aim for an instant response at his former club Watford in three days time.
At Pride Park there was again enough to suggest that once one goal goes in, the confidence will come flooding back and the team will kick on, it just wasn't to be against a resurgent Rams outfit that moved up to third in the table on the back of this win.
The Lions started well and there were two minutes on the clock when Jimmy Abdou slipped a short pass to Hamer Bouazza, who in turn took a couple of steps forward and drove a left-foot effort wide.
Rams keeper Adam Legzdins was called into action four minutes later when Jay Simpson laid the ball off to N'Guessan and his stinging angled drive was gathered at the keeper's near post.
N'Guessan was agonisingly close to ending Millwall's goal drought on the quarter-hour mark but he.dragged his shot inches wide after a smart move involving Jordan Stewart and Simpson.
Lions keeper David Forde made a meaningful stop on 19 minutes, brilliantly tipping former Lion Theo Robinson's rising drive over for a corner.
Liam Feeney then sent N'Guessan through for a third time, only for the striker's low shot to be saved at the second attempt by Legzdins once more.
Derby broke the deadlock against the run of play soon after when Ben Davies won possession in his own half and raced upfield, collecting a return pass from Steve Davies. Although his initial shot was blocked he retrieved the loose ball and squared for Craig Bryson, who slid home from close range.
Millwall responded immediately with Simpson's shot on the turn testing Legzdins and then Alan Dunne, Stewart and Bouazza combined well with the latter's fierce drive flashing across the face of goal.
But the Rams doubled their lead in the 39th minute.
Again the two Davies combined on the right before Ben Davies' cross picked out Jeff Hendrick near the penalty spot and his first-time strike flew past Forde.
And it could have been three, but for a splendid save by Forde which diverted Steve Davies' goalbound header onto the bar before Robinson lashed the rebound wide.
Jackett brought on James Henry for Bouazza after the break as The Lions looked to get a foothold back into the game.
N'Guessan twice had shots blocked and then Simpson failed to get enough purchase on the ball with a low shot from 10 yards as The Lions kept plugging away.
John Marquis was just about to enter the fray when The Rams added a third goal courtesy of Steve Davies' thumping finish, and mission improbable then became mission impossible as The Lions were three goals adrift with 26 minutes remaining.
Despite Marquis' introduction adding a physical presence up front, Jackett's men found their way to goal blocked by solid Derby defending, wayward shooting and then in the very last seconds, the woodwork itself as their quest for a goal, even of the consolation type, was thwarted yet again.

Derby County: Legzdins, Brayford, Roberts, Bryson, Shackell (Anderson, 86mins), S.Davies (Cywka, 78mins), J.Ward (Maguire, 85mins), Davies, T.Robinson, Hendrick, O'Brien. Subs not used: Croft, Doyle.
Bookings: B.Davies (67mins), Maguire (90+1mins)
Scorers: Bryson (23mins), Hendrick (40mins), S.Davies (63mins)

Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Stewart, Abdou, Robinson, Ward, Bouazza (Henry, 46mins), Trotter, Simpson (63mins), N'Guessan, Feeney. Subs not used: Mildenhall, Barron, Craig.
Bookings: Ward (67mins), Trotter (84mins)

Ref: C. Webster
Att: 24,120 (away 536)

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