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Match Report


Posted Sat 11 Feb 12 at 18:13 PM

Millwall 0 Derby County 0

A much improved Millwall did all but score as they were held 0-0 at The Den by Derby County.
Whilst neither David Forde nor Frank Fielding had any notable saves to make, it was only the case thanks to some outstanding defending from centre back pairings Paul Robinson and Shane Lowry, and Rams pair Shaun Barker and Jason Shackell.
It was the visitors who had the most clear cut of the chances but Callum Ball steered wide and Craig Bryson was guilty of a horror miss with the goal gaping.
However, The Lions began the game at a rip-roaring pace and produced some scintillating one-touch football at times as well as some brilliant passages of play that had Derby on the ropes.
Manager Kenny Jackett kept faith with the system that had served Millwall so well in their victory at Southampton in midweek, with Harry Kane drafted into the side on the left and Josh Wright retaining his place alongside Ryan Mason and Liam Trotter.
Despite all their good play, it was Derby that so nearly broke the deadlock. A mistake from Wright allowed Rams striker Ball to reclaim possession and the young forward bore down on goal, jinked past Forde but steered the ball agonisingly across goal.
County were presented with an even greater chance minutes later. Jamie Ward had drifted in from the left and it was the former Sheffield United man\'s shot that had Forde scampering across goal to parry.
The loose ball fell kindly for Bryson eight yards out but, with the goal gaping, the Scotland international midfielder side-footed wide, much to the merriment of the Cold Blow End supporters.
The game became disjointed from then on with a number of fouls replacing the slick passing football on show earlier in the half. In quick succession Trotter, Wright and Shackell all went into the book.
Mistakes were also creeping in and when Nathan Tyson seized on a loose ball and looked for all the world like testing Forde, only a stupendous recovery tackle from skipper Robinson stopped The Rams from going close.
The half-time break reinvigorated The Lions and a fine sweeping move saw the ball worked out wide right to Henry, whose clever ball released Barron scampering down the left. His low cross was directed goalward by Darius Henderson but Rams keeper Fielding got down sharp to block. Trotter's follow up frustratingly trickled wide.
Millwall, knowing three points were there for the taking, mixed up their approach play and a long ball forward to Henderson was brilliantly controlled and laid off to half-time sub Liam Feeney. His touch helped the ball on to Henry but his shot flew harmlessly high and wide.
By this time, Derby were happy to defend in numbers and try and catch the hosts on the break. Both Shackell and skipper Barker were dominant in clearing a number of dangerous looking balls into the box but when Trotter managed to get something on a Feeney corner, he could only send a header wide.
Another set piece, this time from Barron, almost saw Henderson test Fielding. Barron's delivery was good, sub Andy Keogh flicked on, but The Lions top scorer could only power his header wide.
Recent signing Keogh, making his home debut, had replaced the impressive Henry and moved to partner Henderson in more traditional 4-4-2 and the Irishman was presented with a glorious opportunity to win it late on.
Alan Dunne's long ball forward found it's way to Trotter, he spread the ball wide to Feeney who's peach of a cross was headed over by former Wolves striker Keogh.
Whilst the result was perhaps unworthy of the performance, The Lions can take a lot of positives from a display that bodes well for the future, particularly with key league matches against Brighton and Middlesbrough on the horizon.

Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Robinson, Lowry, Barron, Henry (Keogh, 66mins), Trotter, Wright (Smith, 77mins), Mason, Kane (Feeney, 46mins), Henderson. Subs not used: Allsop, N'Guessan.
Bookings: Trotter (40mins), Wright (42mins)

Derby County: Fielding, Green, Barker, Shackell, Roberts, Carroll (Bailey, 77mins), Bryson, Hendrick, Ward (Doyle, 90), Ball, Tyson (Buxton, 86mins). Subs not used: Legzdins, Noble.
Bookings: Shackell (41mins), Bryson (69mins), Barker (75mins)

Ref: O.Langford
Att: 10,069 (away 754)

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