Skip to main content

Match Report


Posted Sat 25 Feb 12 at 18:32 PM

Burnley 1 Millwall 3

Josh Wright struck an early contender for Goal of the Season with a sensational first-half piledriver as Millwall recorded a vital victory at Burnley.
Andy Keogh had already put The Lions ahead with a thumping 14th-minute finish when Wright seized on a loose clearance after James Henry's free-kick had been headed clear and hit an unstoppable 30-yard volley that gave keeper Lee Grant absolutely no chance.
The ferocity of that strike matched the ingenuity and effort of a Millwall side clearly smarting from Tuesday night's home defeat by Middlesbrough.
Wright's goal - his first in a Lions shirt - was a dream way to open his account for the club and a goal worthy of gracing any stadium in the world.
On an afternoon of firsts, Harry Kane bagged his first League goal for The Lions with a third 21 minutes from the end to wrap up three points. Jay Rodriguez scored a 92nd-minute penalty for Burnley, but by then it was no more than a consolation.
Millwall were excellent value for their victory after producing the perfect response to possibly their poorest 45 minutes for some time in the opening half against Boro.
Boss Jackett made a quintet of changes to the team, some enforced, others by choice.
Liam Trotter was ruled out with a thigh injury, Jack Smith sustained a head injury following an accidental clash of heads with Alan Dunne in training on Thursday, whilst Scott Barron, Darius Henderson and Liam Feeney all dropped to the bench.
Dunne, who needed three stitches in his head following that collision with Smith, returned to the side at right back. Tony Craig came in to fill the left-back berth, with Jimmy Abdou, Hamer Bouazza, and Henry also in Jackett's starting XI.
It was the new-look Lions who so nearly made a perfect start with just two minutes on the clock. Bouazza wriggled his way into the danger zone after picking up the ball on the left and let fly with a thunderous right-foot effort that crashed against the underside of the bar and dropped two yards out, where Henry headed over.
There was an anxious moment in the visiting defence on seven minutes when skipper Paul Robinson tried to shepherd the ball back to David Forde, but the keeper slipped and Ross Wallace nearly stole in, only for Robbo to avert the danger with a solid clearance.
Keith Treacy's 18-yarder a minute later bobbled wide of the target as Burnley recovered from a shaky start to enjoy a little spell of possession.
However The Lions had a massive chance to break the deadlock after 10 minutes when a three on two break saw Kane sprint clear, but he was outmuscled by Michael Duff as he prepared to pull the trigger.
From Bouazza's corner Robinson's goalbound header was booted off the line by Marvin Bartley as Jackett's men continued to prise and probe in search of that first goal.
And it duly arrived just before the quarter hour mark courtesy of Keogh's rising shot into the roof of the net after after good work by Kane, whose persistence on the right paid off handsomely.
Burnley went in search of a quick response, but with Forde superbly protected by his back line, the keeper was never really tested.
The same could not be said for his Clarets counterpart Grant, who was left horribly exposed at times with the home defence at sixes at sevens.
But there was nothing Grant could do, or indeed probably any keeper, to keep out Wright's stupendous strike to put Millwall 2-0 ahead after 29 minutes. Watch out for that on Lions Player!
A fantastic ball from Bouazza was a whisker away from the head of Keogh as Millwall threatened once again with the rocky Clarets rearguard caught napping.
Burnley boss Howe made the first of his three substitutions eight minutes before half-time with Martin Paterson replacing injured skipper Chris McCann.
The home side made further changes at the break, Danny Ings and Brian Easton on for Charlie Austin and Treacy respectively.
Not surprisingly Burnley came out strongly, looking for an early goal to give them a lifeline. But The Lions defended magnificently to weather the storm and on a quick counter attack could have made their hosts pay again, but unfortunately Bouazza rushed his shot on the edge of the area instead of taking a touch, and fired into Row Z.
At the other end Wallace twice went close with efforts from distance, the first deflected for a corner and the second flashing a couple of yards off target.
A period of sustained pressure really tested Millwall's resilience and when Wallace hit a curling left-foot effort, Henry epitomised the work ethic of Jackett's men, popping up to make sure the far post was covered should a defensive header be needed to clear the danger.
It was Henry who turned provider on 69 minutes with the final, perfectly weighted pass slipped through to Kane. The teenage striker composed himself before despatching a low shot into the bottom right corner to spark chants of 'We want four' from the 250 or so travelling fans.
Jackett made his first change a couple of minutes later, introducing Scott Barron for Wright, and then top scorer Henderson for Kane on 81 minutes.
With a three-goal cushion, Millwall were happy to see out the game, and looked like keeping a welcome clean sheet until the second minute of injury-time when Shane Lowry tripped Bartley and Rodriguez made no mistake from the penalty spot.
It was arguably the only blemish on an otherwise impeccable display, not only by Lowry, but The Lions from start to finish.

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff, McCann (Paterson, 38mins), Wallace, Rodriguez, Edgar, Bartley, Austin (Easton, 46mins), Treacy (Ings, 46mins), Mee. Subs not used: Jensen, Hines, Easton.
Scorer: Rodriguez (90+2mins, pen)

Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Craig, Abdou, Robinson, Lowry, Keogh, Bouazza (Feeney, 81mins), Henry, Kane (Henderson, 87mins), Wright (Barron, 74mins), Subs not used: Allsop, N'Guessan.
Scorers: Keogh (14mins), Wright (29mins), Kane (69mins)

Ref: D. Phillips

    Latest Match Reports