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Match Report


Posted Sat 24 Aug 13 at 17:34 PM

Full-time from Hillsborough

Andy Keogh kept his cool to calmly convert an 87th-minute penalty as Millwall moved off the foot of the table with a hard-fought draw at Sheffield Wednesday.

An own goal by Kamil Zayatte (4mins) handed The Lions a dream start only for Reda Johnson (6mins) and Jeremy Helan (21mins) to put The Owls 2-1 ahead.

But Keogh secured Millwall's first point of the season, sending keeper Chris Kirkland the wrong way with just three minutes remaining to move Millwall away from the bottom of the Championship.

It really was a game of two halves - and kits! - for The Lions, who due to a mix-up found themselves with the wrong playing strip prior to kick-off.

Wearing The Owls away kit from last season in the first half and then their usual orange third away strip after the break, Steve Lomas' charges were good value for a draw.

Millwall were missing a trio of attacking players through injury and illness with Steve Morison (abdominal), Jermaine Easter (hamstring) and James Henry (illness) all unavailable for selection.

Manager Lomas handed a full debut to Scott McDonald in a new-look front pairing with Andy Keogh, whilst Lee Martin came in on the left flank for Henry.

The Lions, who had not scored in their previous six League games, were handed a perfect start with just four minutes on the clock. Martin was played in by McDonald on the left and his inviting delivery was hammered into the roof of his own net by Zayatte from barely four yards.

Having conceded two own goals on their last away game, it looked as if Lady luck was finally smiling on the visitors.

Unfortunately Millwall were only able to hold on to their lead for two minutes; keeper Stephen Bywater dropped the ball under pressure, it was played back into the mix and Johnson headed home the leveller from close range.

Millwall were left ruing another defensive mistake on 21 minutes, this time when Martin was caught in possession on the edge of the box. Atdhe Nuhiu squared the ball to Helan and he arrowed a shot into the bottom right hand corner to put Wednesday 2-1 ahead.

A good defensive interception by Danny Shittu averted the danger as the hosts threatened, whilst The Lions rode their luck four minutes before the break when Nuhiu's header smacked against the upright and then Bywater atoned for his earlier error making a fantastic block to save the follow-up from Johnson.

Millwall had carved out a couple of other chances too in the opening half, but efforts from Keogh and a snap-shot from Richard Chaplow flew wide of the target.

Boss Lomas shuffled his defensive pack at the start of the second half bringing on Paul Robinson for Shittu and The Lions started to dominate proceedings.

Owls keeper Kirkland fumbled as he tried to clear a corner and the ball dropped invitingly for McDonald who was sent sprawling, but play was waved on much to the dismay of the Millwall bench.

Wednesday then had a spot kick appeal of their own turned down, although there weren't too many complaints from the team - rather the home fans - when ref Stuart Attwell awarded a corner and not a penalty after Johnson collided with Shane Lowry as they went shoulder to shoulder in the penalty area.

The home side had the ball in the back of the net for a third time just before the hour mark, but the 'goal' was ruled out for a push on Bywater.

Millwall, who had already brought on Liam Feeney for Martin, introduced Dany N'Guessan for Shaun Derry with 20 minutes to go in a bid to turn some of the neat approach play into a goal.

Feeney's cross from the right just 60 seconds later should have been converted by Keogh, who powered his header a foot wide with the goal at his mercy.

The Lions remained patient in their build-up play and that persistence paid off handsomely with the clock heading towards the 90-minute mark. Chaplow was sent tumbling to the ground and whilst ref Attwell was unsighted, his assistant Phillip Dermot indicated that a foul had been committed.

Keogh grabbed the ball and then made no mistake with a low finish that beat keeper Kirkland hands down to haul The Lions level.

Despite a couple of late scares, including a corner taken three times after goalmouth tussles, Millwall were resolute in their defending and proved excellent value for their first point of the season.

Sheffield Wednesday: Kirkland, Buxton (Semedo, 46mins), Johnson, Gardner, Zayatte, Antonio, Prutton, Coke (Lavery, 89mins), Helan, Palmer, Nuhiu (Maguire, 67mins). Subs not used: Davies, Maghoma, McCabe, Llera.
Scorers: Johnson (6mins), Helan (21mins)

Millwall: Bywater, Dunne, Shittu (Robinson, 46mins), Beevers, Lowry, Chaplow, Bailey, Derry (N'Guessan, 70mins), Martin (Feeney, 56mins), Keogh, McDonald. Subs not used: Marshall, Abdou, Woolford, Smith.
Booking: N'Guessan (73mins)

Ref: S. Attwell
Att: 20,009 (away 409)

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