Skip to main content

Match Report

 

Posted Sat 16 Aug 14 at 18:43 PM

Full-time from Craven Cottage

Millwall extended their unbeaten run to 11 games with a 1-0 win at Fulham thanks to Martyn Woolford's first goal of the season.

Last season's top scorer secured a third successive victory - and clean sheet - for Ian Holloway's side, sliding home Ricardo Fuller's 11th-minute cross to the delight of around 4,000 travelling fans.

Whilst it was Woolford's goal that settled a tight derby, this was a defensive masterclass from Ian Holloway's side, for whom captain Alan Dunne led by example from the back, and his teammates followed suit as they dug in time and time again to withstand a second-half onslaught.

Lions boss Ollie named an unchanged team from the side that started against Leeds United in the Championship opener seven days, although fit-again midfielder Nicky Bailey took his place on the bench along with Denzel Gerrar, replacing Matthew Briggs and Stephen Bywater respectively.

Whilst The Lions went into action brimming with confidence following a 10-game unbeaten stretching back to 29th March, Fulham had not tasted victory in their previous five matches, including an opening day of the season defeat at Ipswich Town.

The home side carved out the first chance of the game with just three minutes on the clock when the trusty hands of Lions keeper David Forde parried Thomas Eifeld's angled shot. The loose ball was touched into the path of George Williams, but he lashed wide from 10 yards.

Fulham keeper Jesse Joronen was called into action six minutes later, sticking out a hand to gather a wayward back header from teammate Konstantinos Stafylidis.

There was little Joronen could do to prevent Millwall taking an 11th-minute lead though. The Fulham backline were caught out by a beautifully weighted delivery from Fuller on the left flank, picking out Woolford at the far post who calmly swept the ball home from close range.

Fulham tried to find a way back in the opening half and it took a superbly timed tackle from Dunne to nick the ball off the toes of Hugo Rodallega on 21 minutes on the edge of the penalty area.

Dunne was again on hand to make a fine block just past the half-hour mark to clear Eisfeld's dangerous delivery as The Lions continued to defend resolutely as the half wore on.

The visitors could have doubled their tally on 35 minutes when Scott Malone's looping half-volley was acrobatically tipped over the bar, whilst Woolford's low shot following neat interplay with Carlos Edwards forced another smart save from Joronen.

At the other end Forde saved well from Cameron Burgess and Scott Parker fired over from distance, but it was The Lions who went in at the break a goal to the good.

Fulham introduced Ross McCormack for Lasse Vigen Christensen at the start of the second half as the home side looked to get back on level terms immediately.

There were barely 60 seconds on the clock after the restart when Forde did brilliantly to turn Rodallega's arrowed drive round the post for the home side's seventh corner of the game, but it was again dealt with competently by The Lions.

Millwall brought on Bailey for Woolford minutes after the midfielder received treatment for a whack on the knee and The Lions were forced to dig in as their opponents stayed on the front foot pressing for that equaliser.

Dunne was perfectly placed to clear off the line from Rodallega and Forde was an unbeatable last line of defence with his quick reactions and safe handling thwarting McCormack, Rodallega again and Stafylidis, whose free-kick right at the death looked like it was heading for the top corner.

Credit too, should go to the travelling fans who were in magnificent voice, especially in the dying stages to help the team over the finishing line as Millwall made it six points out of six this season  and a pleasing three clean sheets too. 

Fulham: Joronen, Hoogland, Stafylidis, Bodurov, Eisfeld (Roberts, 61mins), Parker, Rodallega, Christensen (McCormack, 46mins), Williams (David, 78mins), Hyndman, Burgess. Subs not used: Bettinelli, Hutchinson, Woodrow, Kavanagh. 
Bookings: Hoogland (48mins), Stafylidis (77mins)

Millwall: Forde, Edwards, Malone, Dunne, Beevers, Williams, Abdou (Gueye, 78mins), Martin, McDonald, Woolford (Bailey, 61mins), Fuller (Easter, 72mins). Subs not used: Gerrar, Wright, Gregory, Webster. 
Scorer: Woolford (11mins)

Ref: L Mason

    Latest Match Reports