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Match Report


Posted Tue 10 Feb 15 at 21:50 PM

Full time from St Andrews

Alan Dunne ended a 47-year wait with a second-half winner as Millwall finally ended their St Andrews hoodoo with a superb 1-0 victory against Birmingham City.

You have to go back to October 1968, when Harold Wilson was Prime Minister, the Rolling Stones were at No 1 and a pint of milk cost 11d - about 5 pence in today's money - to find the last time The Lions tasted victory in the east midlands. 

But boy, did the wait prove to be worth it with skipper Dunne providing the all-important goal six minutes into the second-half to crown a composed, controlled team performance well worth the three points.

The Lions, including impressive debutant Michael Tonge as one of four changes to the team beaten by Huddersfield at the weekend, showed their intent from the opening whistle with Lee Martin driving narrowly over from the edge of the area and then Diego Fabbrini's acrobatic overhead kick from Martin's cross testing Blues keeper Darren Randolph.

A superb passing move just past the quarter-hour mark so nearly brought the opening goal for Millwall when Martin and Stefan Maierhofer combined to prise open the home defence. Big Austrian Maierhofer eventually threaded the ball through to Martyn Woolford and his delightful chip smashed the underside of the woodwork with keeper Randolph gratefully grabbing the loose ball.

Despite enjoying a vast amount of possession, Millwall could have found themselves a goal behind after 33 minutes, but for the brilliance of keeper David Forde who somehow got his fingers to tip Clayton Donaldson's goalbound shot round the post for a corner at full stretch.

It took another save from Forde, this time low to his right, to avert the danger as David Davis' angled drive arrowed towards the bottom corner as Birmingham enjoyed a spell of pressure before the break. 

But it was The Lions, backed superbly by around 300 travelling fans, who made the all-important breakthrough six minutes after the restart. Fabbrini was fouled and when Dunne's initial effort from Martin's free-kick was blocked, the defender made no mistake as he steered a firm header into the roof of the net to put Millwall 1-0 ahead.

The visitors were nearly gifted a second when another delivery from Martin cross was put just wide of his own goal by Birmingham defender Paul Robinson as he looked to clear the danger.

Gary Rowett's side pushed for an equaliser, but with Dunne and Jos Hooiveld quite simply unmovable in the heart of the Millwall rearguard, and Forde unbeatable in goal, Birmingham were to have no joy.

Even the introduction of highly-rated Demarai Gray and Nikola Zigic - so often Millwall's nemesis previously - failed to make any real impact as City huffed and puffed but could not find a way through.

The home side did rattle the woodwork once with a Jonathan Grounds header from a corner, but an equaliser would have been very harsh on the battling Lions who head to Elland Road on Saturday with renewed optimism that survival in the Championship is a distinct possibility if they can produce performances such as this. 

Birmingham City: Randolph, Grounds, Robinson, Gleeson, Donaldson (Zigic, 76mins), Cotterill, Shinnie (Gray, 64mins), Spector, David, Caddis, Dyer (Novak, 64mins). Subs not used: Doyle, Reilly, Hancox, Arthur. 
Booking: Spector (90+4mins)


Millwall: Forde, Cummings, Harding, Dunne, Hooiveld, Williams, Tonge, Martin (Beevers, 82mins), Fabbrini (Abdou, 88mins), Woolford, Maierhofer (Gregory, 72mins). Subs not used: Archer, Upson, Fuller, Gueye. 
Bookings: Martin (52mins), Williams (54mins), Cummings (90+1min) 
Scorer: Dunne (51mins)


Ref:S. Hooper

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