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Match Report


Posted Sat 07 Mar 15 at 16:51 PM

Full-time from The Den

Millwall's woeful home record continued as high-flying Norwich City eased to a 4-1 victory leaving The Lions without a win at The Den in 12 games. 

Jonny Howson bagged a goal in either half for the Canaries with Gary Hooper and Wes Hoolahan also on target. Although Lee Gregory hit a late penalty to reduce the arrears for Millwall, it was scant consolation as Ian Holloway's crashed to a fifth defeat in six games. The Lions are now eight points adrift from fourth-from bottom Fulham with 10 games remaining. 

Holloway's men, including Nicky Bailey and Sid Nelson in the starting line-up, looked bright early on and Diego Fabbrini's angled drive was cleared by Steven Whittaker in the opening exchanges.

Nowrich carved out a first half-chance on 27 minutes when Howson's initial shot struck Nelson and Hoolahan combined with Hooper to force a corner that was dealt with by the home defence.

Lions keeper David Forde was called into action with a smart save from Hooper's low angled drive. Millwall responded and when Ricardo Fuller was upended by Martin Olsson just outside the 'D', Shaun Williams' delivery struck the two-man Norwich wall and the opportunity was gone. 

With the game heading towards the final eight minutes of the half and Millwall looking quite comfortable against their promotion-chasing opponents, Holloway's men pressed the self-destruct button.

Howson opened the scoring when he was allowed to carry the ball forward too far unchallenged, then had time and space to pick his spot with a rasping, rising left-footed shot that gave Forde no chance.

The Lions did their best to force an equaliser and former Canaries loanee Jos Hooiveld headed Fabbrini's corner over.

But Norwich doubled their lead in stoppage time from the penalty spot when Alan Dunne needlessly challenged Cameron Jerome seconds after Forde had superbly parried Graham Dorrans' drive. Hooper made no mistake from the resulting penalty kick to put the Canaries 2-0 up at half-time and leave The Lions with a mountain to climb. 

It could have been even worse straight after the restart, but thankfully Jerome directed his header from Olsson's cross straight into the hands of Forde and not the back of the net. 

However another quick-fire double from the visitors put the result beyond Millwall's reach when Hoolahan tricked his way past Nelson to ram an angled low finish past Forde in the 57th minute. Three minutes later Jerome skipped into the penalty area and slipped the ball through to Howson, who rolled home six yards out for goal number four.

Dorrans was denied a fifth on 69 minutes when he sidefooted against the post and then Dan Harding cleared off the line from Jerome from underneath his own bar as the Canaries threatened to add more to their tally.

However The Lions dug in, and with substitute Gregory working tirelessly, the home side began to test the visiting defence, albeit after the real damage had been done. 

Hooiveld threw himself at Williams free-kick but his powerful diving header cleared John Ruddy's bar before Millwall did manage to score courtesy of Gregory. Sub Gary O'Neil was adjudged to have tripped Fabbrini in the penalty area and up stepped Gregory to calmly fire home the spot-kick.

Fellow sub Aiden O'Brien was blocked as he burst into a promising position and then Gary Taylor-Fletcher was inches from a second when he failed to connect with an inviting Gregory delivery, but it was not to be as The Lions failed to end their win-less run on home soil. 

Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Harding, Bailey (Tonge, 46mins), Hooiveld, Nelson, Williams, Woolford (Gregory, 61mins), Fabbrini, Taylor-Fletcher, Fuller (O'Brien, 65mins). Subs not used: King, Beevers, Gueye, Abdou. 
Booking: Tonge (61mins) 
Scorer: Gregory (82mins, pen) 

Norwich City: Ruddy, Whittaker, Cuellar, Martin, Howson, Olsson, Hoolahan (Andreu, 83mins), Dorrans (O'Neil, 78mins), Hooper (Redmond, 68mins), Jerome, Johnson. Subs not used: Rudd, Turner, Morris, Odjidja-Ofoe. 
Booking: Cuellar (21mins) 
Scorers: Howson (38, 60mins), Hooper (45+1min, pen), Hoolahan (57mins)  

Ref: K. Stroud 
Att: 11,116 (away 2,508)

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