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Report: Millwall 2-1 Charlton Athletic

3 April 2015

Full-time from The Den

Millwall breathed huge hope and belief into hopes of avoiding relegation as goals from sub Magaye Gueye (79mins) and Jos Hooiveld (87mins) secured a dramatic late win against 10-man Charlton - The Lions' first home success since 25th October 2014.

The visitors had been reduced to 10 men after 28 minutes when Chris Solly was dismissed for handling in the penalty area. Lee Gregory saw the resulting spot-kick saved by Stephen Henderson and when Alou Diarra fired Charlton ahead after 67 minutes, it looked as if Guy Luzon's side would end a 19-year wait to taste victory against The Lions.

But it was Millwall who simply refused to throw in the towel and when Gueye, a 58th-minute replacement for Jimmy Abdou, lashed home the equaliser with 11 minutes remaining, it was game on.

Cometh the moment, cometh the man and on this occasion it was towering defender Hooiveld who sent The Den faithful into raptures, guiding the ball home from close range to settle this ding-dong affair and hand interim manager Neil Harris his first three-point haul as boss.

Chopper stuck with the same side that held promotion-chasing Brentford to a draw last time out, whilst the visitors were forced to make a couple of changes. Free-scoring midfielder Yoni Buyens was missing through suspension, but skipper Solly and pacey striker Igor Vetokele made a return to the starting line-up from injury.

Millwall could have stolen the lead after just four minutes when Ed Upson's brilliant ball over the top was inches away from the outstretched leg of Gregory.

Solly was booked after 10 minutes when he leant in with head towards Gregory as the visitors struggled to find the free-flowing football that had seen them record seven wins from their previous nine games.

Upson, who like his team-mates put in a superb shift, went desperately close on 18 minutes when he stole into the area unmarked, but powered a header from Dan Harding's delicious delivery narrowly over.

However it was the visitors who nearly got their noses in front against the run of play when Chris Eagles scooped an effort narrowly wide at the back post after Johann Berg-Gudmundsson's chipped ball forward had got behind the Millwall back-line.

The Lions were handed a glorious opportunity to take the lead just before the half-hour mark when Solly was given his marching orders for handling Aiden O'brien's goal-bound shot after both Martyn Woolford and Jimmy Abdou had seen efforts blocked.

Up stepped Gregory, but his effort was gathered at the second attempt as the ball arrowed towards the bottom left corner.

Luzon introduced the tank-like Andre Bikey soon after as Charlton reverted to a 4-3-2 formation, but it was the home side who continued to pile forward, prising and probing in search of the opening goal.

Keeper Henderson came to the rescue with another save at full-stretch to deny Upson as Millwall finished the first-half positively.

The break gave Charlton an opportunity to regroup and they certainly looked more comfortable in the second half and nearly took the lead on 52 minutes when a swift counter-attack ended with Gudmundsson's left-footed shot curling a whisker wide of the upright.

Henderson was called into action once more, this time denying Shaun Williams on the hour-mark but it was the Addicks who broke the deadlock seven minutes later when Diarra ghosted into the box to flick home Morgan Fox's cross from the left.

Roared on by the home fans, and inspired by former Charlton midfielder Nicky Bailey, Millwall hit back and super sub Gueye grabbed a lifeline 11 minutes from time with a stinging angled drive that flew beyond the reach of Henderson and into the bottom right corner.

Gueye played his part in the winning goal too, this time getting in a shot that Hooiveld turned in from close range. Cue pandemonium as the ground erupted and despite six frenetic, nervy minutes of injury-time, the final whistle was music to the ears of all Lions fans....and The Den was Rockin' All Over The World for the first time in 14 games.

Millwall: Forde, Cummings, Harding (Maierhofer, 69mins), Abdou (Gueye, 58mins), Nelson, Hooiveld, Woolford, Williams, Gregory, O'Brien, Upson (Bailey, 76mins). Subs not used: Archer, Dunne, Beevers, Taylor-Fletcher.
Bookings: Hooiveld (35mins), Williams, (71mins), Woolford (76mins)
Scorers: Gueye (79mins), Hooiveld (87mins)

Charlton Athletic: Henderson, Solly, Gomez, Diarra, Johnson, Fox, Berg-Gudmundsson, Vetokele (Bulot, 72mins), Cousins, Bulot, Eagles (Bikey, 32mins), Watt (Church, 78mins). Subs not used: Dmitrovic, Lennon, Lepoint, Wiggins.
Booking: Solly (9mins)
Sending off: Solly (28mins)

Ref: M. Russell
Att: 14,722 (away 2,235)

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