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Report: Wolves 4-2 Millwall

2 May 2015

Full-time from Molineux

In some respects forget the final score because in the end Wolves' 4-2 victory was academic for both teams, but savour the display of Neil Harris' team as the rebuilding for life in League One is clearly already underway.

Millwall may have bowed out of the Championship after a five-year stint in football's second tier - but the young Lions did so with dignity, pride and a positive performance that earned a standing ovation from the 1,300 travelling fans at the final whistle.

Philpot then pulled a goal back on 82 minutes with his first touch from close range, hobbled off injured seven minutes later to be replaced by fellow debutant Alfie Pavey, with Wolves putting the game beyond reach in injury-time courtesy of a fourth from Bakary Sako.

What an afternoon it proved to be for young striker Jamie Philpot who scored with his very first touch in senior football seconds after coming on as a substitute. Nouho Dicko (20, 56mins) had put Kenny Jackett's side 2-0 ahead but another Millwall Academy graduate, Aiden O'Brien, reduced the arrears (58mins) before Ethan Ebanks-Landell (70mins) restored Wolves' two-goal cushion.
Millwall boss Neil Harris handed three Academy graduates - Philpot, Pavey and midfielder Ben Thompson - a place on the bench, taking to seven the total number of homegrown players involved on Saturday.
Kenny Jackett's side went close to settling those early nerves when Benik Afobe found space in the opening minutes and slipped the ball through to Rajiv van La Parra, only for the Dutchman's drive to be saved by keeper David Forde.

That was not to be as although Derby pressed the self-destruct button at home to Reading, Brentford's victory against Wigan put paid to Wolves outside hopes of gatecrashing the top six on the final day of the season.

There was a sense of nervousness amongst the home crowd as they knew that only a Wolves win, coupled with results going their way at Brentford and Derby, would see them steal a top six spot.

David Edwards' also tested Forde with a long-range strike, but the Millwall man was equal to his effort.

Wolves eventually made the breakthrough on 20 minutes, however, when Dicko grabbed the first of his two goals, firing home confidently from close range after a mazy run from Sako had bamboozled the visiting defence.

Young midfielder Jack Powell came close to levelling for The Lions with a low 20-yarder that fizzed narrowly wide just before the break, and then left-back Dan Harding thumped the ball inches off the target early in the second-half following a crisp move involving the two Lees - Gregory and Martin.

O'Brien was agonisingly close to equalising on 53 minutes, but his effort was somehow scooped off the line - and how priceless that clearance proved to be because just three minutes later Wolves had doubled their tally with a stunning shot from Dicko that crashed high into the roof of the net after the striker had worked his way into a good position.

However, O'Brien was not to be denied and pegged the home side back on 58 minutes, tapping home from close range after Powell's free-kick had been parried by keeper by Tomasz Kuszczak and Gregory had picked up the loose ball to tee up his strike partner to score.

Then came the moment that teenage striker Philpot will never forget - showing a cool head to produce a clinical finish with his first ever senior touch, steering the ball beyond the keeper's reach following more good work from the selfless Gregory.

Ed Upson and Gregory both saw efforts fly over the bar as Millwall charged forward, but it was Wolves who restored their two-goal advantage on 70 minutes thanks to Ebanks-Landell's finish from eight yards. By the time Sako added a fourth goal in injury-time it was not enough for Wolves, who finished the season in seventh place. For Millwall the final whistle brought the curtain down on a five-year stay in the Championship, but the promise of better to come next season.

Midfielder Thompson looked set to come on for his Millwall debut, but it was team-mate Pavey who was given the nod when Philpot was forced off to a heroes' reception from the travelling fans with an injury less than 10 minutes after making his memorable debut.

Kuszczak, Golbourne, Edwards, Stearman, Sako, McDonald, Afobe, La Parra (Price, 64mins), Ebanks-Landell, Iorfa, Dicko. Subs not used: Flatt, Doherty, Henry, Doyle, Jacobs, Hause. Wolves:
Scorers: Dicko (20, 56mins), Ebanks-Landell (70mins), Sako (90+1min)

Forde, Dunne, Harding, Abdou, Beevers, Nelson, Powell (Cowan-Hall, 72mins), Upson, Gregory, O'Brien, Martin (Philpot, 80mins (Pavey, 89mins)). Subs not used: Archer, Cummings, Gueye, Thompson. O'Brien (58mins), Philpot (82mins)Scorers:
Nelson (49mins), Harding (68mins) Bookings:

Ref: M Haywood

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