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Match Reports

Match Report : 21/12/2016

21 December 2016

Report | Millwall 3-1 Charlton Athletic

Steve Morison bagged two goals as Millwall bounced back from three successive defeats to take derby honours against Charlton Athletic at The Den. 

Morison, back in the starting line-up for the first time since early November following a knee injury, scored either side of Aiden O'Brien's 40th-minute opener with goals on 42 and 60 minutes. 

The Lions had raced into a 2-0 lead with those quick-fire goals just before the break, and although Nicky Ajose gave the visitors some hope by reducing the arrears on 49 minutes, Morison put the game to bed with his second - and Millwall's third - on the hour mark to maintain The Lions' impressive record against their near neighbours. 

The last time Charlton won in SE16 Mr Blobby was No.1 in the charts, the Ford Escort was the best selling car in the UK, inflation had hit a 33-year low of 1.6 per cent and two founder members of One Direction - Liam Payne and Zayn Malik - were just babes in arms. 

On that snowy night back in December 1995, a brace from Kim Grant sealed an unlikely 2-0 success for The Addicks against the table-topping Lions in a game that saw both teams reduced to 10 men. 

Although Charlton went on to record a win 'double' during that 1995/6 campaign, the subsequent eight meetings had seen Millwall win four and draw the remaining four in what has become known, albeit tongue in cheek, as the most one-sided of local derbies. 

Wednesday night's Den encounter, played in front of a season's best home attendance of 14,395, had The Lions the pre-match 10/11 favourites with the bookies to further extend that impressive sequence of results, not least because Charlton went into action on the back of five straight defeats. 

However, as has been said so many times before, the form book is known to go out of the window come derby day, but thankfully that did not prove to be the case on this occasion. 

In an opening half an hour high on energy and intent, clear chances were few and far between. 

Ademola Lookman tickled the palms of Lions keeper Jordan Archer with a 20-yard shot whilst at the other end the home side created the clearer scoring opportunities. 

Lee Gregory did superbly to tee-up O'Brien, but the latter just couldn't connect, and then Morison lashed wide of the target as the visiting defence were caught napping. 

Jorge Teixeira became the first, and only name, to go in referee Chris Kavanagh's book on 31 minutes for a cynical foul on Gregory as he latched onto a superb reverse pass from strike partner Morison and threatened to break clear on goal. 

Despite enjoying the majority of possession, it took until five minutes before half-time for Millwall to make the all-important breakthrough. Right-back Shaun Cummings, back in the starting XI at the expense of Mahlon Romeo, was the creator with a sublime cross squeezed over from the wing and his delivery was met by O'Brien, who headed beyond the reach of Dillon Phillips in the Charlton goal. 

The celebrations were still in full swing when Morison produced a quality finish from Shaun Williams' perfectly weighted through ball to arrow home goal number two just a couple of minutes later to send Neil Harris' side in 2-0 up at the break. 

Millwall came flying out of the traps at the start of the second-half, but were stunned when Charlton reduced the arrears on 49 minutes against the run of play. There looked to be a hint of offside when Lookman picked up the ball on the left, broke forward and unselfishly squared for Ajose to slot home from a central position. 

However, any hopes Karl Robinson's side had of going to to secure a first win for their new manager were dented on the hour mark with another excellently crafted goal by The Lions, set up by O'Brien, Tony Craig and Fred Onyedinma, and finished with aplomb by Morison. 

Onyedinma was denied by a fine save from Phillips on 67 minutes when he was played through by a neat flick from the tireless Gregory. 

Defender Shaun Hutchinson went close with a header from Williams' corner and another shot from O'Brien was blocked for a corner following more good work by Onyedinma as Millwall kept the pressure on. 

Charlton rarely threatened a solid looking Lions rearguard that also welcomed Byron Webster back following injury, and were restricted to just one further effort on goal when sub Jordan Botaka dragged a shot wide of the mark. 

By then it was all academic, however, as The Lions comfortably saw out the game to move within four points of the Play-Offs with home games against Swindon and Gillingham to come before the end of 2016. 

Millwall: Archer, Cummings, Hutchinson, Craig, Williams, Thompson, Gregory (Ferguson, 74'), Onyedinma (Butcher 90+2'), Webster, Morison, O'Brien (Worrall, 88'). Subs not used: King, Romeo, Abdou, Smith. 
Scorers: O'Brien (40'), Morison (42', 60') 

Charlton Athletic: Phillips, Chicksen (Botaka, 70'), Jackson (Ahearne-Grant, 86'), Bauer, Lookman, Crofts, Magennis, Ajose, Konsa, Fox, Teixeira. Subs not used: Mitov, Foley, Johnson, Ulvestad, Aribo. 
Booking: Teixeira (31') 

Ref: C.Kavanagh
Att: 14,395 (away 2,186) 

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