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Christian Mbulu's goal "the icing on the cake" says Justin Skinner

24 October 2016

Millwall U23s boss delighted with emphatic win at QPR

Millwall U23s boss Justin Skinner admitted that the goal scored by sub Christian Mbulu was "the icing on the cake" as his side destroyed QPR 5-1 on Monday afternoon.

Young defender Mbulu came on as a half-time sub for Sid Nelson and marked his first 45 minutes of match action on his way back from a serious knee injury with The Lions' fourth goal against the 10-man Hoops.

Noah Chesmain, Kris Twardek and Harry Smith had put Millwall 3-1 ahead by the break, with Mbulu and then Alfie Pavey putting the result beyond doubt in the second-half.

"For Christian to come back and score, well that really was the icing on the cake for us," Skinner told "He got another 45 minutes on the pitch and we will be hoping to increase that by 15 minutes next time out and then another 15 to get his match fitness right up there."

Mbulu's goal - a firm header from close range - may have been the icing on the cake for Skinner, but there were plenty of other positives to take as Millwall recorded a fourth straight Professional Development League win.

"We were on the back foot in the opening few minutes and it did cross my mind that we could be in for a long afternoon," said Skinner. "But Noah fired us ahead and then Kris put us 2-0 up before QPR pulled a goal back from the penalty spot.

"Harry restored out two-goal advantage, and it was good to see him on the score-sheet too with his first goal after being out with a slight injury."

It was at that stage, with The Lions 3-1 ahead, that QPR midfielder Sandro was sent off following a clash with midfielder Harry Donovan.

"It was a weird one really," explained Skinner. "Sandro had been booked a couple of minutes earlier for a tackle on Harry, then Harry was booked for a tackle on him. Sandro got Harry in a headlock and basically wouldn't let go of him, so the referee really had no alternative and had to send him off!

"From then on, and even though they were a man down, QPR played the same way, but we were resolute and caused them problems on the counter attack.

"We added a couple of good goals from Christian and Alfie Pavey to put the game to bed. It doesn't matter whether you are playing against 10 or 11 players, it's always nice to win a derby and score five goals in the process."

The two Shauns - Cummings and Hutchinson - also got 90 minutes under their belts and Skinner believes that the return to fitness of such senior players can only be of a benefit to first-team boss Neil Harris.

"Getting players back gives more competition for places and is another positive," he added. "It was a good afternoon all round."

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