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Match Reports

Derby day defeat for Millwall

Our take on events at Craven Cottage...

25 November 2017

Oliver Norwood's first half stoppage-time penalty-kick condemned Millwall to defeat at Fulham in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday afternoon at Craven Cottage.

The Lions huffed and puffed all afternoon, but were undone shortly before the break as Norwood fired home.

Millwall boss Neil Harris made two changes from Tuesday night's goalless draw with Hull City, as Fred Onyedinma and Steve Morison came in for Aiden O'Brien and Lee Gregory, who both dropped to the bench.

The home side created the early pressure without threatening the goal of Jordan Archer, but it was to be The Lions that would have the first chance of the afternoon on seven minutes, as Tom Elliott's header was stopped by David Button.

Sheyi Ojo forced Archer into an outstanding save on 16 minutes, as the stopper had to tip a curling effort wide of the post. At the other end, indecision in the Fulham defence allowed Shane Ferguson a strike on goal, but the Northern Irishman's attempt flashed wide.

The casual defending in the home team's backline was causing concern amongst the Craven Cottage faithful and Onyedinma nearly stole in as the half-hour mark approached, but Button safely claimed. Neeskens Kebano had the opportunity to nose The Whites in front shortly after, but Conor McLaughlin's superb tackle prevented The Lions from conceding.

Fulham appealed for a penalty kick with 39 minutes on the clock, but referee Paul Tierney correctly adjudged Jake Cooper of winning the ball. Ferguson's cross found Elliott inside the box three minutes later, but the striker could only head wide.

Archer had to smother Ojo's attempts to score as the half reached a conclusion, but from the resulting corner kick, McLaughlin's pull back on Fonte prompted referee Tierney to point to the spot. The stopper guessed right, but Norwood's spot-kick was too powerful - The Lions had conceded at the worst possible time after holding their own in the first half.

The second period began in a frantic manner and Millwall nearly equalled on 51 minutes, but Button was equal to Onyedinma's shot on the edge of the six-yard box.

Ojo perhaps should have doubled Fulham's lead five minutes later, but failed to make a connection in front of Archer inside the penalty area.

The home sections, despite their lead, were growing restless with their side, especially Button's erratic keeping, but The Lions could not capitalise and grab an equaliser. Denis Odoi couldn't find the net with a free header on 70 minutes, meanwhile.

An exceptional cross-field pass from George Saville found Morison with 16 minutes remaining, but the striker's effort went wide. The midfielder sent a dipping shot towards goal just a minute later, but it agonisingly struck the post and bounced away to safety.

Millwall had a free-kick in a promising position on 86 minutes after Elliott was fouled on the edge of the box, but Saville fired over.

A frantic period of injury-time ensued, but The Lions could not find the equaliser their play perhaps deserved.

Fulham: Button, Fredericks, Sessegnon, Odoi, Kebano (Djalo 78'), Johansen (Kamara 46'), Fonte (Edun 58'), Cairney, Norwood, Ojo, Kalas. Subs not used: Bettinelli, Graham, de la Torre, Cisse.

Scorer: Norwood pen 45+2'

Millwall: Archer, McLaughlin (Romeo 88'), Meredith, Hutchinson, Onyedinma (O'Brien 74'), Ferguson (Gregory 74'), Tunnicliffe, Elliott, Morison, Saville, Cooper. Subs not used: King, Craig, Thompson, Twardek.

Booking: McLaughlin, Saville

Referee: Paul Tierney

Attendance: 17,984


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