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Match Reports

Lions unbeaten run at an end as Fulham claim victory

Our report from a sold-out Den...

20 April 2018

Millwall's 17-match unbeaten run in the Sky Bet Championship ground to a halt at The Den on Friday night as Fulham defeated The Lions 3-0.

In front of a crowd of 17,614 The Lions had a goal disallowed and one cleared off the line, but two strikes in 10 second half minutes from Ryan Sessegnon and Kevin McDonald, along with Aleksandar Mitrovic's late effort, handed Fulham victory.

Neil Harris once more kept his starting XI and substitutes the same.

The Lions could have taken the lead just three minutes in, but Jake Cooper crashed a header from a corner-kick against the crossbar. From the rebound, Shaun Williams nodded into the arms of Marcus Bettinelli.

A highly controversial moment saw Millwall have the ball in the net on 15 minutes through George Saville, but referee Andre Marriner deemed there to have been a foul in the build-up, seemingly from Jed Wallace.

A sustained spell of pressure from Fulham followed as they attempted to gain a foothold in the game, with Mitrovic heading over from Matt Targett's cross, whilst a ball into box minutes later nearly presented a tap-in - however, a combination of Lions defenders managed to clear the ball to safety.

In a powder-keg atmosphere Millwall swung the pendulum shortly before the half-hour mark, but Tim Ream raced back to clear Wallace's shot off the line after Bettinelli flapped through pressure from Steve Morison.

Shaun Hutchinson blocked the lively Targett's shot on 31 minutes, whilst four minutes later a neat piece of play from Wallace saw Morison through on goal - his cross, however, was too hard for the awaiting Lee Gregory at the back post.

Shortly before half-time, solid work from Gregory allowed Marshall to cross - Bettinelli went for the punch, Morison beat him to it, but unfortunately he headed over the crossbar.

As the first-half drew to a close, dangerman Targett hit the target, but his shot clipped the bar and went over.

The second half was barely a minute old when Fulham took the lead. A long-range effort was parried by Jordan Archer into the path of Sessegnon, who slotted under the legs of the stopper to open the scoring.

One could - and maybe should - have become two minutes later, but Stefan Johansen dragged his shot wide with only Archer to beat. Tom Cairney then blasted over the bar and The Whites looked to double their lead.

With 56 minutes on the clock, Fulham did indeed extend their advantage in exceptional circumstances, as McDonald rounded Saville and struck a long-range effort past the despairing dive of Archer.

The 'keeper saved low down from Sessegnon's stinging effort on 63 minutes, before Millwall's first substitution of the night saw Tom Elliott replace Ben Marshall in a move that saw The Lions switch to 4-3-3.

Mitrovic had two wayward attempts at goal as the final 20 minutes approached, whilst Williams' low effort was gratefully accepted by Bettinelli on 73 minutes.

Tim Cahill's introduction in a deeper role more familiar to the younger version of the Australian attempted to inject new life into The Lions, but it was Fulham who nearly wrapped up the game six minutes from time as Sessegnon fizzed a shot past the post.

Late on, Mitrovic guided the ball home to complete the victory.

Millwall: Archer, Meredith (Cahill 77'), Hutchinson, Williams, Gregory, Romeo (O'Brien 87'), Wallace, Morison, Saville, Cooper, Marshall (Elliott 65'). Subs not used: Martin, Onyedinma, Tunnicliffe, Shackell.

Booking: Hutchinson, Wallace, Cahill, Gregory

Fulham: Bettinelli, Fredericks, Sessegnon, Odoi, McDonald, Johansen, Cairney, Ream, Piazon (Kalas 82'), Targett, Mitrovic. Subs not used: Button, Kebano, Fonte, Norwood, Christie, Kamara.

Booking: Ream

Scorer: Sessegnon 46', McDonald 56', Mitrovic 89'

Referee: Andre Marriner

Attendance: 17,614 (2,287)

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