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Match Reports

Lions dominant in Madejski victory

Back-to-back away wins for Millwall...

3 February 2018

Millwall secured back-to-back away wins in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday afternoon as second-half goals from Mahlon Romeo and Lee Gregory secured a dominant 2-0 win at Reading.

In an afternoon that saw goalkeeper Jordan Archer rarely troubled, Romeo's second and Gregory's sixth goals of the campaign earned a second win on the road in 2017/18.

Lions boss Neil Harris made two changes from the side that started Tuesday night's goalless draw at The Den against Derby County, with Fred Onyedinma and Steve Morison coming in at the expense of Shane Ferguson and Tom Elliott. New signing Ben Marshall took his place on the substitutes' bench.

In just the third minute of the afternoon, Archer sent Jed Wallace away with a superb throw, but a Reading leg was outstretched just in time to prevent the winger squaring the ball to an unmarked Gregory.

The pair did combine with 12 minutes on the clock, but Gregory poked over the crossbar from Wallace's cross. The Lions kept probing and nearly found an opening three minutes later, but after Vito Mannone spilled Wallace's attempt, Onyedinma's follow-up was tipped behind by the stopper.

On 18 minutes, the visitors' dominance almost paid off as they had the ball in the net after a brief scramble inside the six-yard box; it was unclear who got the final touch, but that was unfortunately not to matter as it was ruled out for offside.

Just after the half-hour mark, a superb driving run from Onyedinma and back-heel from Wallace set up Conor McLaughlin, but the Northern Irishman's shot was blocked.

One minute from the end of the first-half, Morison's header from Shaun Williams' free-kick was saved by Mannone, but once more, after a scramble, The Lions were unable to turn the ball home for the goal that their dominance deserved.

With 54 minutes played, Gregory picked the pocket of substitute Tyler Blackett, who dallied for far too long, and nearly found Morison with a cross, but the ball eventually ended up in the arms of Mannone.

Archer was called into action for the first time on 58 minutes as he brilliantly tipped Mo Barrow's drive wide of the post. From the corner-kick that followed, Joey van den Berg ballooned his shot over the crossbar.

Reading's insistence on playing out from the back was angering the Madejski faithful and they nearly got caught out again just after the hour-mark, but Mannone blocked Morison from getting a shot on goal.

Wallace's header was saved and Mannone punted away under pressure from Gregory, but on 70 minutes, The Lions finally took the lead through substitute Romeo. Wallace laid the ball into the path of the right-back who - via a deflection - struck past Mannone for his second goal of the campaign.

Three minutes later, Morison took advantage of some more catastrophic defending and played the ball forward towards Gregory, who stole the ball away from Mannone before smartly finishing from an acute angle.

Shaun Hutchinson was his usual solid self in the heart of Millwall's defence and found himself in the way of two Reading attempts, with The Royals losing their discipline as the minutes ticked away - Bacuna's cynical swipe at Morison by the corner-flag earned him a yellow card.

After seeing out five minutes of injury-time, referee Andy Davies called time on another memorable afternoon away from home for The Lions - they are now four League matches unbeaten.

Reading: Mannone, Gunter, Elphick (Blackett 32' (McCleary 80')), van den Berg, Moore, Edwards, Barrow, Kermorgant (Martin 68'), Bacuna, Ilori, Bodvarsson. Subs not used: Jaakkola, Evans, Aluko, Clement.

Booking: Ilori, Edwards, Bacuna

Millwall: Archer, McLaughlin (Romeo 61'), Meredith, Hutchinson, Williams, Gregory (Shackell 87'), Onyedinma, Wallace (Ferguson 75'), Morison, Saville, Cooper. Subs not used: Martin, Tunnicliffe, Marshall, Elliott.

Booking: McLaughlin, Wallace, Cooper

Scorer: Romeo 70', Gregory 73'

Referee: Andy Davies

Attendance: 17,282 (2,661)

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