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Match Reports

Lions go 11 unbeaten with win over Brentford

Our report from Den derby...

10 March 2018

George Saville's first-minute goal secured a 1-0 victory for Millwall over Brentford in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday afternoon at The Den.

In a bizarre bout of deja vu, Saville netted his ninth goal of the season in exactly the same second he scored his eighth at Hull City - the 51st.

Lions boss Neil Harris made one change from Tuesday night's 2-1 victory over Hull City, with Steve Morison coming back into the side at the expense of Tom Elliott, who dropped to the bench.

Inside the first minute The Lions took the lead. Jed Wallace pounced on some slack defending and headed the ball into the path of Saville, who slotted underneath the reach of Daniel Bentley for his ninth goal of the campaign.

A superb start continued as on five minutes, dogged determination from James Meredith allowed the left-back to cross in from close range, but the ball was cleared for a corner-kick - one that was kicked to safety by The Bees.

The cauldron of The Den bubbled once more on nine minutes as Yoann Barbet turned home a corner-kick at the far post - unfortunately for the Brentford man, in spite of his celebrations in front of the Cold Blow Lane end, his strike was ruled out for offside; something that didn't go unnoticed by the Lions fans at that end - and Morison.

On 19 minutes, Saville could have doubled his tally and Millwall's lead, but Bentley's fingertips diverted the midfielder's shot onto the post and behind for a corner. From the resulting kick, the ball bounced out to Wallace who delivered a thunderous drive into the arms of the stopper.

Referee Stuart Attwell was lenient on substitute Chris Mepham and Nico Yennaris as they piled into tackles on Saville and Shaun Williams, with The Lions standing strong to Brentford's attacking attempts as the half-hour mark came and went.

Mahlon Romeo's cross was just too high for Lee Gregory five minutes from the break, whilst on 43 minutes, Barbet nearly atoned for his earlier struck-off effort, but he flashed a shot wide of Jordan Archer's post. Jake Cooper's header was saved by Bentley, before Sergi Canos drove an attempt into the arms of Archer in the last action of the first-half.

The second-half was just over a minute old when Cooper once more headed towards goal, this time from Ben Marshall's corner, but the towering defender nodded wide.

On 52 minutes Brentford nearly restored parity, but Canos' shot smacked off the post before Meredith blocked a follow-up attempt. Canos really should have equalised four minutes later, but ballooned his shot high and wide.

Ollie Watkins' grubber tested Archer on 57 minutes, whilst Canos again attempted to slot past Archer to no avail.

Like The Lions have seen from a handful of Championship sides this season, Brentford's insistence on passing the ball around at the back nearly paid dividends for Harris' side on 66 minutes, but Bentley hurriedly cleared out of play with Gregory breathing down his neck. That set about a period of play in which Millwall could have doubled their lead, but the 'keeper saved well from Morison's header.

With 69 minutes on the clock John Egan ghosted in to plant a free header goalwards, but fortunately for Millwall, the unmarked defender nodded off the crossbar and the right side of the goal-line, with the ball bouncing to safety.

On 77 minutes, somehow, The Bees failed to equalised. Following a corner-kick, the ball was bundled towards goal and looked to be heading over the line, however, Meredith was there to clear from under his own crossbar and keep The Lions in front.

Substitute Elliott nearly teed up Wallace as the game began to tick towards a frantic finale, whilst at the other end, Watkins blazed high, wide and not so handsome with six minutes remaining. Barbet also blasted wide on 86 minutes.

A tense period of injury-time followed, but The Lions stood firm to claim yet another victory - the unbeaten run now stands at 11 matches.

Millwall: Archer, Meredith, Hutchinson, Williams, Gregory (Onyedinma 75'), Romeo, Wallace, Morison (Elliott 75'), Saville, Cooper, Marshall (Cahill 86'). Subs not used: Martin, McLaughlin, Tunnicliffe, Shackell.

Scorer: Saville 1'

Booking: Elliott. Cahill

Brentford: Bentley, Bjelland (Mepham 3'), Yennaris, Watkins, Egan, Woods, Marcondes (Maupay 61'), Sawyers, Dalsgaard, Barbet, Canos (Judge 74'). Subs not used: Daniels, Macleod, McEachran, Mokotjo.

Referee: Stuart Attwell

Attendance: 13,251 (1,705)

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