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Match Reports

Millwall fall to Bolton defeat

Our take from Lancashire...

9 March 2019

Millwall suffered defeat in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday afternoon as Bolton Wanderers defeated The Lions 2-1.

Pawel Olkowski and Gary O'Neil found the net to put The Trotters 2-0 up, and despite Lee Gregory's classy finish halving the deficit late on, The Lions were unable to salvage anything from the game.

Neil Harris made two changes for the trip to the University of Bolton Stadium, with Tom Elliott replacing Steve Morison and Alex Pearce - for his first Championship start - coming in for Shaun Hutchinson.

The home side had most of the ball in the early stages, but failed to work Jordan Archer, being caught offside twice in rare attacks. A clever free-kick on 13 minutes allowed Jed Wallace to cross at the other end, but Remi Matthews punched the ball away from the onrushing Elliott.

Elliott was involved again three minutes later, but after taking Gregory's superb backheel in his stride, the striker's cross was too powerful for everyone.

With 27 minutes on the clock Shane Ferguson's corner gave Elliott a free header around 12 yards out, but the ball glanced away for a throw-in for what was Millwall's best chance of the afternoon to date.

The home side threatened shortly after the half-hour mark with a succession of crosses by O'Neil, but no one was there to take advantage of Josh Magennis' chest down, with the ball cleared to safety. At the other end, Ferguson's corner-kick was flicked towards goal by Gregory, but cleared behind by Jack Hobbs.

Pawel Olkowski and Sammy Ameobi then tried their luck from distance, but both efforts went comfortably wide of Archer's post. In first-half stoppage-time O'Neil's corner caused trouble in The Lions' six-yard box, but fortunately Callum Connolly stabbed wide.

Three minutes into the second-half Bolton were in front, as Olkowski had time to turn and shoot into the bottom corner of the net. Will Buckley then shot wide as The Trotters' tails were up, but it was Millwall who began to turn the screw from there, with a duo of corners ending with Cooper's header being cleared off the line.

However, as the hour mark struck, Bolton doubled their lead as O'Neil was allowed to run and run, before twisting and turning and firing past Archer.

The Lions inability to muster any form of attack was costing them, with Bolton now flooding forward in their attempts to seal a third. Jon Williams struck over, before Buckley forced Archer into a save. Ben Thompson finally registered The Lions' first shot on target with 68 minutes gone.

Claims for a Millwall penalty were turned down when Elliott was bundled over on 72 minutes, with the striker heading wide four minutes later. Somwehow, the deficit wasn't reduced with nine minutes remaining, as Jed Wallace's shot cannoned off a defender and bounced to safety, instead of to the awaiting Gregory just a few yards out.

Three minutes from time Millwall got back in it as Gregory's outstanding flick from Jed Wallace's cross found its way in, but despite four minutes of stoppage-time, the equaliser could not be found.

Bolton Wanderers: Matthews, Taylor, Beevers, Ameobi, Buckley (Dyer 82'), Hobbs, Olkowski, Connolly, O'Neil, J. Williams (Wilson 86'), Magennis. Subs not used: B. Williams, Little, Oztumer, Donaldson, Connell.

Scorer: Olkowski 48', O'Neil 60'

Millwall: Archer, Meredith (Marshall 61'), Cooper, S. Williams (Morison 68'), J. Wallace, Thompson, Gregory, Ferguson, Romeo, Pearce, Elliott. Subs not used: Martin, Hutchinson, Leonard, Tunnicliffe, O'Brien.

Scorer: Gregory 87'

Booking: S. Williams, Elliott, Ferguson

Referee: Simon Hooper

Attendance: 13,035 (664)

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