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Match Reports

Young Lions make debuts as season comes to a close

Our take from Wigan...

5 May 2019

George Alexander and Billy Mitchell made their Millwall debuts as The Lions signed off their 2018/19 Sky Bet Championship campaign with a 1-0 defeat at Wigan Athletic on Sunday afternoon.

In a typical end-of-season affair, Joe Garner's 15th-minute strike was enough to hand The Latics all three points.

Millwall boss Neil Harris opted to keep the same XI from Tuesday night's defeat at home to Bristol City, with just one change coming on the bench, as Danny McNamara - fresh from signing a new contract on Friday - replaced Jesse Debrah.

After The Lions soaked up possession in the early stages, they fashioned a chance of their own on six minutes, but after good work from a combination of Ryan Tunnicliffe and Steve Morison, Lee Gregory's first-time shot never looked like troubling the net.

With nine minutes on the clock, Morison cheaply gave away possession and allowed Garner a shot on goal, but David Martin was equal to the strike, palming it to safety. Antonee Robinson then broke away down the left-hand side and crossed, but the ball rolled out of play.

It took 15 minutes for Wigan to open the scoring. Nick Powell was allowed to dance through the defence before stinging the palms of Martin - the ball rebounded straight into the path of Garner, however, who had the simple task of slotting the ball home.

The Lions nearly fought back instantly, with two Shane Ferguson crosses causing danger in the Wigan penalty area, but the second was to fall to Morison, who nodded on to the roof of the net.

A neat interchange of passing just after the midway point of the half set up Morison, but his shot was blocked behind. After three successive corners the ball was in the net, but Ryan Leonard's header was disallowed for a foul. Millwall were dominant and keeping The Latics in their own half, but they were unable to register on the scoresheet as Cooper's poke towards goal was cleared off the line.

Ferguson was the main source of Millwall's supply, and with 37 minutes gone his cross once more found the head of Morison, but the striker glanced wide.

The tables turned as the last minutes of the half ticked away as Wigan - particularly through the impressive Recce James - attacked, but to no avail. Garner and Powell combined three minutes before the break, but when the option for the latter to strike presented itself, he passed across the six-yard box, with the ball being cleared to safety.

Five minutes into the second-half, a golden opportunity to equalise was presented at the feet of Tunnicliffe, but after Gregory's turn and shot was saved by Christian Walton, the midfielder slid in and blazed over from close range.

Anthony Pilkington had the ball in the net on 55 minutes, but his strike was ruled out for offside, before Gregory missed the ball from a few yards out as another chance to restore parity went begging.

A moment of history took place in the 67th minute as Alexander replaced Gregory for his Millwall debut, with a Cooper knockdown giving Morison a chance three minutes later, but his effort was blocked.

Cooper headed Jiri Skalak's free-kick wide on 77 minutes, before another debutant made his way on to the pitch in Mitchell.

From there, with little on offer at either end of the pitch, the game petered out and Millwall's season was over.

Wigan Athletic: Walton, Robinson, James (Roberts 90'), Pilkington (Jolley 64'), Naismith, Kipre, Dunkley, Powell, Olsson, Evans, Garner (McManaman 74'). Subs not used: Jones, Gibson, Merrie, Perry.

Scorer: Garner 15'

Millwall: Martin, Meredith, Cooper, Williams (Mitchell 78'), Gregory (Alexander 67'), Ferguson, Romeo, Pearce, Tunnicliffe (Skalak 62'), Morison, Leonard. Subs not used: Amos, McLaughlin, Elliott, McNamara.

Referee: Mr. A. Woolmer

Attendance: 10,859 (1,002)

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