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Match Reports

Smudger the hero as Millwall defeat Charlton at The Den

Our take on Saturday's London derby

9 November 2019

Matt Smith's injury-time header won Saturday's local derby at The Den as Millwall defeated Charlton Athletic 2-1.

Shaun Hutchinson gave The Lions a sixth-minute lead, rising highest to nod home a free-kick, but Jonathan Leko equalised shortly after half-time.

Smith, however, stepped off the bench to win the game with a 91st-minute header and keep up Millwall's outstanding unbeaten record against their local rivals.

Gary Rowett made one change to Millwall's starting XI, with Jon Dadi Bodvarsson coming in for Shane Ferguson. Jiri Skalak, meanwhile, returned from injury to take a place on the bench.

With five minutes played, The Lions had the first chance of the afternoon - and it came after Tom Lockyer's sliced clearance but Dillon Phillips under pressure, but Jed Wallace's shot was blocked.

Just a minute later, The Lions took the lead. After Bodvarsson was floored, Shaun Williams' free-kick found the head of Hutchinson, who had time to nod past Phillips and open the scoring.

Bodvarsson and Mahlon Romeo then had attempts stopped by the busy Phillips as Millwall dominated the opening stages, and whilst The Lions continued in the ascendancy in the first 15 minutes, winning every ball and restricting Charlton to a limited amount of possession, they were unable to test the goal further.

On 17 minutes, The Addicks' first foray into the penalty area - and Millwall's half - nearly led to the equalising goal, but Macauley Bonne nodded wide under pressure from Bartosz Bialkowski.

As the halfway stage of the first-half came and went, Charlton continued to probe, but could not find their way past a solid Millwall back-line, most notably goalscorer Hutchinson, who was blocking anything that came his way.

More possession from The Addicks in the middle of the park was wasted, but on 38 minutes they tested Millwall's stopper for the first time - and somehow, the scores were not levelled. After good work from Conor Gallagher, the ball made its way to Josh Cullen; he struck at goal, Bialkowski saved, the ball hit the bar and then the Pole clawed the ball off the line to prevent the equaliser.

Three minutes before the half-time break the combination of Romeo and Bodvarsson combined, but the latter's inviting ball across the six-yard box could not be tapped home.

In first-half stoppage-time Charlton looked sure to equalise, but Bialkowski pulled off yet another stunning stop to deny Bonne from close range.

Gallagher shot wide as the second-half got underway, before Bialkowski - again - was spectacularly called into action with 50 minutes on the clock, tipping over from Pratley. The pressure told, however, just seconds later, as Leko turned the ball home from a corner to level the score.

Ten minutes later it looked as though Ben Thompson was well-placed to score the third goal of the afternoon, but after his attempt from 12 yards out looked goal-bound, Phillips pulled off a smart save of his own to keep things level.

As The Den grew nervy, Jake Cooper headed a corner wide of the post with 69 minutes played, before Tom Bradshaw's header was easily saved by Phillips with five minutes remaining.

As the clock struck 90 minutes, however, The Lions had other ideas, as after Jed Wallace swung over a corner, substitute Smith was there to plant a header home and win the game - get in!

Millwall: Bialkowski, M. Wallace, Hutchinson, Cooper, Williams, J. Wallace, Thompson (O'Brien 86'), Bradshaw (Smith 86'), Romeo, Molumby, Bodvarsson (Mahoney 78'). Subs not used: Steele, Ferguson, Pearce, Skalak.

Scorer: Hutchinson 6', Smith 90+1'

Booking: Molumby

Charlton Athletic: Phillips, Matthews, Purrington, Lockyer, Pearce, Gallagher, Leko (Lapslie 83'), Pratley (Kayal 67'), Bonne, Sarr, Cullen. Subs not used: Maynard-Brewer, Oshilaja, Solly, Oztumer, Davison.

Scorer: Leko 51'

Booking: Pratley

Referee: Robert Jones

Attendance: 17,109 (2,211)


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