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Match Reports

Lions suffer first home defeat

London derby at The Den

21 September 2019

Nahki Wells' double condemned Millwall to a first home defeat of the season on Saturday afternoon at The Den as Queens Park Rangers were 2-1 winners in the Sky Bet Championship.

Shaun Hutchinson equalised for The Lions after Wells opened the scoring in the second-half, but the R's frontman pounced just two minutes later to win the game.

Neil Harris made four changes to his side for the visit of The R's, with Jayson Molumby and Jason McCarthy making their home debuts. Hutchinson, Shane Ferguson and Matt Smith also came into the starting XI.

Both sets of supporters were in fine voice off the pitch as the game got underway, but any action on the pitch was few and far between, with The Lions and The R's spending the first 10 minutes jostling for position.

With 14 minutes on the clock, Ferguson's cross quickly turned into a shot and nearly deceived Joe Lumley, before just seconds later at the other end Jordan Hugill looked set to score from close range, but was denied by a strong block from Lions captain Alex Pearce.

Shortly before the half-hour mark, in a half of few chances, Hutchinson - sporting no number on the back of his replacement shirt after a head injury earlier in the game - nodded down to Jed Wallace, but the winger's shot was wild and failed to trouble Lumley. Former Millwall youth product Eberechi Eze then tried his luck from distance 10 minutes from the break, but found the upper tier behind the goal.

The ball sat nicely for Ilias Chair to strike from a corner-kick with 41 minutes played, but his shot was blocked, with Jed Wallace then speeding down the left-hand side, only for his cross to come to nothing as the half came to a close.

The first strike of the second-half went the way of Millwall, but Jed Wallace's rasping drive was comfortable for Lumley. QPR then appealed for a penalty after Hugill threw himself to the ground, but referee Bankes was unmoved. In the thick of the action at one end, Hugill was lucky to retain his place on the pitch just minutes later, receiving only a yellow card after taking out Jed Wallace in full flow on the right-wing.

Smith and then Ferguson both tested Lumley, but with 56 minutes on the clock, it was to be Rangers who took the lead after Wells' snap-shot beat Bialkowski.

There was 65 minutes played when Millwall had perhaps their best chance of the afternoon, but from Ferguson's free-kick, Hutchinson's header was saved on the line by Lumley.

The introduction of Tom Bradshaw immediately sparked The Lions into the life with 20 minutes remaining, but the striker's piece of skill and cross was turned behind by the Rangers defence. From the duo of corners that followed, however, the latter produced the Millwall equaliser, as Hutchinson prodded home from six yards out after the ball broke to him.

Just two minutes later, though, QPR were back in front after a long ball forward was miscontrolled by Bialkowski and slotted into an empty net by Wells.

With 10 minutes remaining Jed Wallace broke through the visiting defence, but his effort hit the post behind the goal. Ferguson had a late effort and substitute Aiden O'Brien headed wide as Millwall hunted an equaliser, but to no avail.

Millwall: Bialkowski, McCarthy (O'Brien 88'), Hutchinson, Cooper, J. Wallace, Thompson, Matt Smith, Ferguson, Pearce (Mahoney 76'), Molumby, Bodvarsson (Bradshaw 69'). Subs not used: Steele, M. Wallace, Williams, Leonard.

Scorer: Hutchinson 71'

Booking: Thompson, Hutchinson

Queens Park Rangers: Lumley, Kane, Cameron, Hugill, Eze, Ball, Manning, Chair (Pugh 83'), Wells (Scowen 76'), Barbet, Leistner. Subs not used: Kelly, Matt Smith, Mlakar, Masterson, Alfa.

Scorer: Wells 56' 73'

Booking: Cameron, Hugill, Wells

Referee: Peter Bankes

Attendance: 16,808 (2,112)

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