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Match Reports

Three-sy does it as Lions sweep aside Newport County

Our report from The Lions' Emirates FA Cup tie

4 January 2020

Millwall secured their place in the Fourth Round of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday afternoon with a 3-0 victory over Newport County at The Den.

Matt Smith, Connor Mahoney (pen) and Tom Bradshaw all scored for the second successive game as The Lions comfortably swept aside their Sky Bet League Two opponents.

Gary Rowett made six changes for the visit of The Exiles, with Bartosz Bialkowski, Alex Pearce, Jake Cooper, Smith and Jayson Molumby the only survivors from the New Year's Day win over Luton Town.

Jason McCarthy, Murray Wallace, Mahoney, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Jiri Skalak and Billy Mitchell - for his home debut - came into the starting XI, whilst Shaun Hutchinson, Jed Wallace, Shane Ferguson and Aiden O'Brien dropped to the bench. Mahlon Romeo and Shaun Williams, meanwhile, were rested.

The Exiles - on their first ever trip to The 'new' Den - started on the front foot, but were unable to test Bialkowski. At the other end, however, The Lions nudged themselves in front with their first opportunity of the game, as Mahoney's corner was flicked on and into the path of Smith, who finished at the first attempt to open the scoring.

Bialkowski was tested for the first time a couple of minutes later, but Joss Labadie's header from a free-kick was more than comfortable for the Pole. With 18 minutes on the clock The Lions won the ball back in the midfield with Bodvarsson feeding McCarthy, but after the right-back set Mahoney on goal, the winger took one touch too many as the ball rolled out of play.

Labadie curled an effort over the crossbar as Newport looked to fashion an equaliser, with shouts for a penalty after Mahoney tumbled ignored just seconds later at the other end - Bodvarsson then twisted and turned and fired towards goal, but former Millwall stopper Tom King got down low to gather.

A clever set-piece almost led to a second for The Lions on the half-hour mark, but as Skalak cut the ball back for Mahoney, his goal-bound effort was deflected behind by Padraig Amond. Ryan Haynes then shot from distance in a rare Newport attack, but his effort was no trouble for Bialkowski.

On 53 minutes came County's best chance of the afternoon - or two chances - as firstly, after breaking in behind the Millwall defence, Jamille Matt saw his attempt well saved by Bialkowski, before Amond got the follow-up horribly wrong, shooting wide. From there came a brief spell of pressure from the visitors, but one which was dealt with easily.

Newport kept coming, though, and worried The Lions with a duo of crosses into the penalty area just before the hour-mark, but with 64 minutes on the clock, Mark O'Brien tangled with Bodvarsson inside the box, forcing referee Tony Harrington to point to the spot. Mahoney stepped up and sent King the wrong way to double the lead.

Millwall could have had a third shortly after, but Bodvarsson flicked over after substitute Tom Bradshaw fed Mahoney.

The Exiles, to their credit, were still forcing the issue and attempting to get back into the game, and a host of corners were helping their cause, but a combination of poor finishing and a stoic Lions defence were keeping Millwall's sheet clean.

Eight minutes from time, The Lions flexed their Championship muscles once more by adding a third. McCarthy skipped down the right-hand side and fed Bradshaw, who deftly chipped over King.

Millwall: Bialkowski, McCarthy (Brown 83'), M. Wallace, Cooper, Smith (Bradshaw 59'), Pearce, Molumby, Mahoney, Bodvarsson, Skalak (Ferguson 79'), Mitchell. Subs not used: Steele, Hutchinson, J. Wallace, A. O'Brien.

Scorer: Smith 7', Mahoney 64' pen, Bradshaw 82'

Newport County: King, Haynes (Whitely 74'), Labadie (Dolan 80'), Amond, Sheehan, Matt, Abrahams (Collins 79'), Nurse, Bennett, M. O'Brien, Demetriou. Subs not used: Townsend, Poleon, Inniss, Jefferies.

Booking: Nurse, Bennett, Labadie

Referee: Tony Harrington

Attendance: 6,009 (877)


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