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Match Reports

Leonard thunderbolt secures KCOM win for Millwall

Our report from Humberside..

11 July 2020

Ryan Leonard's early goal secured all three points for Millwall at Hull City in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday afternoon.

The midfielder struck a delightful shot from around 25 yards out into the top corner in just the second minute to claim a victory which puts The Lions just two points off sixth-placed Cardiff City with three matches remaining in the season.

Lions boss Gary Rowett opted for three centre-halves once more in his starting XI, as Shaun Hutchinson, Jake Cooper and Alex Pearce lined up, with Billy Mitchell - for his first Championship start - and Shane Ferguson occupying the wing-back positions.

Leonard and Ryan Woods anchored the midfield, whilst Jed Wallace and Mason Bennett sat either side of central striker, Tom Bradshaw.

Just 90 seconds in, The Lions had the lead. Leonard picked the ball up around 25 yards out and fired an unstoppable effort beyond Hull goalkeeper George Long and into the back of the net.

From there, the chances flowed at both ends, with firstly Bradshaw hooking the ball over with seven minutes played, before Bartosz Bialkowski had to be on guard a few minutes later, stopping from Josh Bowler.

Mitchell, operating at right-wing-back, then had a golden chance with 11 minutes on the clock, but the youngster ballooned his effort over the crossbar, before the next chance fell to The Tigers, but Bialkowski stood strong once more to deny Mallik Wilks with his legs.

Captain Pearce then had to head off the line as Hull looked for an equaliser, with Hutchinson heading wide from a Jed Wallace corner-kick at the other end. Cooper got on the end of Ferguson's free-kick and poked on to the roof of the net as the chances continued, but perhaps the best chance since the goal fell to goalscorer Leonard as the half came to a close - he struck well, but Long pulled off a strong stop to keep the score at 1-0 going into half-time.

The Lions had the first chance of the second-half, but Bradshaw lifted the ball over the bar after Jed Wallace's cross found him. Appeals for a penalty at the other end were denied as referee Donohue waved away the protests of Wilks after he tumbled inside the area, with the attacker picking himself up to shoot low at Bialkowski seconds later - the Pole had his effort covered, though.

Hull's Kevin Stewart was perhaps lucky to stay on the pitch after clattering into Leonard and leaving the midfielder a heap on the floor, with the next attempt coming from Hutchinson as he met Jed Wallace's corner at the back post - the ball was cleared to safety, however.

Bialkowski reached down low to make a fantastic stop from Tigers substitute Josh Magennis with 18 minutes remaining, with Woods and Cooper both doing defensive duties in blocking shots from Honeyman and Wilks as a nervy last 10 minutes approached.

Four minutes of stoppage-time followed those, but The Lions held out to claim three vital points in the battle for a Play-Off place.

Hull City: Long, de Wijs, Burke, Stewart (Batty 61'), Eaves (Magennis 61'), MacDonald (Tafazolli 80'), Honeyman, Bowler (Lewis-Potter 69'), Elder, Da Silva Lopes, Wilks. Subs not used: Ingram, Toral, McLoughlin, Pennington, Scott.

Yellow Cards: Stewart, Honeyman

Millwall: Bialkowski, Hutchinson, Cooper, J. Wallace (Thompson 90+1), Bradshaw (Smith 90+1), Ferguson (M. Wallace 83'), Pearce, Leonard, Woods, Bennett (Skalak 66'), Mitchell (Williams 83'). Subs not used: Steele, Muller, Molumby, Mahoney.

Scorer: Leonard 2'

Referee: Mr. M. Donohue

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