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Match Reports

Lions secure deserved Preston victory

Our take from Deepdale...

28 October 2020

Goals from Kenneth Zohore and Jed Wallace (pen) secured a 2-0 win for Millwall at Preston North End on Wednesday night.

Zohore gave The Lions the lead early in the second-half after a dominant first 45 minutes produced no goals, with Millwall's number seven striking home a penalty-kick late on to double the advantage after namesake Murray was fouled.

The Lions have now won three out of their last four matches and two away games in succession.

The stand-in management trio of Alex Pearce, Shaun Williams and Kevin Nugent made three changes for the trip, with the playing duo and Connor Mahoney making way for Murray Wallace, Ryan Woods and Zohore to step into the starting XI. Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, meanwhile, returned to the bench.

After a tepid opening 10 minutes to the game, the first chance went the way of the hosts, but Brad Potts' free-kick was blocked by the Millwall defence.

Mahlon Romeo then made a run which took in over half the length of the field five minutes later, but his curling effort on his left foot was deflected behind for a corner-kick. On his first start for The Lions, Zohore then spun his marker and looked to strike towards goal, but once again the attempt was forced behind for a corner.

A beautiful spell of football on the halfway point of the first-half nearly led to Millwall's first goal, but after a triangle was played between Woods, Mason Bennett and Jed Wallace, the latter found the gloves of Declan Rudd.

With just seven minutes to go until the break, The Lions' best chance of the half to date came. Outstanding play from Woods got Millwall out of danger and sent away Romeo down the right-hand side, but after the ball eventually reached Bennett, his dipping, goal-bound effort was tipped over by Rudd, with the resulting corner being cleared.

The Lions had spent most of the half on top, and a three-on-three situation on 40 minutes perhaps should have garnered greater rewards, but Jed Wallace's run towards goal was directed at the corner flag by the Preston defence and the attack was over.

Shaun Hutchinson fizzed the ball into the feet of Jed Wallace as the second-half began, but the attacker was unable to make anything of his shot on goal, before a Scott Malone cross found the head of Zohore, but the loanee nodded wide.

With 54 minutes played, The Lions finally got the goal their overall play had deserved. Bennett found acres of space in the centre-circle to turn and power forwards, and after his pass found Jed Wallace inside the box, the attacker calmly crossed for Zohore to stroke home his first goal in a Millwall shirt.

The goal did not stop the Millwall charge from there, with The Lions coming straight forward just a minute after the opener in search of a second, but after Murray Wallace's cross found Zohore, his header was put wide by the right boot of Malone.

The Lilywhites tried to get back on the scoresheet with a little over 20 minutes remaining, but Bartosz Bialkowski rushed out to deny Preston substitute Tom Barkhuizen the opportunity to score.

An expert challenge from Hutchinson shut out the home side once again on 73 minutes - which happened moments before goalscorer Zohore's night was ended as the striker had to withdraw with a knock.

The Lions still came forward as the game began to come to a close, and they nearly found a route to goal through a shot from Romeo, but his effort was deflected into the side-netting. However, with seven minutes remaining, Millwall were handed a golden opportunity to double their lead as a penalty was given after Murray Wallace was shoved to the ground in the box. His namesake, Jed, stepped up and sent Rudd the wrong way.

From there, Millwall saw the game out and claimed back-to-back away wins with ease.

Preston North End: Rudd, Bauer (Huntington 46'), Browne, Johnson, Storey, Rafferty, Hughes, Ledson (Barkhuizen 64'), Riis, Sinclair, Potts (Harrop 55'). Subs not used: Ripley, Earl, Maguire, Stockley.

Millwall: Bialkowski, M. Wallace, Hutchinson, Cooper, J. Wallace, Romeo, Zohore (Bradshaw 75'), Malone, Leonard, Woods, Bennett (Bodvarsson 72'). Subs not used: Fielding, Thompson, Smith, Ferguson, Mahoney.

Scorer: Zohore 54', J. Wallace pen 84'

Referee: Mr D Bond


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