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Match Reports

Three-sy does it as Lions advance in Carabao Cup

Our report from Crawley...

5 September 2020

Millwall advanced to the Second Round of the Carabao Cup on Saturday afternoon with a 3-1 victory at Crawley Town.

Scott Malone opened the scoring for Millwall in the 14th minute as he guided home a Ryan Woods cross for a goal on his second Lions debut, before Jake Cooper's header from a Connor Mahoney corner-kick in the 31st minute forced Jordan Tunnicliffe to turn the ball into his own goal.

Sam Ashford, however, reduced the deficit for The Red Devils just a minute later, but Matt Smith's second-half header secured a safe passage for The Lions.

Lions boss Gary Rowett opted for a 5-2-3 formation against The Red Devils, with Ryan Leonard operating at right-wing-back and Smith lining up alongside Mahoney and Mason Bennett in attack.

Millwall started strong and could have had a penalty as early as two minutes in, but referee David Rock was unmoved as Malone tumbled. 

Moving the ball around with freedom, The Lions continued their attacking stance as time went on, with Malone and Bennett linking well to create a chance, before Mahoney had an effort parried and into the arms of Crawley stopper McGill shortly after.

After a couple of half-chances, Millwall took the lead on 14 minutes as Malone steered home The Lions' first competitive goal of the season. From there, Rowett's side looked for more, especially through Mahoney, but they could not find a way to goal - that was until the 31st minute.

Mahoney's deep corner found Jake Cooper at the back post, and after the defender's header across goal seemed to be harmless, the ball struck Tunnicliffe and rolled into the net for the second of the afternoon.

Barely a minute had passed, though, before the hosts were back in the game, as Ashford took advantage of a defensive mishap to beat Bartosz Bialkowski and score.

The Red Devils were in the game more as the half went on and looked for the equaliser through Ashley Nadesan, but fortunately, despite Bialkowski scrambling, the effort went wide.

Half-time substitute Jed Wallace looked to get in on the act straight away as the second-half began, but his effort went horribly wrong and ended up going out for a throw-in, before further chances for a third goal came via the heads of Smith and Cooper, but neither could find the back of the net.

With 59 minutes on the clock, however, the former did just that, as he stooped to nod home a Jed Wallace cross to restore the two-goal advantage and extend Millwall's lead.

Smith nearly produced his second of the afternoon and Millwall's fourth just after, but McGill was equal to it and tipped behind, before there were further chances for substitute Tom Bradshaw and Leonard, but to no avail.

A Jed Wallace cross was almost headed home by Smith with 10 minutes remaining, but the striker could not strain his neck muscles far enough to make contact with the ball, before the final chance of a comfortable afternoon fell to Malone - however, his looping effort was clawed away by McGill.

Crawley Town: McGill, McNerney (Galach 78'), Dallison, Powell (Sesay 58'), Nadesan, Frost, Ferguson, Tunnicliffe, Ashford (German 66'), Craig. Subs not used: Jones, Doherty, Hessenthaler, Khaleel.

Scorer: Ashford 33'

Millwall: Bialkowski, M. Wallace, Hutchinson, Cooper, Thompson, Smith, Malone, Leonard, Woods (Williams 62'), Bennett (J. Wallace 46'), Mahoney (Bradshaw 72'). Subs not used: Wright, Pearce, Burey, Skalak.

Scorer: Malone 14', Tunnicliffe og 31', Smith 59'

Booking: J. Wallace

Referee: David Rock


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