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Match Reports

Wallace wonder-strike ensures a Good Friday at The Den

Lions v Millers...

2 April 2021

Millwall were 1-0 victors over 10-man Rotherham United at The Den in the Sky Bet Championship on Friday afternoon.

Jed Wallace's fantastic 64th-minute strike settled matters as Rotherham - who had captain Richard Wood shown a straight red card minutes before - saw a Michael Smith penalty saved by Bartosz Bialkowski.

Gary Rowett opted the name the same starting XI which defeated Middlesbrough last time out, with the only changes coming on the bench as Kenneth Zohore and Maikel Kieftenbeld joined Connor Mahoney in returning from injury.

The opening stages saw both goalkeepers rarely troubled in SE16, but it was The Lions who were making most of the attacking play. However, despite a couple of corner-kicks, Viktor Johansson's sheet remained clean.

A mistake from Scott Malone allowed Rotherham their first chance of goal with 12 minutes played, but after the left-back put the ball at the feet of Freddie Ladapo, the striker struck just wide of Bialkowski's far post.

Five minutes later, Ryan Giles was able to skip past a Millwall challenge and head into the penalty area, but his final touch took the ball away from him and into the arms of Bialkowski.

There were big moments at either end just past the 20-minute mark as firstly Ladapo went down in the area under the close attentions of Shaun Hutchinson but referee John Brooks waved the protests away, before The Lions broke up the field through Jed Wallace and Mason Bennett, but neither were able to muster a shot on goal.

With 27 minutes on the clock, Malone received the ball on the left-hand side and looked to thread a delightful through-ball to the onrushing Jed Wallace, but the number seven was just unable to control for what would have been a clear attempt on goal from inside the area.

Millwall's first change of the afternoon was an enforced one on 31 minutes as Hutchinson had to leave the field through injury - he was replaced by Alex Pearce - with the next chance of the game seeing Bialkowski extend himself to claw a goal-bound ball away from danger as a clutch of bodies went up following a Daniel Barlaser free-kick.

Another superb Malone pass was arrowed in the direction of Jed Wallace once again with just under four minutes to play until the break, but although the attacker was able to gather this one, he was quickly blocked and the ball was put behind. From that resulting corner, Bennett lost his marker and turned the ball towards goal, but flicked wide.

Malone's skill was able to take him past his marker and into the box in the first action of the second-half, but after his cross was punched clear by Johansson, Murray Wallace's right-footed follow-up was blocked by the shins of Bennett.

With 56 minutes on the clock, Rotherham were reduced to 10 men as, after Bennett slid the ball through to Jed Wallace, his heels were clipped by Millers captain Wood, leaving referee Brooks with no choice but to show a straight red card.

That decision left Millwall with a free-kick on the edge of the box, and after Jed Wallace's free-kick hit the wall the ball bounced into the path of Danny McNamara, but his vicious drive was well tipped over by Johansson.

As The Millers sat further back, Bennett broke through and looked to score before a last-ditch challenge forced the ball behind for a corner - and it was from that in which the opening goal of the game came, as Jed Wallace unleashed a fantastic strike into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area.

McNamara's cross went all the way across the box and to Malone with 20 minutes to play, but his shot failed to be on target, before Lewis Wing let fly from distance but the ball rolled wide.

Zohore and Mahoney - along with Jon Dadi Bodvarsson - entered the field with just over 15 minutes to go, but it was Rotherham who could have found the next goal in the game, however no one could get on the end of Smith's teasing cross.

Mahoney then easily sold two Rotherham defenders and shaped to shoot on 80 minutes, but he dragged his effort wide - and with six minutes to play, The Millers were presented with a penalty-kick after Smith tumbled under the attentions of Pearce. The attacker dusted himself down and took the kick, but a big Bialkowski save kept The Lions' sheet clean.

Rotherham did not give up, though, and attacked once more, substitute Trevor Clarke seeing his shot cleared behind by Pearce with four minutes remaining, but The Lions were able to see out the last few minutes to secure a home victory.

Millwall: Bialkowski, M. Wallace, Hutchinson (Pearce 31'), Cooper, J. Wallace (Bodvarsson 74'), Malone, Woods (Kieftenbeld 88'), Bennett (Zohore 73'), McNamara, Mitchell (Mahoney 74'), Evans. Subs not used: Fielding, Williams, Bradshaw, Romeo.

Scorer: J. Wallace 64'

Booking: Cooper

Rotherham United: Johansson, Wing (Clarke 78'), Wood, Ladapo (Lindsay 59'), Harding, Ihiekwe, Angus Macdonald, Smith, Crooks (Hirst 78'), Barlaser (Jozefzoon 78'), Giles (Wiles 58'). Subs not used: Blackman, Shaun Macdonald, Ogbene, Sadlier.

Booking: Angus Macdonald

Sent Off: Wood

Referee: John Brooks

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