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Match Reports

Lions advance with Pompey victory

Our take on the Carabao Cup tie...

10 August 2021

Scott Malone and George Saville scored as Millwall advanced to the Second Round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night with a 2-1 win over 10-man Portsmouth.

Reeco Hackett-Fairchild gave the Sky Bet League One outfit an early lead in SE16, but two goals in six minutes from Malone and Saville proved enough to put The Lions in the hat for the draw.

Gary Rowett made five changes from the XI which started Saturday's 1-1 Sky Bet Championship draw with Queens Park Rangers, as George Long - for his Lions debut - Jake Cooper, Tom Bradshaw, Mahlon Romeo and Ryan Leonard all came into the side.

In front of four loud sides of The Den, the game kicked off - and the first chance fell the way of The Lions in just the second minute, but Bradshaw nodded Malone's cross over the bar.

Two minutes later, however, a loss of possession from Jed Wallace allowed Reeco Hackett-Fairchild in to strike home the opener from just outside the penalty area.

Clearly buoyed by the opener, Pompey attacked once again with six minutes on the clock, but this time Gassan Ahadme fired wide from the same position.

On 21 minutes, though, Millwall were level. The ball was worked out to The Lions' right-hand side and after Jed Wallace's cross was deflected into the path of Malone, the wing-back had no qualms in slotting the ball into the back of the net for the equaliser.

Six minutes later, the comeback was complete as Saville headed home for his first goal since his return to the club, adjusting his feet brilliantly to slot past Alex Bass at the near post.

The Lions were now the ones on top and forcing the issue, and a long spell of possession with 10 minutes until the break ended with the ball at the feet of goalscorer Saville, but his curling effort sailed high and wide.

Ronan Curtis had the next effort of the first-half just before the half-time break, but his attempt went wide of Long's far post.

In first-half stoppage-time, Benik Afobe had the chance to put Millwall 3-1 up, but after the ball broke to him, unmarked, inside the penalty area, his drive at goal was superbly stopped by Bass.

Shortly into the second-half, Portsmouth were reduced to 10 men as Johnson was shown a straight red card for a foul just inside the Millwall half. The Lions then attacked in search of a potentially decisive third, but Malone's poke at goal was gathered by Bass.

Cooper's deflected effort then found its way into the grasp of the stopper as the noise cranked up a notch inside The Den, with Shaun Williams then receiving a standing ovation from all four sides as he was replaced by Michael Jacobs shortly after the hour-mark.

Malone's attempt with a little over 15 minutes remaining was stopped by Bass, but after the goalkeeper was finally beaten again just moments later, substitute Matt Smith's header - from a Malone cross - was stopped by the base of the post.

The action kept coming as, with 11 minutes left to play, Bass was stranded outside his penalty area with the ball at the feet of Afobe, but the striker got his lob wrong and it sailed over. With 82 minutes on the clock it looked as though the visitors had scrambled home an equaliser, but after Hackett-Fairchild's initial attempt was smothered by Long, the follow-up was headed off the line by Leonard.

Still the relentless nature of chances in front of goal would not cease, and this time it was Smith who had a header cleared off the line by the Pompey defence on 87 minutes, with Saville blasting the rebound high and wide as the game ticked into its final stages.

Bass was then once again caught off his line in stoppage-time, but Saville could not make the most of an attempt from just outside the centre-circle. Afobe curled wide as the final seconds ticked down, with referee Charles Breakspear blowing for full-time shortly after.

Millwall: Long, Hutchinson, Cooper, Kieftenbeld, J. Wallace (Mahoney 67'), Bradshaw (Smith 66'), Malone (Thompson 79'), Romeo, Saville, Leonard, Afobe. Subs not used: Bialkowski, M. Wallace, Pearce, B. Mitchell.

Scorer: Malone 21', Saville 27'

Booking: Cooper

Portsmouth: Bass, Johnson, Robertson, Williams (Jacobs 61'), Ahadme (Freeman 52'), Tunnicliffe, Marquis (Hirst 46'), Curtis, Ogilvie, Hackett-Fairchild, Raggett. Subs not used: Bazunu, Brown, Mnoga, Harness.

Scorer: Hackett-Fairchild 4'

Booking: Hackett-Fairchild

Sent Off: Johnson

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Attendance: 7,915 (2,000)

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