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Match Reports

Three points at The Den for Millwall

Our report from SE16...

18 April 2022

Millwall were 2-1 winners over Hull City in the Sky Bet Championship at The Den on Easter Monday.

Scott Malone and Tom Bradshaw scored in four second-half minutes to give The Lions a 2-0 lead, and despite Tom Eaves' late consolation, Gary Rowett's side were able to claim a priceless three points in their pursuit of a top six place.

The manager made three changes - one enforced - from Good Friday's 1-1 draw at Preston North End, as Bradshaw, George Saville and Tyler Burey came in for Maikel Kieftenbeld, Oliver Burke and the injured Jed Wallace.

The match began bathed in sunshine and with The Lions on the front foot - and with just three minutes on the clock, Danny McNamara's ball into the penalty just evaded Bradshaw and ran out of play for a goal-kick.

Despite Millwall having the lion's share of the opening stages, the first real opportunity of the game went the way of The Tigers in 10th minute, but as Alfie Jones broke through and was able to strike, a strong stop from Bartosz Bialkowski kept the sheet clean.

Seven minutes later, a weak backpass allowed Burey a run on goal, but after he managed to prod the ball past the onrushing Nathan Baxter, defender Callum Elder raced back to prevent the attacker getting a shot in on goal.

Sean McLoughlin's long-range effort was then comfortably saved by Bialkowski as the first-half rumbled on, before Malone ballooned a free-kick over the crossbar shortly before the half-hour mark. George Honeyman was the next to try his luck as Hull looked to open the scoring seven minutes before the break, but his attempt was snuffed out by the defence, with Malone's shot across goal looking like it was sneaking in on 40 minutes before Baxter tipped wide - Daniel Ballard heading at the stopper from the resulting corner-kick.

There were mere seconds played after the restart when The Lions fashioned a chance on goal through Malone's cross, but after Bradshaw's attempt bounced into the path of Benik Afobe, his strike into the ground was tipped over by Baxter.

A heart-in-mouth moment at the other end on 50 minutes saw The Tigers hit the post before a shot straight at Bialkowski forced a corner, but Millwall managed to deal with the danger. That proved to be pivotal as just a minute later, The Lions took the lead in bizarre circumstances as an attempted clearance from Hull cannoned off Malone and drove past Baxter to open the scoring.

Four minutes later, it was two, as Ballard's ball forward was nodded on by Afobe and into the path of Bradshaw, who had no qualms in slotting past Baxter from outside the area to double The Lions' lead.

Shaun Hutchinson made a return to action with 63 minutes on the clock as he had to replace the injured goalscorer Malone, with Afobe then striking into the side-netting three minutes later as Millwall were in the hunt for more. There perhaps should have been a third on 78 minutes as McNamara crossed for Murray Wallace at the back post, but after his shot was saved by Baxter, Burey's follow-up clipped the top of the crossbar before going over.

Substitute Burke's deflected effort was tipped wide by Baxter with seven minutes to play, with a Jake Cooper header then suffering the same fate from the corner that followed, before Hutchinson was nudged to the floor inside the box but referee Dean Whitestone was unmoved.

The Tigers pulled one back as Eaves sprung the offside trap to blast home with three minutes to play, but Millwall were to negotiate the remaining normal time and five minutes of stoppage-time to lift themselves to the cusp of the Play-Offs.

Millwall: Bialkowski, McNamara, M. Wallace, Cooper, Bradshaw, Malone (Hutchinson 63'), Saville, Afobe (Leonard 89'), B. Mitchell, Ballard, Burey (Burke 79'). Subs not used: Long, Kieftenbeld, Ojo, Evans.

Scorer: Malone 51', Bradshaw 55'

Booking: Ballard, Bialkowski

Hull City: Baxter, Elder (Coyle 86'), Greaves, Jones, Smallwood, Honeyman, Lewis-Potter, Longman, McLoughlin, Sayyadmanesh (Forss 72'), Slater (Eaves 72'). Subs not used: Ingram, Docherty, Huddlestone, Bernard.

Scorer: Eaves 87'

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 12,776 (623)

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