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Match Reports

Millwall sign off Den campaign with victory

Lions take it to the final day...

30 April 2022

Millwall secured a 3-0 Sky Bet Championship victory over Peterborough United at The Den on Saturday afternoon.

After a goalless first-half, Benik Afobe gave The Lions the lead, before an own-goal from Josh Knight and a George Saville header saw Millwall to three points.

Gary Rowett made two changes to his starting XI for the visit of The Posh, with Ryan Leonard and Billy Mitchell coming in for Daniel Ballard - who missed out through injury - and Maikel Kieftenbeld.

The Lions were nearly in on goal with just two minutes on the clock, but after Benik Afobe fed Tom Bradshaw, his pass to an unmarked Oliver Burke became caught up in the loanee's legs and bounced to Posh safety. Burke then powered down the right-hand side and crossed for Afobe as Millwall started brightly, but the ball was gathered by Peterborough goalkeeper David Cornell.

It was Millwall who were dominating the opening stages with possession, but they were unable to find the final ball to penetrate the opposition defence - Bradshaw attempting to feed Afobe in the 12th minute, but the pass was snuffed out. A corner was forced two minutes later, but the attack ended with Leonard blasting high and wide.

The Lions kept coming forward and retaining possession as the half-hour mark came into view, but to no avail. A Danny McNamara cross evaded everyone with 30 minutes on the clock, despite being inviting, with Bradshaw then causing Cornell to juggle the ball out of his area as Millwall continued to chase the opening goal.

Skill from Afobe nearly set up a chance for himself with 10 minutes to play until the half-time break, with the first hairy moment at the other end coming on 39 minutes as Sammie Szmodics slid in Jonson Clarke-Harris, but he poked wide of Bartosz Bialkowski's post.

The opening minute of the second-half almost produced the first goal of the game, but after a ball to the back post was played into the path of George Saville by Leonard, the midfielder's strike from close-range was stopped by the instinctive save of Cornell.

Jack Marriott forced Bialkowski into his first save of the game at the other end on 50 minutes, but three minutes later, The Lions finally broke the deadlock through Afobe, as the striker lashed home from Saville's lay-off after Leonard's long-throw.

With Millwall needing goals, Jed Wallace and Mason Bennett were introduced into the action shortly after that opener, and the former nearly thrust himself straight into the spotlight with an attempt across goal, but it skidded across the turf for a goal-kick. Millwall then hit the woodwork twice in the space of a minute as firstly, Player of the Season, Murray Wallace, saw an effort deflected onto the crossbar and behind, before, from the resulting corner, Saville nodded onto the post.

With 73 minutes played, The Lions were able to bag another - through a Peterborough source - as Jed Wallace's cross was turned into his own net by Knight. Just three minutes later it was three, as after Jake Cooper's powerful header was expertly stopped by Cornell, Saville took a second bite of the cherry to nod home at the back post.

The Posh almost got one back as substitute Kwame Poku's shot was blocked, before Clarke-Harris stretched to reach a cross in the last minute of normal time, but Bialkowski was untroubled.

The result now leaves Gary Rowett's side needing victory at AFC Bournemouth on the final day, coupled with defeats for Middlesbrough and Sheffield United and a five-goal swing to make the Play-Offs.

Millwall: Bialkowski, McNamara, M. Wallace, Hutchinson, Cooper, Bradshaw (Bennett 54'), Burke (Burey 82'), Saville, Leonard (J. Wallace 54'), Afobe, B. Mitchell. Subs: Long, Pearce, Evans, Kieftenbeld.

Scorer: Afobe 53', Knight og 73', Saville 76'

Peterborough United: Cornell, Edwards, Kent (Jones 57'), Szmodics, Jack Taylor, Clarke-Harris, Knight, Marriott (Poku 57'), Burrows, Ward, Fuchs (Randall 73'). Subs not used: Blackmore, Beevers, Grant, Joe Taylor.

Referee: Geoff Eltringham

Attendance: 16,705 (635)

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