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Match Reports

Millwall suffer midweek loss

Our report from under the lights...

5 April 2022

Millwall suffered a rare home defeat on Tuesday night as Swansea City were 1-0 winners at The Den in the Sky Bet Championship.

Joel Piroe netted the decisive goal just seconds after the restart to secure all three points for the visitors.

Gary Rowett opted for the same XI against The Swans from that of the Luton Town fixture, with just one change coming on the substitute's bench as Ryan Leonard returned from a long-term injury to take the place of Alex Pearce.

After a minute's applause for Paul Jiggins, the evening got underway with The Lions pressing Swansea's back-line, forcing them into conceding a corner-kick in just the third minute - one which Jed Wallace swung over, but Daniel Ballard headed wide.

Benik Afobe's deflected effort then bounced behind, but the best chance to date came with 11 minutes on the clock and fell to Swansea, but Michael Obafemi's effort was expertly tipped over by Bartosz Bialkowski.

Despite Millwall winning the ball back from sloppy Swansea possession on a number of occasions, The Lions were unable to find a killer pass, with the next attempt seeing Bialkowski tip a Jay Fulton shot behind on 21 minutes.

Obafemi then showed pace to break away from the Millwall defence and strike on the half-hour, but his effort was blocked by Murray Wallace. At the other end, yet another concession of Swansea possession led to a Lions corner, but Ballard's header failed to trouble Andy Fisher.

Danny McNamara's cross eventually fell to Jed Wallace with five minutes to play until the break, but his effort was deflected wide of the far post, with Joel Piroe making Bialkowski stretch at the other end as chances started to mount for both sides before the half-time whistle.

The second-half was just 45 seconds old, however, when the opening goal came - and it went the way of the visitors. After the ball made its way into the penalty area, Piroe reacted quickest to strike home beyond the dive of Bialkowski to break the deadlock.

The Lions could have got on level terms just five minutes later, but as Scott Malone delivered a free-kick into the penalty area, Murray Wallace skewed his header wide. Just before the hour-mark, a deep Jed Wallace cross was nodded back across goal by McNamara, but George Saville blazed over. As Maikel Kieftenbeld and Oliver Burke entered the field the atmosphere stepped up a notch, but Afobe could only turn behind a Jed Wallace cross.

On 68 minutes, a Millwall corner led to a three-on-one counter-attack in Swansea's favour, but as Cyrus Christie broke into the box, his cross to two awaiting visiting attackers was vitally blocked by McNamara. The right-back was then in action at the other end of the pitch shortly after, but his low drive was parried by Fisher before being gathered at the second attempt.

Jed Wallace then shot wide as The Lions went up a gear, but Obafemi's turn allowed him to shoot and score a potential second for The Swans with 18 minutes to play - his shot, however, flew past Bialkowski's far post.

After a couple of Jed Wallace crosses went answered, Rowett opted for a final throw of the dice in taking the attacker off to bring Sheyi Ojo into proceedings. Afobe then twisted and turned in his attempts to beat his marker on the edge of the area, but could only muster an attempt which was easy for Fisher to gather.

Afobe and Ojo had shots blocked as the game ticked away, before a powerful run down the right from Burke and subsequent cross saw no Millwall man on the end of it. As the clock struck 90 minutes, Malone sent over another cross following a corner, but Afobe nodded over.

Deep into stoppage-time, Ojo's burst down the left and cross flashed across the face of goal, but nobody gambled for what would've been a tap-in and the equaliser.

Millwall: Bialkowski, McNamara, M. Wallace, Cooper, J. Wallace (Ojo 79'), Bradshaw (Burke 60'), Malone, Saville (Kieftenbeld 60'), Afobe, B. Mitchell, Ballard. Subs not used: Long, Leonard, Evans, Burey.

Booking: Ballard

Swansea City: Fisher, Manning, Cabango, Fulton (Smith 78'), Grimes, Obafemi, Wolf (Ntcham 63'), Piroe (Paterson 78'), Latibeaudiere, Christie, Naughton. Subs not used: Hamer, Joseph, Ogbeta, Congreve.

Scorer: Piroe 46'

Booking: Grimes, Latibeaudiere

Referee: Andy Davies

Attendance: 11,670 (479)

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