Report: Millwall 1-3 Ipswich Town

MILLWALL suffered their fifth straight league defeat despite a much-improved performance against promotion-chasing Ipswich Town.

Noel Hunt's early brace did the damage and even though Magaye Gueye reduced the deficit, Jonathan Parr added a third goal to put a convincing gloss on the scoreline.

The Lions largely matched the visitors in open play but their defending at key moments left a lot to be desired, whereas Mick McCarthy's side were well-drilled at the back.

Millwall were clapped off at the end after a creditable effort but they are now three points adrift of fourth-bottom Rotherham with an inferior goal difference.

Ian Holloway made the extent of his unhappiness at Wednesday's 4-0 loss to Bradford crystal clear by making eight changes to his starting XI.

But the most significant piece of team news was arguably 19-year-old academy graduate Sid Nelson being handed the captain's armband.

Nelson was joined by Shaun Cummings, Byron Webster and Dan Harding in a new-look back four in front of goalkeeper David Forde.

Diego Fabbri, who joined on loan from Watford yesterday, made his debut on the left wing, with Jack Powell recalled to the centre of midfield.

Gueye started on the right flank and Stefan Maierhofer partnered Lee Gregory up front in a totally re-jigged attacking line.

On paper, Millwall's side was well-balanced and fans taking their seats in SE16 were encouraged to hear that Holloway had opted to go with their preferred 4-4-2 formation.

And the hosts almost made the perfect start.

In just the second minute, new boy Fabbrini jinked to the edge of the area and let fly with a curling effort that was deflected straight up into the air.

Maierhofer was underneath it and his presence prevented Bartosz Bialkowski from gathering possession, but when the ball broke to Fabbrini again he drilled inches wide.

The significance of that miss was made even greater when Ipswich instead took the lead 90 seconds later.

Tyrone Mings' clipped free kick was knocked on by Darryl Murphy to Stephen Hunt, whose brother Noel nudged the ball past Forde from close range.

The Tractor Boys doubled their advantage in the 14th minute after a comedy of errors in Millwall's rearguard.

The Lions failed to clear a simple cross into their box and Kevin Bru's shot from a narrow angle was cleared straight to Hunt, who squeezed the ball in almost from the byline.

Millwall were shell-shocked but a rare opportunity fell their way – albeit to the wrong man – when Abdou sliced wide from the edge of the box.

An error by Webster in the 38th minute presented Murphy with a free run on goal but the Championship's top scorer failed to capitalise, scuffing a low drive beyond the far post.

Ipswich should have been out of sight but Gueye's third goal of the season brought the Lions back into the contest.

Maierhofer glanced a free kick into the feet of Gregory who flicked the ball into the Frenchman's path, and his half-volley into the ground beat Bialkowski at the near post.

Roared onto the field at the start of the second half, Millwall pushed for an equaliser.

But despite seeing a lot more of a ball than they had done in the opening 45 minutes, clear-cut chances were few and far between.

Powell fired over from distance in the 55th minute before his wicked cross was intercepted by a clearing header on its way through to Maierhofer.

Gueye's inswinging corner was glanced wide by Webster and the former Everton man sent a curling free kick over the bar as the Lions continued to press.

But as has happened so often this season, Millwall were hit on the counter attack and Ipswich made the points safe.

After a Lions attack was halted by the referee's whistle, Murphy flicked on a long free kick to Freddie Sears, who found Parr, and the left back cooly converted.

That took the sting out of the contest and Mick McCarthy's side saw out the remaining 15 minutes with minimal fuss.

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

124 thoughts on “Report: Millwall 1-3 Ipswich Town

  • January 17, 2015 at 17:35
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    Better team selection,better tactics & yes a better performance BUT we need a center back and a goalscorer ASAP

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    • January 17, 2015 at 17:59
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      @the verminhater: Get ready to hit the dislike button everyone. For me Gregory is a good striker. But, at the moment he does not fit into our style of play. We are going to direct for his runs to be much use. His control from Fordes goal kick proves he is a very good player if we played that style of football. However, we can not change our style of play to accomodate someone who has scored 4 goals in 21 appearances. So for me he should be on the bench as someone who can come and change the game but doesnt offer much use starting at the moment

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      • January 17, 2015 at 18:25
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        @MillwallChorister: I'd have Gregory on the pitch over Fuller anytime anyday.

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        • January 17, 2015 at 18:37
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          @NICKOLA: I dont think Fuller is good enough either, and i want him to be sold after last week. But people saying that Gregory needs a partner to flourish, he has had a small man with him in Mcdonald and a big one in Maierhofer and he hasnt been great. I think gregory is better than Fuller and I agree I would rather see him on the pitch but at this moment in time Gregory is not the Saviour unfortunately. Still hopes he proves me wrong

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      • January 17, 2015 at 19:51
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        @MillwallChorister: fuller works best as an impact sub and if Gregorys on the bench that leaves just the hoff.

        Stick with Gregory all day long.

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      • January 18, 2015 at 19:33
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        @MillwallChorister: i agree Gregory not the answer and overall a strange buy. IH obviously not a fan of two strikers and Gregory can't play the role of lone striker. He isn't quick , can't hold the ball up and not good in the air. Perhaps more worrying is IH saying we need to buy players to to build 'his team' . I think only two of yesterday's team were in Lomas team and the treatment ,quality and selection of IH signings has been at times baffling. Upson Webster, Gregory have all been consistently not picked and only Williams can be deemed a success. Let's hope the new signings are more successful !!

        Two massive positives from yesterday in Sid Nelson we definitely have a player for the future and in Jack Powell we have a player for NOW !!

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  • January 17, 2015 at 17:36
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    A better performance by Millwall. I'd make 2 change's for the next game. Williams for abdou & a new cd for Webster.

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    • January 17, 2015 at 18:06
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      @bermondseylion: Agree with you to an extent. I'd swap Williams for Webster at CB and leave Abdou. One of the best players on the pitch today for me.

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    • January 17, 2015 at 18:12
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      @bermondseylion: not sure if it's a confidence issue with Webster but I was worried everytime he had the ball today.

      Could have cost us a few more goals while it was still 0-2

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      • January 17, 2015 at 18:20
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        @MFC Lion: Webster was getting run ragged in that first half and Harding looked hopeless, but for all intents and purposes it's a team who were introduced to each other ten minutes before kick-off. He has to pick a back 4 and stick with it, the reason we've been so bad is that it's a new back 4 every game.

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        • January 17, 2015 at 18:26
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          @jamie: yes I would stick with this back 4. They certainly need time to get used to playing with the same defenders to get any kind of understanding.

          Also they were up against a decent side. Hopefully the games coming up will prove less challenging.

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    • January 17, 2015 at 21:22
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      @bermondseylion: @MillwallChorister: Positives to all blogs but we lost 1-3 and is IH suddenly the best? JB. Are we now thrilled we lost showing desire to win ? SAY'S IT ALL

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