Report: Millwall 2-0 Wigan Athletic

JIMMY Abdou scored for the first time in two years to inspire ten-man Millwall to victory over nine-man Wigan on a night of high drama at The Den.

After a dour first half, the game sparked into life when former Lions loanee Martyn Waghorn was sent off for kicking out at Dan Harding.

And ten minutes later, Abdou met Harding's teasing cross with a bullet header which arrowed into the bottom corner to edge Millwall in front.

Things went from bad to worse for the Latics when Jason Pearce was given his marching orders for a rash lunge on Aiden O'Brien – but Ed Upson's reaction also earned him a red.

With Wigan committing bodies forward in search of an equaliser, the hosts made sure of the points with Magaye Gueye's breakaway goal.

The Lions have now closed the gap on Rotherham, who could yet be deducted points by the Football League, to four.

The Millers travel to Fulham tomorrow and tonight's victory for Neil Harris' side has cranked up the pressure even further on the Yorkshire club.

Harris made one change to his starting XI following the 2-0 defeat to Watford.

Lee Martin, who came on as a substitute against the Hornets, made his first start since February in place of Martyn Woolford on the left wing.

Jos Hooiveld missed out after failing a late fitness test, while Ricardo Fuller and Paris Cowan-Hall were back on the bench after spells out of the squad.

Harris said Millwall would need to get the crowd behind them early on and some frenzied closing down by Martin and Lee Gregory inside the first minute did just that.

But there remained an undercurrent of nerves both on and off the field at The Den, underlined by David Forde's awkward save from James McClean's cross-shot in the fifth minute.

The Latics were playing a patient, passing game in the hope of drawing the Lions onto them but a momentary lapse in the visiting defence presented O'Brien with a clear run on goal.

But O'Brien's first touch was a heavy one, and goalkeeper Scott Carson came off his line quickly to swipe the ball away from the striker's feet when a mis-timed intervention would have resulted in a penalty.

In the 19th minute, Marc-Antoine Fortune totally fluffed a free header from Gaetan Bong's left-wing cross and Forde was able to tip his tame effort over the bar.

Bong and Gregory went into the referee's book moments later after a clash on the touchline – the second brawl of the half following a scuffle between McClean and Sid Nelson earlier on.

Forde was forced to push Kim Bo-Kyung's bouncing drive behind for a corner as Wigan continued to have the better opportunities during a poor opening half.

Shaun Williams had to be withdrawn shortly before the interval with a foot injury and was replaced by Nicky Bailey.

The Latics wasted another half-chance when a corner from the right was swung over and Pearce angled an unchallenged header well wide of the target.

Harris changed formation at half-time, deploying Bailey and Abdou in holding roles in front of the back four with Upson pushed further forward as the no.10.

His side survived a penalty scare five minutes after the restart when McClean went down over Shaun Cummings' outstretched boot, with referee Stephen Martin waving away the winger's appeals.

At the other end, O'Brien's sharp turn and shot drew a fine save from Carson, who flung out an arm to tip the ball past the post.

The game swung in Millwall's favour on the hour mark when Waghorn lashed out at Harding right under the linesman's nose and was shown a straight red card.

But the ten men almost grabbed the lead when the ball was fed wide to Bong, who skied his effort well over the bar when he had a clear shot on Forde's goal.

That miss proved costly when, moments later, Abdou arrived late in the box to head in Harding's hanging cross, sparking wild scenes of joy around The Den.

But the celebrations had barely died down when referee Martin made another decisive intervention, sending off Pearce for a forceful tackle on O'Brien and then Upson for raising his hands.

Down to nine men, Wigan threw the kitchen sink at Millwall but Nelson stood firm to bravely block McClean's shot as space opened up for the winger inside the box.

Gueye made the points safe in stoppage time, however, when he raced clear and cooly found the bottom corner.

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

22 thoughts on “Report: Millwall 2-0 Wigan Athletic

  • April 14, 2015 at 22:49
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    well done Waggs , knew you were Millwall

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  • April 14, 2015 at 22:52
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    Although i pray to god we stay up going down is a lot more bearable than this time 2 months ago. Bomber has done wonders on a overall average squad with just inspiring man management you can see why eddie howe is killing it at bournemouth by not over complicating it and generally believeing in every single player. Ollie screwed up such simple things and its such a relief we havent got to hear his whack anymore! Come on Lions fight until the last day!!

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    • April 15, 2015 at 09:31
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      @SLloyd23: Your right it certainly is a different club since the Great Pretender has departed with back pocket full and tail between his legs.

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  • April 14, 2015 at 22:55
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    One thing is certain Gueye has to start his pace alone causes problems in opposition defences, he can score goals as well as make them. By all accounts not Millwall at their best and a card happy ref. But 3 vital points before a tough set of fixtures, A nail biting finish. If Millwall go down then I will blame the board for not getting rid of Holloway earlier. A few more games would have given Neil more of a chance to set things right. Well done you Lions!

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  • April 14, 2015 at 22:55
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    Jimmy Abdou what a brave header, this man is everything a fan wants at his club, a true lions legend!
    Lions Poor in the first half, but much better in the second, a special thanks goes to agent Waghorn!!
    As for that horrible cnut James Maclean!

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  • April 14, 2015 at 22:58
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    Just got home from the game & I have to say how pleased I am with that battling performance.
    I thought the crowd were superb tonight & for me Lee Gregory was outstanding.
    He is going to become a Millwall legend with performances like that.
    We live I hope of another great escape but whatever happens we have our millwall back.
    COYL. MIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLL

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    • April 14, 2015 at 23:23
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      @dannymcmfc: I have been critical of Gregory but what a performance tonight, definitely shades of Bomber. Well done son

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      • April 14, 2015 at 23:35
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        @Adsy77777:
        Yes mate what a performance,everything but a goal.
        But the goals will come for him.
        But his work rate & holding the ball up is just outstanding.
        He is a team player who grafts for the Team & us supporters.
        On another note
        Jimmy Abdou Jimmy Abdou Jimmy Abdou

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      • April 15, 2015 at 10:53
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        @Adsy77777: Adsy, it was a full 90 minute performance lead the line really well, gave as good as he got gets a knock no moaning gets up and gets on with it my Motm keep it up Lee.

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  • April 14, 2015 at 23:10
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    Danny boy,, have you seen our remaining games.. O.M.G ..lol

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    • April 14, 2015 at 23:25
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      @teddy.T:
      Yes Ted it is a tough run in but we are Millwall so nothing is impossible.
      At the moment we have Pride,Passion & heart & it seems the belief.
      I could not ask for more whatever happens.

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  • April 14, 2015 at 23:12
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    It's one thing that NH has got the team playing the Millwall way again. But to get Jimmy on the score sheet is absolutely ludicrous. Is there nothing this man can't do. #Neil Harris. Millwall Legend. #Jimmy Abdou. Millwall Legend. There's some things money can't buy... Getting our Millwall back Priceless. My heart was in my mouth when I saw Jimmy running in for that. What a goal. Couldn't have asked for anything more really.

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  • April 14, 2015 at 23:13
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    Haha cheers boys cracking result
    Well done Jimmy Maggie and chopper.
    Up down rotherham who cares let's just carry on doing what we're doing, at the moment we have a bit of momentum and things are looking promising if it don't go accordingly then at least they can hold their heads up high.
    All to play for but let's focus on us not rotherham.
    Keep going boys.
    Thanks for shutting all those tits up at work, my time for noise for once.
    COYLs bring on molly and his Taff's

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  • April 14, 2015 at 23:21
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    If I had to explain to a stranger why I love Millwall, I would show this game. Two desperate teams, low on ability, but one, operating in unison with the fans (however few) - that is Millwall. olly could see the magic we have but failed to engage, primarily because of his own ego. Bomber is one of us, Jimmy is one of us. WE ARE MILLWALL!

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  • April 14, 2015 at 23:26
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    this is where luck can play a big part - it could be that by the time we play derby they may be unable to get automatic but be safe in the playoffs and wolves might be out of the playoffs if they lose to Ipswich next game (Kenny puts out reserves against us)

    reality is we are still unlikely to make it without the 3pt deduction - 2 great wins against Charlton and Wigan but both times against 10 men - I think we need to do better if we are going to get 2 more wins which we will most probably need

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  • April 14, 2015 at 23:27
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    Well done tonight boys hard fought but true Wall spirit, Gregs was emense tonight worrked his socks off and all that was miissing was a goal, but it did not matter, there is hope now but like others on here if the worse happens then I think that what Bomber has done bodes well for next season. where ever we end up.

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  • April 14, 2015 at 23:51
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    So proud tonight. Love Gregory - when he starts hitting the target more he is going to be unstoppable. Works so hard and fights for everything. Proper Millwall. O'Brien ran himself into the ground... The football wasnt the best tonight but the spirit, attitude and guts were world class. You cant beat sides like that. Sid Nelson - old school !!! Rattling tackles - bravery beyond belief throwing his head in everywhere.. what a star. Martin chasing down like his life depended on it.. Jimmy... Maggie... they were all worth every single penny tonight. Brilliant. Fans were incredible too - the noise took the roof off.
    My kids cant get enough of it (wife less than impressed with me sneaking them out on a school night - dog house for me - but well worth it. Those boys arent going to sleep tonight.. my house is rocking!!!)

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    • April 15, 2015 at 00:30
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      Most of the boys had a good game tonight but I thought Nelson and Gregory were fantastic run their socks off and are starting to look like real wall players well done .

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  • April 15, 2015 at 00:47
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    We are staying up say we are staying up love it tonight great atmosphere everyone played solid not great 1st half but second half was fantastic bring on the sheep shagers NOLU, WDC COYL

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  • April 15, 2015 at 09:55
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    I think a big well done to chopper is due. The mark of a good manager is to see the weaknesses in the initial team selection, then make the right substitutions and change formations. First half wasn't working, but after the changes we were better. Not exactly Barcelona granted but this game had scrappy warfare written all over it. Given time, chopper will start looking like Eddie Howe IMO, as he displays an open mind and keeps it simple. At last I feel we are in good hands

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