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 22:50
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    A wounded deer leaps the highest.

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