MILLWALL need only one point to secure a play-off place after a 3-1 win against Bury saw them climb up to third in the League One table.
A Chris Taylor double and a Steve Morison effort secured all three points for Neil Harris’ men at Gigg Lane on what was a cold afternoon in Greater Manchester.
There was one change in Harris’ starting XI as Fed Onyedinma came in for the injured Lee Gregory, with Morison starting up front with Aiden O’Brien.
Jordan Archer was called into action after only three minutes when he was forced to push Danny Pugh’s effort away. Byron Webster then cleared off the line before Joe Martin hacked the ball clear after Tom Pope had looped a headed effort towards goal.
The Lions went immediately down the other end from Martin’s clearance to win a corner. Taylor took and the ball evaded everyone to nestle in the back of the net to give the visitors a fortuitous lead after only four minutes to send the 914 travelling fans into delirium.
Bury were getting joy down the Lions’ left side with Ryan Lowe firing in a plethora of crosses but to no avail, with Archer claiming all with ease
Seventeen minutes in Taylor could have scored his second when his deflected shot was cleared off the line by Bury captain Peter Clarke.
Half an hour into the game Taylor, again, almost added to Millwall’s lead when Bury keeper Chris Neal’s clearance cannoned off the midfielder. Neal then spilled the ball before Morison could only toe poke wide of the goal.
Three minutes later, however, the lead was doubled.
This time, Taylor turned provided when, on the left-hand side of the penalty area, the Blackburn loanee back-heeled the ball into Morison’s path before the striker coolly side-footed past Neal to give the visitors a well-deserved two-goal lead.
Harris’ men retained that cushion out until the second minute of added time at the end of the first half when Chris Hussey’s low cross found Lowe and his hooked effort bounced off the underside of the crossbar past the outstretched arm of Archer.
That goal on the stroke of half-time gave David Flitcroft’s men confidence and they started the second half with some vigour.
It took the Lions almost 15 minutes to muster an attack after the interval with the hosts offering much more in the way of an attacking threat. But Millwall’s defence was up to the task.
Danny Mayor looked lively for Bury as the second half progressed but Mark Beevers and Byron Webster were able to deal with all the crosses into the box.
It was a war of attrition in the midfield as both sides struggled to create a clear-cut chance during the second 45 minutes, but Bury saw more of the possession.
Taylor and Martin were booked within quick succession as Bury looked to equalise.
But, with seven minutes left, the points were wrapped up when Morison broke the Bury offside trap and marauded brilliantly down the left-hand flank before shuffling the ball between his feet to pick out Taylor, who had advanced into the box. He smashed home his second, and Millwall’s third.
Taylor almost got his hat-trick when an effort from the edge of the box was held well by Neal in the Bury goal.
The Lions saw out three minutes of added time to make it ten away wins in the league this season and they are now on the cusp of securing a play-off spot.