REPORT: Millwall 2-0 Reading

JON Dadi Bodvarsson scored his first league goal for Millwall as Ryan Woods made his debut in the Lions' 2-0 win over Reading at The Den on Saturday.

Bodvarsson came off the bench to score in the 82nd minute after Matt Smith had given the hosts the lead 11 minutes earlier.

It was a dominant performance from Millwall in the second half, and they move into seventh place in the league, level on points with Nottingham Forest.

The Lions have already matched their tally of points in all of 2018-19.

Bodvarsson finally off the mark

Bodvarsson picked some moment to score his first Championship goal for the club. The Lions were dominating against Reading and 1-0 up, but had given away chances to their opponents.

They needed that assurance of a second goal, and Bodvarsson got it against the side he left to join Millwall last summer.

It was such a good finish. Jed Wallace assisted him after running directly at the away defence, before slipping Bodvarsson in on the left side of the box. Bodvarsson controlled the ball well on a difficult pitch before curling a finish past Rafael Cabral into the far corner.

That should be just the boost in confidence the striker has looked like he has needed this season.

Smith continues Den spree

Smith now has six goals and three assists in 12 appearances at The Den this season. His goal was clinical, as he produced a first-time finish low into the corner.

It didn’t look like it was going to happen for him. He headed wide of an open goal in the first half, then had a fair appeal for a penalty when he claimed his shirt was pulled.

Smith also shot at Cabral when perhaps he could have played in Shane Ferguson.

But Smith stuck at it and got his reward. It was his third goal in three home games and he now has eight for the season in all competitions. That equals his return in all of last season with QPR.

Mahoney makes impact off the bench

With Millwall having the majority of the second-half play, it was just calling out for that moment of quality.

Connor Mahoney produced it when he calmly kept possession on the edge of the box before setting up Wallace for a cross, and Smith got his chance.

Midfielder makes Lions debut

Ryan Woods started his first game for Millwall after his loan switch from Stoke on Friday. His first touch understandably a little bit rusty after just 90 minutes of competitive action since December 7.

But he endeared himself to Millwall fans in the 40th minute. Having initially been beaten by John Swift, the midfielder didn’t give up the chase and executed a perfect tackle.

Woods partnered Jayson Molumby in midfield with Shaun Williams starting a three-game ban. Molumby was an assured and mature presence, always looking to get on the ball and keep his side moving forward.

He almost scored, but his blasted effort came off Smith's thigh and went wide.

Match details

Mahlon Romeo blocked a shot from Charlie Adam before in the 13th minute the full-back fired over from 20 yards.

The Royals created a flurry of chances in the 15th minute as Murray Wallace flicked the ball off the toe of Yakou Meite six yards out before Meite's shot was blocked by Shaun Hutchinson. Reading recycled possession and Sam Baldock sent a header just wide.

Three minutes later Tom Bradshaw went down in the box and appeared to have a legitimate case for a penalty, but the striker was instead booked by referee Keith Stroud.

The hosts had a glorious chance to go ahead a half an hour in when Bradshaw was completely unmarked in the six-yard box with the Royals defence having pushed up to play offside, but the Lions forward headed straight at Cabral.

Another opportunity also presented itself to Bradshaw in the 32nd minute when Jed Wallace’s shot broke off Michael Morrison but Cabral was first to the loose ball.

Smith had the next outstanding chance he beat Cabral to Murray Wallace’s cross but his header went wide of the open goal. There was perhaps the award of a spot-kick for Stroud to consider after Cabral clattered into Smith.

Baldock almost took advantage of some hesitant Millwall defending a minute before the break but Bart Bialkowski was alert and tidied up.

In the third minute of added-time full-back Wallace produced a sensational tackle after Baldock had broken through the middle and was about to shoot. Wallace got back just in time to take the ball off the striker’s foot.

Just as the second half was getting under way there was an announcement about homophobic chanting in the East Stand and an appeal for it to stop.

Romeo blasted in a shot from 20 yards in the 54th minute but the ball hit the side-netting. Murray Wallace’s effort from the edge of the box then deflected just past the post, before Cabral was behind an ambitious volley from Ferguson.

Smith seemed to have his shirt pulled in the box and appealed to Stroud but in vain.

Liam Moore and Tyler Blackett got back to block Romeo’s shot in the 65th minute as the home side continued to attack their opponents.

Millwall were almost caught out in the 65th minute as Ovie Ejaria’s cross gave Swift a chance eight yards out, but he cushioned his effort just wide.

Cabral denied Smith in the 69th minutes as the chances continued to come in an open game.

And Smith finally gave the Lions the lead they deserved when he drilled him into Cabral’s left corner.

Bodvarsson got off the mark in the Championship and Bradshaw almost made it 3-0 but his header from Jed Wallace’s cross clipped the top of the crossbar.

Team news

Woods went straight into the Millwall side. He was one of three changes, Smith replacing Mahoney and Ferguson in for Alex Pearce.

Frank Fielding returned to the match-day squad for the first time since the opening day.

Millwall: 4-4-2: Bialkowski; Romeo, Hutchinson, Cooper, M Wallace; J Wallace, Woods (Mitchell, 90), Molumby, Ferguson (Mahoney, 68); Smith (Bodvarsson, 79), Bradshaw.

Subs: Fielding, Pearce, Skalak, O'Brien.

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly