Millwall 0-1 Sheff Utd

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Another home game for the Lions and this time the gay blades of Sheffield were in town to take on a Millwall team still looking over its proverbial shoulder at the mid week ‘get out of jail’ game against Norwich.

Sheffield United, one half of a city that unfortunately finds itself by a cruel turn of fate to be located in Yorkshire, has a strange following of fans, they are almost apologetic in their nature, a very humble people (with much to be humble about), they expect very little from life and often get what they expect.

Apparently the name derives from the local river, the Sheaf and if we are to believe palaeontologists, early settlers arrived here some 12,800 years ago and by the Gods of football I swear the fuckers are still there. Evolution has seemingly passed this lot by.
Just under a thousand of them managed to find their way to Den although I am told that many more left Sheffield but ended up in Rotherham and decided to stay there “for a better quality of life”...

So what had Mr Jackett got in store for us all then? Well obviously all the conjecture was on the front pairing and the choice most favoured by the fans was the one which Mr Jackett opted for with Morison back at forefront with John Marquis as his sidekick. So the team line up was as follows:

Forde, Dunne, Shittu, Robbo, Barron, Henry, Trotter, Mkandawire, Schofield, Morison and Marquis.

It is fair to say that the majority of home fans had plenty of expectations for this game and as Mr Bates blew his whistle to get things going it seemed the team shared the fans anticipation as we set our stall out nice and early to beat the rush and promptly laid siege to the Sheffield goal.

Shittu and Barron worked the ball well between them and then brought in Schofield with a perfect pass. He held it up well as Barron cantered past on the overlap and then slid it into his path but the control was missing where it mattered and the return ball never materialised but the move itself was well received by a boisterous home crowd.

There was no time to contemplate what might have been as we went straight back at them. Morison robbed the ball back off one of their defenders and set the ball up perfectly for James Henry whose crisp first time effort was deflected away for a corner.

This time nothing came from the resulting corner kick but from the next one Morison found space at the far post and he looped a header goal wards only for a United man to head it clear off the goal line with the ‘keeper well beaten.

The ball fell into a melee of players and somehow the United defence cleared the danger.
Still we kept them under the cosh, Morison again freeing himself from the shackles of his marker and firing a shot that ‘keeper Simonsen did very well to hold onto.

Then we had the first of three genuine penalty appeals turned down. Marquis was causing mayhem in the six yard box and his marker had a double handful of his shirt as he pulled him to the ground but referee Bates did that oh so theatrical double sweep of the arms and turned away with a look of distain on his face.

We then watched open mouthed in horror as Danny Shittu got into a fabulous scoring position from a Henry free kick but the big man fluffed his lines completely and from a free header, managed to miss the goal completely.

Trotter was up next and his half hit shot was again deflected for a corner by some hapless United defender who had no idea what was happening.

And then on the half hour mark, as you are all aware, disaster struck. A loose cross field ball from Marquis was intercepted with ease by a United defender and the ball was slipped through the middle of our defence, who were basically in full flight attacking mode, to Andy Reid and he galloped towards Forde and was almost caught by a despairing tackle from Barron, but he held firm and struck a shot past Forde which ricocheted off the bar and into our net. 0-1.

Sucker punch goes nowhere near describing it. They had done nothing but defend up until this point and the look of disbelief on ours and the player’s faces told its own story.
The wind had clearly been knocked out of our sails and although we rallied you could feel the tension creeping into the lads, inch by surreptitious inch.

One last effort from Morison which saw another decent ball in from Henry went wide of the mark again and that was the first half over.

The general consensus of opinion from the masses was that if we carry on in the same vein all would be well in the second forty five...

The second half started brightly but just went downhill rapidly. Marquis got into the box but his hook shot just cleared the bar and then Trotter was unmarked, again at the far post, but for reasons known only to him and the Gods of football he headed it harmlessly past the post.

The spirit ebbed away from the lacklustre Lions and as the clock ticked ominously onwards and Mr Jackett made his move around the hour mark, introducing Hackett into the fray and taking off Schofield and his first (and only contribution) was to hit a low drive that missed the target. Hackett must’ve popped a bollock or something taking that shot as he was substituted soon after as Mason-Hughes came on in his place.

Harris also came on with Hackett as Marquis had run out of steam but the talismanic striker also failed to rally the lads as Sheffield simply shut up shot and let us do our best and I am afraid to report we were weighed, measured and found sadly wanting.

Harris had shot, Robbo had a header and we had the double penalty shout when Mason-Hughes was felled and then Morison was wrestled to the ground but again Referee Bates was not in the slightest bit interested and play moved on.

There was not one moment in the second half where we looked like getting back into the game, we really went right off the boil and seemed bereft of ideas.

We actually never looked in any danger whatsoever but our profligacy in front of goal is starting to get a little bit concerning.

We have a couple of tough away games coming up and my fear is that the next set of ramblings I deliver will have us firmly ensconced in a relegation battle zone.

Still, Eos Omnes Futuite I believe is how you say it (Kevan can and will correct this if it is wrong, I am sure...)

See you all at the Riverside?
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