Millwall 2-0 Leicester ~ Match Report

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And so we come to the last ever Millwall home game of 2010 and could there be a less insipid team than Leicester to grace this auspicious occasion? I think not.

Leicester have about as much character as a bowl of lukewarm semolina and the meagre number of fans that bothered to show up really emphasised the dullness that surrounds this club.

It is fair to surmise that a city’s claim to fame is somewhat lacking when you realise that apart from making shoes and crisps, Leicester gave us Showaddywaddy...What the fuck was that group all about? They were to rock n’ roll what a deep fried burger was to Elvis...a fucking death sentence.

These nondescript, trite arseholes had the gall to sing that our ground was too big for us and that we had never won fuck all... if ever there was a case of “Dear pot, Kind Regards Kettle” then this must be it?

But we have to play with the cards we are dealt with and so Leicester it had to be and even the prominent erstwhile England manager, Sven Goran Erikson, at their helm could hardly spice things up but a healthy 12,000 odd hardy souls turned out for this match despite the blandness of the opposition.

Me and MrsB settled down and to be honest we were somewhat puzzled by Mr Jackett’s insistence on fielding an unchanged team from the Pompey game. This meant we were sticking with a 4-4-1-1 formation which usually upsets the natives at home, but woe betide (or is it pity the fool?) who questions Mr Jackett’s selections these days...

So we had Forde in goal, Barron, Craig, Ward and Dunne at the back, Henry, Mkandawire, Abdou and Puncheon in midfield which left Trotter behind Morison up front.

The pitch was tastefully marked out in a pale blue colouring as opposed to the traditional white lines which was apparently, according a certain Essex Exile, “to stop the cocaine sniffing cunt from Leicester from trying to snort the things up his hooter...” Well, it was something like that anyway...:-)

The atmosphere was strangely subdued as referee Russell got us under way and we certainly looked off the pace as Leicester began the stronger, playing plenty of football and generally keeping us on the back foot.

Craig and Ward are looking none too shabby as a pairing and with temporary captain Dunne mucking in with Barron, the back four looked more than adequate for what the visitors had to offer.

After about ten minutes of mild pressure we started to get a grip of proceedings and almost immediately Leicester started playing a long ball game. Their big bald front man (I’ll be long in my grave before I refer to Bednar as a striker) was about as effective as a cocktail umbrella against a monsoon. Even the Leicester fans were soon in agreement and were calling for him to “Fuck off back to West Brom”

We, however, were much more in tune and after a couple of probing runs we got the ball wideish to Trotter who punished his slack marking with a forceful run and then hit a perfect ball across the box to a waiting Morison who swivelled his hips and fired in an unstoppable shot that had Kirkland flapping at thin air. 1-0! What a fantastic goal to get us going. The home fans exploded in unison as the ball was retrieved by the former England ‘keeper and Morison sped off to celebrate in his now familiar way.

Our tails were now firmly up and we went hunting for that second goal. After about ten minutes of relentless pressure our perseverance was rewarded. Puncheon had a half chance that wasn’t cleared properly and Ward managed to sort of head the ball backwards towards their goal. The Leicester defence just froze as the ball was returned to Puncheon and the lively midfielder made no mistake in slotting the ball past the hapless Kirkland. 2-0! Much celebrating ensued as the Den once again erupted in a tumultuous roar of approval.

We had them weighed and measured now and they had no idea how to react so they reverted to type and started clogging. We picked up a few free kicks around the outside of their box but we didn’t really capitalise on our clear dominance.

The only Leicester chance I can recollect of any note was almost on the half time whistle when they finally broke through our rearguard but when the ball fell invitingly for Gallagher who lifted the ball high wide and handsome into the South upper.

The whistle blew soon after and the lads strolled off with applause ringing in their well deserved ears.

The second half saw Svengali Erikson make two changes, one obvious one and one not so obvious. He replaced the useless Bednar with Vassell and took of Kirkland and sent on Weale as a replacement ‘keeper. Mr Jackett adopted smug mode and left things as they were.

Before we had time to settle down the visitors almost got a goal back. Vassell proving he has not lost his eye for a chance as he waltzed through the middle of our defence and only a breath taking save from Forde kept our sheet clean. To add insult to injury, referee Russell pointed for a goal kick and waved away all protests from the irate Leicester players.

Not long after this a possible disaster struck when Alan Dunne went a bit “Terry Hurlock” and leapt two footed into a tackle. He actually missed the ball and the player but clearly the intent was there and after a brief pause all hell let loose....well, the hand bags came out to be fair, and it seemed as if Referee Russell whipped out the straight red card to diffuse the situation quickly which it effectively did and we found ourselves captain less and player less for the remaining 35 minutes.

We quickly regrouped with Mkandawire moving straight into the right back position and we actually didn’t miss a beat with some patrons openly saying that we looked better with ten men, which is a bit unfair on Dunney who was having another sterling game up until the rush of blood.

Having said that it must be said that the rest of the team were also doing sterling work and I am struggling to find any player that didn’t warrant a special mention. The whole team looked in fine fettle and we still had the Foxes firmly under control, (like the vermin that they are, Tally Ho my arse, just shoot the bastards and all that good stuff).

Mr Jackett made a subtle change when he took off Henry and brought on Schofield (which is exactly what he did at Pompey, so I don’t believe it was to accommodate the ten man scenario at all) and the change almost brought us a third goal when Schofield made room down the right side and fed Morison who then fired over a low cross that was tantalising close the out stretched boot of Puncheon but he just could not make contact for what surely would have been an unstoppable effort.

Leicester, in truth, had nothing to offer. They couldn’t get anywhere near Forde and the only ral chance they did have was created for them by Ward when he made his only error of the game with a terribly short back pass to Forde which was collected by substitute Howard who, with Forde to beat, managed to slot the ball well wide of the mark and away for a goal kick. It summed the visitors up perfectly.

The ten men of Millwall saw the game out in exhibition mode with the olé’s ringing out at every pass we made.

We even had time to chuckle at poor Tony Craig taking a head shot that knocked him bandy for a few seconds but he just shook his head to clear it and carried on like the trooper he is.

All in all it was a superb team performance which was a fitting end to our year and the fans all left with smiles as wide as the Rotherhithe tunnel and the players left with the cheers ringing in their ears.

So now we move forward and a New Year is beckoning and we have to put up with a visit from our insignificant, inconsequential, neighbours as our first game of 2011 so I’ll just take this opportunity to wish you all a prosperous New Year and remind you that this game is where you can legitimately sing “you take it up the arse, you take it up arse” to your heart’s content and the chances are the rest of the home crowd will finally join in en masse.

Palace, palace, who the fuck are Palace?

See you all there?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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