Millwall 2-2 Peterborough ~ Match Report

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Wednesday night football was back at the Den as we welcomed the strange creatures from Peterborough to south London as we looked to build on the Saturday win against Forest.

Me and MrsB headed off to the Millwall Café for the first time this term and the place was suitably packed out giving a false sense of how big the crowd was going to be.

The rain must’ve been the overlying factor… lovely British summer time; you can’t beat it, can you…

Just over 10,000 actually showed up in the end, Gods bless ‘em and despite the end result witnessed a pretty entertaining nights football.

The mongs from Peterborough in the away end soon set their stall out early with their poxy happy clappy, soccer AM, chanting by numbers type of support that can be excruciatingly banal at times but that’s what you get from these cretinous clowns.

My old mate, may the deities protect him, Roy Kinnear, had the dubious pleasure of adding “The Peterborough Effect” to his CV as he portrayed a Roman Centurion extolling the virtues of living in Peterborough in a 1980’s advertising campaign. He wasted his time judging by the class A goons we had to put up with.

Anyway, back to the football and Mr Jackett had a little tinker with the team for this adopting an allegedly 4-3-3 line up which actually played in a more 4-2-3-1 Christmas pudding formation with Forde in goal, Dunne, Ward, Robbo and Craig as the back four then Mkandawire and Abdou as the holding midfielders the Henry, Trotter and Bouazza as the three attacking midfielders with Henderson as the man up front.

Referee Swarbrick got the game underway and we didn’t exactly start with any great conviction with the new formation but the lads slowly got their rhythm going and before too long we were starting to over run them.

Our first real attempt at goal was from an excellently struck free kick from Henry and ‘keeper Jones made the first of a string of top quality saves to deny the Lion’s an opening goal.

Jimmy Abdou, seemingly with a new lease of life was starting to stamp his authority in the middle of the park but he also got his head to a Tony Craig cross but the ball looped over the bar.

Warning signs were there though as Peterborough came close to opening the scoring when Forde fumbled a cross from a corner and Boyd smacked the loose ball against the post

Henderson was putting in a good shift as the target man and the three behind him were putting in a decent shift as well as we probed and pushed for the opener but ‘keeper Jones was in phenomenal form.

He made a great save at the near post from a Bouazza drive and then thwarted him again as he pushed a scudder round the post.

Henry hit another beautiful free kick that was destined for the top corner back Jones again pulled off a stupendous save to deny the in form winger.

On the half hour mark all our endeavours finally paid off when Henderson dragged the ball inside the box on the left hand side and slipped a neat pall into Trotter’s path and the big midfielder calmly stroked the ball past the despairing dive of Jones and into the back of the net. 1-0!

We kept up the pressure after this but for all the hard work we put in we couldn’t find that elusive second goal. On the stroke of half time Trotter almost did the business as he was the beneficiary of yet another decent knock down from Henderson and as he steadied himself he struck a volley that on any other day would have hit the back of the net but, of course, Jones yet again flew through the air and made another fabulous save.

The whistle blew soon after and although we were only one goal to the good we looked very comfortable indeed.

No changes for the second 45 as we continued where we left off but it is fair to say we looked like we were content to sit back and conserve a bit of energy as we let them have a lot of the ball but they didn’t really get anywhere near our goal and after about ten minutes of them faffing about with the ball we took control when Henderson again became the provider slipping another accurate pass into their box where Bouazza picked it up and slammed it past Jones for 2-0.

To be perfectly honest I firmly believed that this was game over. There was no way I could see this Peterborough team getting a sniff now. We were knocking the ball around and generally enjoying ourselves as they looked like a team that was dead and buried. Even their dopey fans had given up their trite singing but with less than twenty minutes to go they got a goal out of the blue.

Tunnecliffe moved into our half unchallenged and clipped the ball to Frecklington who hit a hopeful shot that eluded Forde and went in the goal. 2-1…oh dear, script writers at the ready, please…

Surely we were not going to do “a Reading” were we?

What do you think…?

Well, we really should have got a third goal minutes after their first when Trotter again got into a good position and got his shot away but yet again the thorn in our side that was Jones got a hand to it and pushed the ball onto the post.

Moments after this the inevitable happened. Total disaster time as Robbo, clearly fouled, went down but the ref waved play on. Their man Taylor sort of ambled towards our goal, not really looking like posing any threat, and when he hit what looked like a pretty tame shot from about 30 yards out not many home fans thought it would go in but to our horror it crept past the outstretched arms of the diving David Forde and into the net. 2-2 Déjà vu time.

Trotter had yet another chance to score a Millwall third as he collected the ball after Bouazza had an effort blocked but he didn’t catch it right and there was no power behind it, Jones dealt with it easily.

Mr Jackett persevered with his formation up until about the 80th minute and he made a double swap, bringing off Henderson and Abdou and bringing on Marquis and McQuoid, reverting to a 4-4-2 but it was really too little too late.

The five minutes of added time did nothing to help our cause and the audible groan at the final whistle summed the mood up perfectly.

The lads did get applauded off because they didn’t need us to tell them they had fucked it up and this was worse than Reading really because Peterborough were no threat whatsoever.

As I said at the start, it was a very entertaining game of football but it was 2 points gone that we will never get back and with the visit to high flying Southampton on the horizon we need to be much more astute in our attitude otherwise it might get a bit embarrassing!

Still, we remain unbeaten and we are in good shape so onwards and upwards and I’ll see you all at St Mary’s on Saturday.

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