Millwall 1-2 Bristol City ~ Match Report

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Sunday football is an abomination. I don’t know who started the trend for playing football on a Sunday but whoever they were** they should hang their heads in shame.

The almighty Gods of football, may there divinity shine forth upon us at all times, clearly allowed for Saturday as the holy day along with the odd Tuesday or Wednesday where necessary and Sunday was set aside specifically for getting over hang over’s and having a lie in bed.

The Bastards at SKY were quick to see the faithful would be easily led and before you realise it a top draw match like Millwall V Bristol City ends up headlining their poxy schedule on the sports channel.

But despite a plethora of acute camera angles and the insightful knowledge of Peter “why aye, Ima proper norverner, like” Beagrie to pontificate on our short comings it was still an easy choice for me and MrsB to fire up the new improved baby Bonemobile and head down the Den to find a parking space amongst the flamboyantly attired members of some phoney religion that is blasphemous to the one true religion we all follow. Be fair, what number of Gods would really encourage its followers to wear curtains on their heads when offering worship…

10,000 odd Millwall fans were in attendance for this encounter with a revitalised and rejuvenated Bristol City side that saw a horde of at least 300 fans pack out the away end, the noise they were making was like an ant tap dancing on a biscuit barrel, the smell akin to old MacDonald’s farm yard, as we settled down to find that Mr Jackett had plumped for the same side that got beat up at Blackpool…

Hmmm…interesting choice…. The rumours that Forde was injured clearly false as he took his place between the sticks, Smith Ward, Robbo and Dunne in front of him, Trotter, Abdou, Howard and feeney in midfield and Simpson and Henderson as the twin attack, it looked reasonably comfortable.

Referee Bates waited for SKY to signal him and he duly blew the whistle and got the game going.

We started in our usual up tempo manner and as our first attack saw the ball floating towards Henderson he was clearly grappled to the ground but I am afraid referee Bates bottled it in front of the cameras and waved play on, the milky bastard.

Shortly after that City’s Maynard put down a marker with a 30-yard hopeful shot that was, unbeknownst to us, a pretty useful augury as to what was to come. This one went way wide of the post but the intent was clear.

We had a half chance with an almost text book move when Howard hit a deliberately low free kick Henderson took first time but erstwhile Millwall reject Elliott cleared the danger and we only got a corner for our troubles.

After that we lost our way a bit but we had sort of half chances from Feeney and Simpson and even a smidgen of a chance from Smith and although City weren’t actually doing anything, neither were we but just on or about the ¼ hour mark that all changed when Kilkenny put Maynard into some open pastures right in front of our area and the result was a forgone conclusion the moment the ball left his boot.
Total and utter disaster. Yes, it was against the run of play and yes it was a tad undeserved but fuck me how many times can we keep saying these sorts of things?

Soon after it became apparent that Forde was suffering and again questions began getting asked as to why the fuck did he start if it was already common knowledge that he was carrying a knock of some description and the Irish stopper eventually had to make way for sub Mildenhall.

I think this Mildenhall’s league debut at the Den and he almost had to come on with us two down. Kilkenny again was pulling the strings for City as this time he found Adomah who sort of rounded the limping Forde but went too wide but he got the ball to Pearson whose effort was blocked.

So Mildenhall came on for the last ten minutes of the half and shortly after his arrival we nearly equalised with a Howard free kick that did everything it was supposed to do but as the ball headed past James in the City goal they had a man guarding the line and the ball was headed clear.

The half finished in a sour mood as Maynard yet again made room for a shot that fizzed over the bar with Mildenhall at full stretch.

No changes for the start of the second half and I am afraid we just never got going. The resurgence required was not really happening at all and we started to look very fragile as the visitors suddenly realised they had a real chance of a result.

Adomah made a pretty simple but effective incisive run and his unchallenged cross found Maynard, whose first time effort was steered just over the bar from the edge of the penalty area.

Our passing across the back, going nowhere and then giving it to Mildenhall to boot forward had all the hallmarks of a team clearly bereft of ideas and when City again breach our now hopelessly bedraggled defence it looked like a certain second goal was on the cards but with Mildenhall beat we had Jack Smith to thank for a goal line clearance.

The false hope started when Howard again hit a sweet free kick that was spectacularly saved by James, tipping over for a corner and to cement our misguided belief we actually strung a decent move together when Henderson loped after a loose ball down the left side and fired the ball across the face of the goal which Trotter did something with it, I know not what, but it fell straight into the path of Simpson who had the simplest of tap ins to get a somewhat fortuitous equaliser. 1-1!

Much better, Millwall, now we can push on and take these stumbling country bumpkins to the cleaners, no?

No. Of course not. If anything the equaliser only spurred City on to greater belief.

Minutes later Adomah had plenty of time and enough space to cut inside Smith and shoot across goal. Luckily for, the pacey winger’s shot went well wide of the far post from a decent angle.

City regained the lead soon after this as Adomah and Maynard again combined. Adomah won the ball after much dithering in the penalty area, turned and fed a trickling cross to Maynard. The striker was unmarked just inside the six-yard box and simply couldn’t miss from such a close range, hitting his shot high into the net. 1-2. Not good, not good at all.

Henry replaced Howard just after this with what is now the usual change by Mr Jackett. Feeney goes on the left to accommodate the change but it seldom produces the right result for us.

The crowd was getting restless with our continuing almost self imposed capitulation and the visitors were gaining far too much confidence and even us swapping Henderson for N’Guessen did not break their stride.

They nearly bagged a third at the death with a low shot that flashed just wide of the post and by then we had clearly given up all hope of an equaliser.

It was a shambolic, abysmal performance from the Lions and the whole side should share the blame for a lacklustre showing that seems to have dragged us back into the murky depths of the relegation zone without too much effort at all.

Mr Jackett will need to get his mojo back and pretty quickly too as a visit to Selhurst Park is up next and the fickle Gods of football will not be smiling favourably on us at all after breaking one of the 4 ¾ commandments by playing on a rest day.

* *I hope you got this far before reaching for the keyboard to tell me that Millwall played the first ever league game on a Sunday against Fulham at the old place

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