Millwall 0-0 Cardiff ~ Match Report

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Cardiff at home was, in the past, something of an event for Millwall fans as the visiting fans could usually be relied on to offer a gutsy display of crass stupidity and offer us a chance to laugh at the very welshness of them.

Sadly, times have changed for Cardiff. No longer do we get hoards of irate Britons still harping on about Offa and his dyke and pledging death to the English Anglo Saxon bastards. Oh no, not nowadays. Nowadays (is that actually a word?) we get polyvinylchloride taffy’s, happy clappy choreographed sheep that couldn’t raise an atmosphere if Tom Jones’ chest wig depended on it.

They have become sanitised. A pale imitation of their former selves, a cardboard cut-out group of counterfeit fans who seem, sadly, dead keen on moving up to the premier league and losing their identity as we have seen happen with so many other clubs.

Oh how we miss the irony of their witty ditty of “always shit on the English side of the bridge”, whereby they clearly are not realising that all the English sewers empty straight back into the cesspit we call Cymru.

But, despite all of the above, the old bill still can’t quite leave the image of Millwall v Cardiff games of yesteryear and still insist on policing the games as if world war three was about to erupt.

Over enthusiastic policing has two main effects. 1). It pisses of the fans that pay good money to come and watch a game of football and 2). It REALLY pisses off the fans that pay good money to come and watch football and wonder where these over enthusiastic cozzers were when the rioters were running amok

Anyway, after me and MrsB circumnavigated the mass ranks of the met’s finest we ended up finally at our usual perch and we were just in time to see Millwall legend Bryan King come out for a round of applause and then we settled down to scrutinise Mr Jackett’s team selection for this tough encounter.

Mildenhall still on duty in goal, the back four comprising of Baker, Lowry, Robbo and Smith and then a five man midfield ensemble of feeney, trotter, Abdou, Henry and Bouazza which left Simpson as the one up front.

Referee Ward started the game and we looked decidedly shaky against a very well organised City side and we struggled to get our rhythm going. Cardiff had the first real chance of note when Mildenhall was called on to make a decent save from a blistering shot by Whittingham, pushing the ball out for a corner.

We let them have a lot of the ball but they never really took full advantage of our lacklustre approach and it was painfully obvious to all and sundry that Simpson is not cut out for the role as a lone target man as all we were doing was looking to hit him with the long ball.

The defence was playing its part well enough though and the more we see of Baker and Lowry the more I like the way they play although the former didn’t have the best of games the latter was very impressive again.

The midfield was at times quite vacant despite the numbers involved but when Henry latched on to a clearance by Robbo he found time to pass to Bouazza and suddenly it looked very promising for the Lions but unfortunately the winger’s ball was more wayward than Marty Feldman’s eyeballs and it went out for a throw in.

This move spurred Millwall on and soon after we were on the attack again, this time Henry provided a decent ball down the line for Smith who effortlessly went past Taylor who just simply hacked him down mid stride.

The yellow card was scant compensation for a move that was going to open them up but from the resulting kick we got bugger all.

City then created a couple of half chances that didn’t really threaten, both from distance and both lacking any real conviction and then with about ten minutes of the half remaining we created the best chance of the first half when we broke away out of defence with Feeney bursting through the Cardiff rear guard and with Henry matching him for pace, all it needed was a square pass and that is exactly what Feeney produced. Henry was presented with a perfect chance but his shot hit the cross bar and bounced away for a goal kick.

We then carved out another chance before the half time whistle blew when Simpson got himself onto a Trotter pass and he tried to curl the ball home but the ball went agonisingly wide of the far post.

The second half saw Mr Jackett make the change with Simpson making way for Henderson who thankfully is the right kind of man for the job as the lone striker and we looked a lot more in control.

Feeney was being shackled on the wing by up to three defenders at any given time and we were a bit naïve at times in not exploiting this a bit more but we were making headway and we had them back peddling.

Henry had a snap shot whistle past the post and then was involved in a ludicrous situation when he latched onto a lovely ball down the line from Henderson who went racing towards the box for the return pass but was dumped right on his arse by defender Turner but the inept ref and his hapless helpers failed to spot it.

The crowd were rightly baying for blood but the shonky official just waved away the appeals and let play continue and soon after we had a very good chance to open our account when Feeney got in a superb cross that was helped onto the waiting Bouazza who steadied himself and let fly with a fizzer of a shot that just went shy of the post.

We had a bit of a scare when Cardiff got beyond our resolute back four and a bit of a goalmouth scramble ensued but the danger was soon averted when the ball flew miles over the bar.

N’Guessan replaced Bouazza with ten minutes to go but it really didn’t have much effect on the overall performance.

We should have won the game in the last minute though. Again it was Feeney the provider who danced down the right wing and sent over an inch perfect cross to the waiting Henderson who looked like he did everything right by heading the ball downwards but to our dismay the ball bounced up and over the bar.

The final whistle went soon after and I have deliberately glossed over the abysmal performance of the referee as no matter how you try and dress it up it always looks like a cop out to blame the man in the middle, but he was appallingly bad.

The draw, in reality, wasn’t a bad result considering the taffs are one of the high fliers so far this season but next up we are away to Hull and we really need to get at least a point from this one to try and keep the momentum going to allow us to climb slowly but surely up the league table.

See you all there?
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