Millwall 0-6 Birmingham ~ Match Report

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Apologies in advance for this retrospective look at the debacle that was Millwall V Birmingham as it has taken me some time to gather my thoughts and actually have the inclination to jot down my musings on what I can only describe as a quite surreal experience

I am afraid helps me to have to scribble these musings down, as it is almost cathartic and a simple way of distancing myself away from the wretched result.

A bit of a piss poor crowd of just over 10,000 turned up to watch this game and you have to wonder if the ones missing knew what was about to happen but more likely the Dagenham draw had more influence over the low turn out.

Birmingham fans are a strange breed, they purport to be a bigger than average club but they never seem to travel in any great numbers to the Den and this game was no exception as not even a thousand made the short trip down from the midlands.

But on reflection, perhaps that was a good thing…

The team looked up for it and they lined up as follows: Forde in goal, Dunne, Lowry, Robinson and Smith at the back, Feeney, Trotter, Abdou and Bouazza in midfield and N’Guessan and Kane up front.

Moss, the alleged referee, got the game started and we were on the front foot straight away, quick out of the blocks and very purposeful and we should have gone one up within the first couple of minutes but N’Guessan headed wide with the goal at his mercy at the near post.
More Millwall pressure ensued and we thought we had opened them up when Harry Kane took advantage of Birmingham dithering in their own area and his shot looked goal bound but it was spectacularly cleared off the line by Beausejour with ‘keeper Myhill well beaten.

Again we pressed forward looking for the elusive first goal and again it was Kane causing all sorts of problems for the over worked Brummie defence, this time Kane went close on around the 15 minute mark, with a looping header that drifted narrowly wide of Myhill's right-hand post.

Minutes later disaster struck and it has to be said it was totally against the run of play. A harmless looking cross was floated to the far post and Dunne was caught well out of position. Davies nodded in the simplest of headers past the static David Forde. 0-1.

A few minutes later it went from bad to worse as Lowry made a clearing tackle over on the left of the pitch from the gangling Zigic made a meal of Lowry’s landing position and claimed he had been stamped on. The dopey referee fell for the blatant lie and couldn’t brandish the red card quick enough. A distraught Lowry stormed off and had the indignity of falling on his arse as he went down the tunnel when he aimed a kick at an inert object on the floor, thus proving that his aim was not as true as Zigic was making out.

To our credit we kept on with the attacking football and we looked the most likely to score the next goal. Abdou dropped back to take Lowry’s place and we still looked quite capable of getting something out of the game.

Birmingham were kept to only one more attempt at goal in the first half and that was a laughably hopeless attempt by King to perform an improvised scissor kick that went miles over the bar.

Harry Kane had two decent attempts to level the score, the first was a blocked shot and the second effort saw Myhill claw the ball over the bar for a corner.

The half time whistle went and we felt that the sending off, unjust as it was, had not had too bad an impact on us and we certainly looked the better team.

The second half started in the same vein with Millwall pushing hard for a leveller but suddenly with only about 6 or 7 minutes played Zigic again feigned an injury by a rash tackle from Dunne and the ridiculous referee again waved his red card immediately and we were down to 9 men.

To our credit we battled gamely on against a tide of confusing and contrary referring decisions but we really had the stuffing knocked out of us on the hour mark when King managed to find some space and shinned the ball into the net past Forde to make it 0-2.
Jackett now had a dilemma. Did he go for damage limitation and park the bus in front of Forde or did he just go for it to see what the lads could do?

Well, to his credit, he chose option two and the lads responded with an all out gutsy performance that was only going to end in one way and as tired legs were running out of steam the 11 men from Birmingham finally realised that they had a two man advantage and with fifteen minutes remaining they bagged a match clinching third goal.

To add insult to injury the incompetent officials then ruled out a perfectly decent Liam feeney goal for a very dubious off side decision but in truth we were never going to come back from three down.

Naturally the final ten minutes or so saw us run right out of steam, two late subs did nothing to halt the inevitable finale as Birmingham managed to squeeze in three late goals (one way past the allotted injury time added on) that put a really unfair spin on the final score.

The headline writers will report that Millwall were trounced 0-6, piss takers will constantly remind you of the score line but for those that were there and who have some semblance of understanding, we were never as bad as that score line might suggest.

If we play with the same passion and commitment with 11 on the pitch then we will win more than we will lose.

I pity the visit of Dagenham in the cup replay on Tuesday as I expect them to take the back lash from the lions and don’t be at all surprised if we thump them by the same sort of score line.

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