Millwall 4-0 Huddersfield ~ Match Musings

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Huddersfield at home; what the fuck is that all about? How did these inbred northerners infiltrate the heady heights of the championship without anyone (or rather, me) noticing? I thought we left them in a pool of northern tear drops years ago but no, it seems they had the audacity to get themselves and their banjo playing fans promoted to our division. There should be a law against this sort of nonsense, they are archetypal northern scum and as such should be playing in the lower leagues without any recompense whatsoever. They were clearly in need of a smacked arse and sending on their way back to the cess pits of Yorkshire.

…and we were due a win…

Me and MrsB got down the Den later than usual but still found ample parking space which is never a good sign of a big crowd but always welcome and we made our way into the ground on a coldish sort of afternoon that still had some bright sunshine left in it to make the east stand patrons do their collective impression of a sailor in a crow’s nest. I didn’t see any ships (not even hardships) but I did see a welcome return of James Henry back into the first eleven and he fitted in with the rest of Mr Jackett’s selection as follows; Forde in goal, back four consisting of Dunne, Beevers, Shittu and Lowry, joining Henry in midfield was Abdou, Trotter and Taylor leaving Wood and Henderson to lead the line.

As we settled down we quickly noticed a steady influx of Johnny foreigners filling up all the available seats around us, no problem with that at all but curious to know why they choose us? If this game was anything to go by then clearly they choose us because of the outstanding entertainment value and bonhomie attitude from the home fans…

Referee Scott got the game going and with just a tad over 11,000 in the ground, the atmosphere was, to be honest, well, a bit flat. The drippy northerners were soon into the usual moronic mini repertoire of same old, same old formulaic chants but for the most part of the early exchanges, we were watching in silent mode. I think we were all probably still suffering from the Birmingham result and expectations were clearly wavering a bit from the usual “let ‘em come” attitude.

Our nerves were not helped by watching the usually robust Shittu getting a bit of a run-around from eternal boo boy Beckford, (Marlon King’s performance still very much in the forethought), but although Beevers was doing his bit at the back and the midfield were more active, the game was a touch chaotic at times as both teams seemed intent on kicking lumps out of each other. But fair play to the ref who seemed quite happy to let things go as long as no one lost a limb in the heat of the battle.

The first real chance of the half fell to Huddersfield as they seemed to carve through our defences with relative ease but the final attempt was woefully missed by Novak when it looked a certain goal, he sent the ball high over the bar, much to our relief, but there were a few nervous glances from all around.

Henry had a little bit of rust around the edges but he was beginning to cause a few wobbles and he almost caught out Smithies in the Huddersfield goal with a high looping cross that the ‘keeper just managed to tap out for a corner.

We started to have a bit more control as the half progressed and Wood and Henderson were now causing problems with decent help the effervescent Taylor and a rejuvenated Henry we sort of moved up a gear, Wood trying his luck from distance just after a decent effort from Trotter put us in the right frame of mind and then around the half hour mark we got the breakthrough we deserved.

It was a well worked goal; Trotter collected the ball in the centre of midfield and placed an inch perfect pass out to Henderson on the left wing. Hendo quickly controlled the ball and sent a low cross into the 6 yard box where Wood raced in ahead of the defender and poked the ball home. 1-0!

Huddersfield came straight back at us though and should really have equalised when again we were caught slacking at the back but once again woeful finishing saved our blushes and the clean sheet was kept intact.

We kept a tight rein on them after that and although we didn’t threaten a second goal we certainly defended well enough to keep them well at bay. The half time whistle brought cheers and applause and few heavy sighs of relief.

No changes from Mr Jackett as the as the second half commenced and it was Huddersfield who looked like a team on a mission as they flew at us looking for a quick equaliser but whatever cobwebs Shittu had in the first half had been dusted away and he again showed his worth as he resolutely defended anything they had to offer.

We weathered the early storm and slowly got back into the saddle and on the hour mark as Huddersfield tried their luck again we got possession of the ball deep in our own half and Henry broke away and he was flying. He was making a bee line for their goal and Wood was matching him for pace and at the crucial moment Henry slipped the ball to Wood who made no mistake in bagging his and the Lions second goal of the game. 2-0!! Fantastic stuff.

This knocked what stuffing they had out of the Huddersfield team. If they were second best before they were now fourth or fifth in line as a buoyant Millwall side piled on the pressure. When Taylor got hold of the ball just inside their half he lobbed it almost timidly forward to Wood who turned his man and fed the ball to henry who took it in his stride and moved into the area and rifled a shot past the forlorn figure of Smithies to make it 3-0 and this time there would be no come backs to upset the party.

Henderson then had a great chance to open his account and add a fourth goal. Granted he did look like he slightly pulled back Hunt as they both chased a through ball but as Hunt went to ground the ref waved play on and hendo rounded Smithies but went a little bit wide and his shot went achingly and agonisingly past the far post with the goal gaping and empty.
As Henderson walked back Hunt was on his feet and mouthing something to the ref, probably along the lines of 2I say old chap, that was rather unsporting of you to allow that passage of play to continue” which, as we all know ion this day and age can get you life in prison and chemical castration for merely hinting that the referee has perhaps made a slight error of judgement, so out came the red card and now a bruised and battered Huddersfield had completely lost the plot.

So naturally it would have been impolite for the Lions not to rub salt in their wounds and it took a sublime piece of football to finish off proceedings nicely when again we saw Taylor making a decent contribution, picking up a pass out on his left wing he got hold of the ball and worked his way in field and picked out Trotter just outside the area. Trotter took the ball forward and feigned a shot which fooled two defenders and he sort of dragged the ball sideways and then picked out a perfect slotted ball into the right hand side of the goal with Smithies diving with no hope of getting anywhere near the ball. 4-0 and that was game over.

Wright came on in the last minute to replace Henry who got a standing ovation and he barely had time to get involved but at least he got to celebrate with the rest of the team as the final whistle sounded and the pure joy of a 4-0 victory was safely in the bag.

It was a fabulous result and one that has been threatening to come for a little while, we are scoring goals in every game now and with the first clean sheet finally in the record books we can hopefully begin to build on this.

A tough away game up next at Forest but there is no reason why we can’t go there and get something out of the game (maybe Abdou will need to track Reid for 90 minutes) so we can start to ease away from the dreaded relegation zone.

"Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast". - (Romeo & Juliet, Act II, Scene III).
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