Millwall 0-2 Wolves ~ Match Musings

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Jotting down these musings can be quite cathartic at times but these run of home defeats is enough to make Matthieu Ricard , the world’s happiest man sigh and shake his head in abject misery. This cannot keep going, can it?

Another team visiting us with relegation worries that seemingly brush their problems aside and make us look like the worst team in Christendom, yet again, there is a very worrying pattern developing here.

The passion for mid-week home games is clearly waning as yet another paltry crowd of just over 8,500 bothered to turn up for this encounter with once mighty Wolves, maybe the lure (and cost) of a quarter final coming up put paid to any real danger of upping our home average and it has to be said that the stay aways probably gauged this one about right

The night started off alright, we had a quick chat with Billy Neil outside the ground as he was being filmed s part of his nomination for the Tokio Marine Unsung hero award for the Football league, the self-effacing Millwall stalwart told us he had every chance of finishing at least third in this category before adding that there is only him and two others in it…if there is any justice in the Football league then Billy should get it easily and I am sure you all would join me in wishing him every success.

Unfortunately, this was as good as the nights proceedings got really, the team line up that Mr Jackett had plumped for had a lacklustre almost benign look about it and even the introduction of Millwall dart player Andy “the Viking” Fordham and some other foreign bloke who chucks arrers set the tone as Deano last man Standing decided to ignore the poor Viking and spoke to the foreign Johnny. Fordham, it has to be said, has put a little bit of timber back on and looked out of puff just walking on so maybe Deano did him a favour by not asking him anything…

But I digress, as I was saying, we are currently almost down to Dante’s 9th Ring on our way to the fires of hell (or relegation battle mode, as it is colloquially known) and the natives are more than restless so the team line up, which was Forde in goal, Lowry, Beevers, Shittu and Smith A at the back, Taylor C on the right, Abdou and Wright in the middle with Woolford on the left which gave us Afobe and Marquis as the very young strike force.

As referee Russell got the game going we watched in stony silence as Wolves sliced through us and forced a corner. The corner was swung in and Forde made a right mess of collecting what should have been a simple take. The ball bounced off his body and could easily have gone in the goal but Forde quickly got his act together and grabbed hold of the bloody thing before any damage was done.

We made little impact on the visitors, choosing to lump balls forward to Marquis in the forlorn hope that he might flick the ball onto Afobe but it was a poor choice of tactic and Wolves mastered it immediately. They also seemed to adopt the same approach as Peterborough did, choosing to play the ball out to the full backs and trying to prise gaps throughout our midfield and we got sucked right into it again. We were cruelly exposed on the ten minute mark as Wolves managed to stretch us completely down the right flank and with Smith floundering ward crossed the ball that Beever’s failed to deal with and the ball fell to Ebanks-Blake who made a simple pass across the box to Edwards who was completely unmarked and he just thumped the ball past the stricken Forde. 0-1 same shit, different game.

We didn’t really recover from this early set back, the whole team seemed to get drained of any ambition, even the usually reliable Shittu was forced into basic errors, mis kicking a low ball into our box, the ball luckily skewered over the bar, more by luck than any judgement.

We lost Afobe early on, he limped off after a heavy unpunished challenge and Keogh came on to replace him. It made little difference.

The disillusionment was infectious and as the game wore on the already restless crowd were sighing in almost continual unison as one mistake followed another. Wolves had clearly twigged that our confidence was shot to shit and they piled on the pressure.

Keogh collapsed under pressure in the Wolves box but the half-hearted claims for a penalty were waved away by the ref and the despondency of the Millwall faithful was manifesting itself it a tirade of abuse against the hapless Russell, who, to be fair, was as poor a ref as we have seen all season, but it always seem so much worse when you don’t get decisions once you are behind and struggling to get back into the game.

The only real sight of goal that I can recall for us during the first half came late on when Lowry rose to get his head to the ball and at least he got it down and on target but ‘keeper Ikeme made a decent save low down.

Marquis got clattered late on and was down for what seemed like an eternity but only 2 minutes off added time was allowed before the half drew to a close.

The boos rang out as expected from the home fans as the half ended and plenty were actually aimed at the officials but in truth we were very poor and the score line was not really unjust so I suspect the boos were also aimed at the players as well.

The second half saw Marquis replaced by Tyson but you would have been hard pressed to notice the difference but we did see an early chance created by Taylor who put across an enticing ball that Keogh was inches away from getting his boot to, a certain goal if he connected, but he didn’t and it falls in to the category of IMAHB…

We were slowly trying to get a game going but it was all stop/start push/shove and no real semblance of any sort of plan and naturally, just after the hour mark the disaster that was always beckoning happened when Edwards put in a cross and Cassidy shielded the ball from Beevers and Shittu but they combined well to block the attempt at goal but the ball fell to O ‘Hara who clipped it back into the danger zone and Ebanks-Blake scissored kicked the ball straight into the net for 0-2.

People left at this point and they continued to drift away as the game reached its miserable conclusion. We had a bit of a go, Smith had two attempts at beating Ikeme but the Wolves ‘keeper was up to the task and then the rest of the Wolves side just seemed to grow in stature and we struggled to even get a sniff of the ball at times. It was so depressing.

We had a bloke near uis suddenly erupt for no real reason at Chris Taylor, I mean really erupt, Taylor heard every word and turned to face his tormentor with his arms out wide as if to say “why me?” but the bloke was well into the red mist and saw this as Taylor offering him out which just exacerbated the situation. I am glad to say that the sparsely populated area, to a man (and woman) came down on Taylor’s side pretty quickly and the bloke who started the event slunk away after a minute or after it had calmed down, probably reflecting on why his frustrations manifested their selves against Taylor, who did not do too badly seeing as it was his first full game for some time.

Near the end of the game now and it was desperation stakes and even with Shittu going up for a corner, it never felt like we would get anything and to prove the point, the big man, with ball falling kindly to him, managed to balloon his shot high into the vast swathes of empty blue seats behind the visitors goal.

Three extra minutes of more abject misery ensued and we were finally put out of our misery as the final whistle sounded like a death knell to our ears. The 600 odd away fans actually outnumbered the home fans as the whistle blew and the vitriol was spewing forth from every section of the home stands.

This is getting serious now, there are still enough games left to stop the rot but once the rot has taken hold it is a bastard to get rid of. We are currently, just not at the races at all. The old cliché of papering over the cracks is a pretty apt one at the moment, the win at Boro was hard fought and very welcome but if we thought it was the start of our resurgence then we were all sadly mistaken.

There were a few cries of Jackett out, not many, but a few and if the games keep going the wrong way for us then those voices will start multiplying and would that really be a good thing?
The Quarter final on Sunday against Blackburn is looking like a sell out and a good performance will certainly go a long way in restoring some pride in our current crop of Lions and we really need to get them in the right frame of mind in preparation for a real dog fight that is fast approaching.

We have had some bad luck with injuries but so do all the other teams around us, the excuses can rack up but the cold facts are staring us in the face. We are in trouble and we are going to have to make do and mend with what we have so now is the time to see what Mr Jackett can conjure up and get the ball rolling again to win back some very disillusioned fans…

"Tempt not a desperate man". - (Romeo & Juliet, Act V, Scene III).
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    You missed out "You wonky eyed cunt" who has that same woman nearly wetting her knick knock.

    Had me in tears.
    ha ha, I did forget that...shame on me, it was the highlight of the fucking night :-)