Leicester 0-1 Millwall ~ Match Musings
by, 30-03-2013 at 10:30 PM (2729 Views)
Thanks to bastard SKY we had a Friday night away trip to look forward to with a short trip up the M1 to see the Lions take on the multi million pound misfits of Leicester. Not your usual Friday afternoon car journey, thankfully, as the usual mass migrations all took place on Thursday due to it being bank holiday weekend.
We met no resistance en route from traffic jams or road works and we got to Leicester in no time at all and parked in our usual car park adjacent to the away end, thankfully no ancient monarchs had interrupted this particular spot for us.
The King Power stadium is reasonably impressive, brightly lit, accommodating plenty of room and a decent unrestricted view but the 22,000 people in it seemed to have about as much soul and feeling as the poor old bent and twisted King’s skeletal remains, even fatso with his drum was hidden away from view, his normal perch taken over by Bastard SKY and their camera man which, in this instance, was probably a good thing…
His nonstop drumming though was the only thing to get the home fans going but they have turned into yet another set of plastic wannabe premiership goons, bouncing up and down, waving their scarves around in a circular motion whilst declaring that they are Leicester and that they will follow etc ad nauseum. It was painful to witness, sad in its execution, puerile in the extreme. Well done, Leicester fans, well done indeed.
I am guessing there were around 300 odd Millwall fans that were in decent voice as the teams came out to the ludicrously jazzed up techno remix of the gallop horn and not too many of us, I’d wager, expected to get any kind of a result at this place, but the mood was buzzing and hopes were high.
Mr Jackett shuffled the pack again from the Charlton victory with three changes to the starting line up so the team was as follows: Forde in goal, Dunne, Shittu, Lowry and Smith A across the back, a three man midfield comprising of Trotter, Smith J and Chaplow with Hulse leading the front in the middle with Keogh and Easter either side of him.
As referee Atwill got the game going we were quickest out of the traps and forced the game to the home side straight away, gaining a couple of quick corners that reaped no real reward but with just three minutes on the clock the game swung favourably for us as Keogh burst through the ragged City defence and as he homed in on goal he was dragged unceremoniously over by the clumsy Morgan and the ref didn’t need no instant replays to make up his mind as the red card was out of his pocket instantly.
The resulting free kick was struck brilliantly by Lowry but Schmeichel pulled off a fantastic save to prevent the Millwall man from repeating his Charlton effort. It was not the last time that the egotistical, conceited ‘keeper would thwart us during this match…
Adam Smith saw his shot saved soon after as the deficit in numbers for once seemed to help Millwall and we dominated proceedings. But danger was lurking as seasoned striker Nugent got a sniff of a chance and beat Forde with his effort but again we had Lowry to thank for a goal line clearance.
Hulse went close and Keogh closer still but the City goal and their charmless ‘keeper had a charmed life and even when we finally breached the defence with Trotter slipping the ball to Hulse who buried it, the lino’s flag was waving like a Soho queen spotting his boyfriend on the other side of the road.
Jack Smith had a pop from distance with a bit of a thunderous effort but again the shot was deflected away for yet another Millwall corner and as the first half came to a close we failed yet again to get past Schmeichel as he raced off his line to smother the ball after Easter had put Keogh through..
It was a frustrating end to a frustrating half and our fears were that after all our dominance and pressure, the goalless score line was a beacon of hope for Leicester.
Mr Jackett saw no reason to change things after the break and kept faith with the same eleven players which did cause some consternation amongst the away fans. The team didn’t seem to be able to comprehend the fact that we actually had a man advantage and carried on playing as if it was still eleven-a- side. It was exasperating to watch Leicester win a corner and we still brought everyone back to defend it.
Leicester picked up this and started to play with a bit more confidence, our chances dried up and we looked pretty stale at times. Mr Jackett finally made the changes just around twenty minutes remaining, taking off the ineffective Hulse and bringing on Marquis and also brought on Abdou who replaced Smith J.
Forde became the busier of the two ‘keepers now and he didn’t let us down. The back four were resolute as well but watching from the away end was probably more nerve wracking than if you were watching it on SKY. We had had so many chances in the first half and failed to make the most of them and it seemed scripted that they would nick one goal and we would be undone.
If scripts were written then Wood would have scored the dreaded goal but he was about as useful as a razor blade to a bearded woman in a carnival and he got taken off much to the merriment of the travelling Lions fans. His replacement, however, still kept the worry alive as Kane replaced him.
We need not have concerned ourselves.
With three minutes remaining we saw Chaplow chase down the ball to the left side of their area and, it has to be said, with a little good fortune, managed to wangle the ball past their man and as he cut inside he laid the ball along the floor back out towards the edge of the area and Alan Dunne came charging in and instead of the blast we expected, Dunney showed a bit of class by side footing the ball hard and low through the defenders and into the back of the net. 0-1! No need to tell you what happened in the away section, probably the same as in the pubs clubs and homes of the Lions fans watching it on SKY, it silenced the boring Leicester fans, it silenced fatso on the drum and it wiped away any fears we had of a last minute defeat.
Even five minutes of imaginary injury could not upset the applecart now and we saw out the time as we watched the despondent home fans streaming out of the ground wondering where their next win was coming from.
Alan Dunne deserved his moment in the spotlight, he has taken a fair bit of stick in his long career at Millwall but you can never fault his commitment to the cause and bearing in mind this was his first league goal in about three years, he deserves all the plaudits he is receiving for hitting the winning goal.
But, let’s not kid ourselves about this result, it was a laboured performance but it was another welcome away win that takes us onto the magical 50 points at long last and with a home game coming up on Monday against Ipswich, another win seals us another season in the Championship and who knows, with the two games in hand, we might be booking another trip to Wembley…well, maybe not, but the dream can still be kept alive for now!
Remember our reward, when the deed is done (Richard III, Act 1, Scene IV)