Monday, 19 November 2012

Millwall 1 - 0 Leeds United

My alarm went off at 5am on Sunday, as I looked outside, it was pitch black and had frozen overnight. I did toy with the idea of going back to sleep, I thought my phone may have been lying and the time was really midnight....I didn't feel like risking it, thankfully, and got out of bed to get ready for a long trip darn sarf.

Millwall is an interesting journey, as soon as you get anywhere close to London, everyone livens up, looks around, sees the sights etc. We went past the Olympic Village, which, last time I saw, was still in the process of being built. Then we went past Canary Wharf, then under the Blackwall Tunnel. When you leave the tunnel everyone turns around to see the O2 arena, then, you get in to the, less glamorous part of London, shall we say.

I've never liked London, City, or surrounds, I just don't like it for some reason.

There are some notorious pubs on the journey to the ground where you think it might kick off, luckily, all the pubs were quiet and apart from a couple of people stood, with a fag hanging out of their mouths making a 'wanker' gesture towards us, nothing happened.

We arrived at the ground and in the compound in good time, and found our way to our seats.

It didn't take the Millwall fans long to start chanting about Istanbul, some things never change. Their disgusting chants though, were met with 'boring, boring Millwall' from us. Though, they only had one other song, 'no-one likes us we don't care, blah blah blaaah' change the record.

It's not been the best few weeks for us. On and off the field, things were starting to get all too much and we hoped we could get a result to give us something to smile about again. It was a boost for us though to see Ross McCormack back on the bench after the injury he sustained against Cardiff back in September.

Ryan Hall was called up to the starting 11 whilst Brown and Pearce missed the game due to suspension.

In the opening minutes of the match Mark Beevers brought down Diouf on the edge of the penalty area resulting in a free kick in a very good position. Halsey gave Beevers a yellow card for the challenge. Tonge took the free kick & it bounced straight off of the wall, never any real danger.

Millwall's chances were coming thick and fast, their forwards were making light work of midfield & our defenders were backing off until it was too late. Though the home side's forwards were pacy and strong, their finishing wasn't the best, so a lot of their chances went well wide/over the bar. 

Ryan Hall was playing well & Forde saved a shot of his on the 26th minute.

The first half was nothing to write home about and when the ref blew for half time, it was 0 - 0. I thought it would probably be a scrappy goal that went and won it, this was still anyone's game.

The second half began, and in the opening few minutes, we found ourselves with 10 men for the second week running. Luke Varney backed into Adam Smith with a raised elbow. At the time, I thought it was a straight red, but now, looking at it again, I'd say it was a yellow. He DID raise his elbow and hit Smith just under the chin on the left side of his face, the way he went down however, was like he'd been snipered.

There was a worrying moment when Henry took a throw in and the ball came into the box. Paddy Kenny saved the original shot but spilled it due to a foul, the ball went into the net and the home fans celebrated. Halsey saw the foul however and the goal was disallowed.

Warnock decided to bring on Ross McCormack for Hall, right decision, Hall had a decent first half, but looked to be struggling when we lost Varney.

Neither side were taking their chances when they arose but Millwall were a lot faster going forward and looked like they had the edge.

On the 85th minute N'Guessan passed to a waiting Shane Lowry who sent a brilliant cross into the box where a waiting Chris Wood headed home, past Kenny to make the score 1 - 0.

4 minutes added time to play, and we were really trying to will the ball into the net from the stands, however, Millwall were the only team that looked like scoring. Halsey brought the game to a close and for the third time in a row, we walked away without any points.

Frustrating is definitely the word I'd use to describe the way we are playing at the moment, it's the same things that let us down every match.

Too many long balls from Pelts in my opinion, he needs to cut that out of his game.

Ryan Hall was playing really well in the first half, he looked pacy and sharp, he had a couple of shots and worked hard.
Looked to struggle a bit though when Varney got sent off which is understandable.

Luciano looked a better player when Ross came on the pitch and battled for the ball more. I am looking forward to seeing them back, together when we have all 11 men on the field.

Diouf holds the ball up really well, however needs to release it more often.
He slows the game down and gives people a chance to get in the right positions which is great but then tries to play on himself, which isn't always the right answer.
Diouf was escorted off the pitch by, not one, not two, but THREE stewards after the game. He gave his shirt to someone down at the bottom of the stand, which clearly warranted the stewards....He was getting a LOT of hate by this point and before he entered the tunnel he blew a kiss to his haters. I must admit, I did giggle, he just does not give a toss does he.

Byram and Lees played well, I gave Lees man of the match, he made the best of
A bad situation, probably the only thing I'd criticise was not closing down N'Guessan prior to the goal, it was a hard one though.

Drury should have done better with the cross that came in for the goal. He never even challenged the ball. Completely free header and it ruined his otherwise alright performance. (Apart from the hoof ball's upfield).

Our set pieces and corners are terrible, they are always the same. We need a proper playmaker or someone that can get a decent cross into the box from time to time. That's half the reason were not scoring!! Corners are either too long or too short, short corners end up being played all the way back to the keeper, who then hoofs the ball up to the front, expecting Luciano to work miracles and score, or they are too long and go out of play. Both result in us losing, not only possession but any kind of advantage we were given in the first place!!

So, so frustrating to watch.

Crystal Palace on Saturday, these fixtures just don't get any easier!! We're going to need all the help we can get!!!!

Trying to keep the faith though, were Leeds aren't we ;o)

MOT xx <3 xx

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