Half Time Tactics Cost Millwall Win At Hillsborough

Set the scene, Millwall winning 2-1 at Sheffield Wednesday last weekend.

A game that not many thought we’d get anything from. So Millwall would survive the onslaught and come back to South East London with 3 points right?


This is Millwall we’re talking about. By the time Miguel Llera scored in injury time the pessimist side to Millwall fans could sense it coming. Invertible but heartbreaking none the less.

KJ kept the team the same from the deserved win at Peterborough in midweek and the Lions started off well in the game, but Wednesday danger man Jermaine Johnson was always a potent threat and he proved it 20 minutes in.

Diabolical defending by Karleigh Osborne allowed Johnson space to run and hit a thunderbolt from 25 yards, one nil too the steel city boys. This is where previous Millwall teams would collapse, but Kenny Jackett’s team has only lost three away games in 2012. This showed before half time as first James Henry lofted the ball over the Wednesday ‘keeper to make it 1-1 and just before half time Liam Trotter copied that skill, lifting the ball over the onrushing stopper to make it 2-1.

The Lions fast paced passing play was proving effective. At this point Jackett had a choice, be attacking and go for the third to kill the game off or try and defend for 45 mins.

Unfortunately Jacket chose to defend. With the likes of Johnson and Micheal Antonio on the field the lead wasn’t gonna last long. The Lions resulted to long ball tactics which were to put it frank, pointless. This just invited Wednesday to attack even more and they got their equaliser with 20 minutes to go. An almighty goal-mouth scramble and terrible defending from Millwall led to defender Llera to bundle in at the back post.

Going into injury time surely most Lions fans, despite taking the lead, would be happy with a point from Hillsborough. By the end they didn’t even get that.

Another goal-mouth scramble led to Llera bundling home and securing the points for the Owls. The Ex Charlton man scoring twice. I’m sure the transporters down the road got a kick out of that. Poor defending cost the game for the Lions.

I believe that those goal-mouth scrambles would have been cleared with Paul Robinson at the heart of it. Even Danny Shittu’s presence on the field alone could have helped but he was left on the bench. Yes, players such as Karleigh Osborne had a terrible game, but he’s new to this level, whether he’ll prove good enough we shall see.

But players such as Scott Malone and Josh Wright seem to be improving as this short start to the season goes on. Next Saturday is Middlesborough at home and I can see the Lions coming away with three points. Plus another chance to see the partnership of Henderson and Keogh develop on their 25+ goals partnership last season, let’s hope they do it again.