Posts Tagged ‘millwall’

Lions tamed?

31 March, 2009

img_1492_webJust when we thought it was time to start thinking about next season they go and register another away win at Millwall.  That’s twice this season we’ve come away from The Den with a 1-0 victory. It lifts us three places back to 10th but still 10 points from the last of the play-off places.

Making up 10 points from 6 games is not really a possibility – is it?  That’s ten points more than at least one of the top six teams AND assuming none of the three teams immediately above us also have a good run in.  It’s more complicated than that but I think the maths are clearly stacked against us.

I’ll bet they go and beat Leeds on Saturday and make us all think it’s possible again.

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Game 06 – Millwall

21 October, 2008

First home game under new management and a promising start from the team – shades of what we used to see at Layer Road. The players were acting like a single unit. Far more effort through the whole team especially Yeates who has discovered he is part of a team. Baldwin played like he wanted to be there although I still feel he needs to be the junior part of a partnership as he’s not a natural leader. When not under pressure he doesn’t really know what to do.

The half-time entertainment started early, before the first half had finished. With the announcement that there were two minutes of added time the video screen announced just one minute (and this I guess was a prepared view from earlier in the game when I saw the same ‘1 minute added’ message flash briefly on the screen in smaller letters). For the real thing there was a welcome return of some competitive half-time entertainment in the penalty competition.

Another good crowd (5,506) but obviously bolstered significantly by the travelling support from Millwall (‘nobody loves us – we don’t care’ was the familiar cry). Despite going 0-2 down following some typical defensive lapses the performance of the team continued throughout the match. Passing was a feature to behold. White seemed content to boot the ball upfield every time he got it instead of linking through the midfield.

Then came a goal that wasn’t! Even a solitary firework exploded above the ground to hail the effort, but a United player had actually dragged the ball out instead of putting it in the net. I believe even the celebratory music was a bit premature too. A damp squib after all.

I said in my last blog I wanted to see a repeat of the 2-1 scoreline. Well I got it, but the wrong way round. Still, a repeat of the effort shown tonight will bring its rewards. That was the best team performance at home for a year and a half.

More Cup Football

2 September, 2008

Resorted to a combination of occasional radio updates (BBC Essex) and text snippets on the ‘match centre’ via Football365.com for this Football League Trophy match. Is this a cup worth getting excited about? Well yes, since we got to the final a few years back (1997) and enjoyed a Wembley visit – even though we didn’t enjoy the result. It’s supposed to be a chance for the two lower leagues to earn some more revenue from the extra games but in reality I reckon they make a loss with very low attendances (2,456 tonight). The early rounds are also used to give a few players some much needed match practice, unless of course you get through to the later rounds when it becomes a matter of pride that you’re on a cup run and suddenly it’s as important as any other competition.

It does have the advantage of adding some extra rivalry to the league matches as there’s a good chance of playing teams from your own division. Of course there’s also the extra fun of watching Leeds United playing for a trophy that they clearly think is beneath them. In its early days this trophy was won by current Premier League clubs Wigan, Bolton and Stoke, so it hasn’t done them any harm.

It’s getting a bit like cricket now in a way. They have 20, 40 and 50 over competitions and 4 day games mixed up throughout the summer. We’ve already had League Cup, League One and Trophy matches (in our 7 games to date), with the FA Cup to come in November. Maybe they could do a Twenty20 here and make the Trophy into a 6-a-side competition of 2 x 20 minutes and played on a regional league basis, with a finals day at Wembley. Then it really would be a fitness test for bit-part players. Actually I can see some specialist 6-a-side players evolving. We’ve got several players who only make an effort for part of the game anyway – it would suit them down to the ground. I’m sure every club has got some of these too.

So, another first round away cup win, with a clean sheet. Exactly the same as in the League Cup. That was a Tuesday night as well.