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Match Reports

Millwall 1 Preston North End 0

3 August 2019

A solitary first half goal from Millwall gave the home side the three points on the opening day of the season at The Den.

Jed Wallace gave the Lions the lead just past the half hour mark, volleying home left-footed from a Connor Mahoney ball in from the left and this proved to be the match-winner despite North End dominating possession.

It was a blood and thunder start, player amongst a cacophony of noise from both sets of supporters with Neil Harris’ side having the first opportunity, Wallace with a shot from 20 yards tipped over after a left-wing corner from Shaun Williams was headed out by Andrew Hughes.

But the better of the chances in the middle of the opening period of the season fell to PNE. Firstly, a corner, after excellent move down the right, saw Barkhuizen feed Sean Maguire to get in behind the right back and drill the ball across, only to see it cut out by Millwall skipper Alex Pearce.

And on eight minutes an Alan Browne on half-volley from the resulting cleared corner from edge of ‘D’ was heading into the top right-hand corner until a brilliant header off line by big striker Mat Smith.

The opening goal came on 33 minutes though as summer signing from Bournemouth, Mahoney, crossed from the left and the ball volleyed home by Wallace; Declan Rudd getting both hands to it, but couldn’t keep it out.

After the goal, the best chances before the break still came for the sign in green. A drilled cross from Hughes on the left, after excellent cross-field ball from debutant Patrick Bauer, hit Maguire rather than a directed header and he wasn’t able to keep the effort down.

And in first half injury time, Maguire curled an effort just wide of right-hand post from the left-hand corner of box after a Paul Gallagher through ball from a swift counter-attack started by Brad Potts mid-way inside his own half.

The second half saw the visitors dominant in possession, with the manager making three attacking substitutions to try and get back into the game.

Jayden Stockley, Billy Bodin and a second debutant in Andre Green were all thrown into the mix for the Lilywhites as they went in search of, at the very least, an equaliser.

And in the penultimate minute there was a huge shout for a penalty as Maguire collected the ball from Stockley’s knock down on the edge of the six-yard box and looked destined for a clear shot on goal only for a tackle to bring him down, but referee Steve Martin waved play on.

This proved to be pivotal as despite the four minutes of added time, North End were unable to get the goal that would have given them a deserved point from the game.

Millwall line-up: Fielding (Bialkowski, 43), M Wallace, Cooper, Williams, J Wallace, Thompson, Smith (Bradshaw, 78), Romeo, Pearce (c), Mahoney, O’Brien (Leonard, 69). Subs not used: Hutchinson, Ferguson, Bodvarsson, Skalak.

PNE line-up: Rudd, Clarke (c), Hughes, Pearson, Bauer, Davies, Barkhuizen (Stockley, 57), Gallagher (Green, 73), Maguire, Browne, Potts (Bodin, 56). Subs not used: Ripley, Fisher, Johnson, Storey.

Attendance: TBC (TBC PNE fans)

Referee: Mr S Martin


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