Gateshead And Orient In Thrilling Draw

Leyton Orient and Gateshead drew 3-3 in a fabulously entertaining draw at Brisbane Road in the FA Trophy on Saturday as Orient threw a 3-0 lead away.

The visitors from the North East will be by far the happier as they saw their team make an incredible comeback from 3-0 down to snatch a last minute draw to take back home.

A 90th minute goal from Peniket snatched a replay for The Heeds and the travelling fans numbering 65 from the long journey down south went into scenes of wild jubilation.

With the score at 1-0 to the O’s at half time little did anyone expect a second half of such entertainment as Gateshead recorded their second score of 3-3 on the trot following on from last weeks 3-3 draw with Barrow in the Vanarama National League.

This match was always going to be close with just two places separating the teams in the lNational League but surely when Orient went 3-0 to the good after 56 minutes there seemed no way back for the visiting team. Yet Gateshead pulled the rabbit out of the hat to shock the home fans in front of a crowd of 3,705 in this FA Trophy quarter final.

The game had started without too many fanfares and was almost like watching a chess match as the two teams attempted to work one another out. After 22 minutes, Orient had the first chance of either team and came close to breaking the deadlock when James Brophy’s corner was met by the head of Craig Clay who saw his effort pushed over the bar by Montgomery in the Gateshead goal.

On the half hour mark, Orient carved out their best chance of the game so far with a quick counter attack. Koroma played the ball through to Bonne who fed Brophy in space on the left, he squared it to Macauley Bonne who saw his shot from the centre of the goal denied by a sprawling Montgomery. The Gateshead shot stopper was having a great game as Joe Widdowson was next to go close firing a fierce half volley that was well saved by Montgomery again.

The pressure from the home side was beginning to pay off and Orient unsurprisingly succeeded in opening the scoring after 35 minutes. Josh Koroma ran forward before taking aim from range and seeing his shot fly past a flailing Montgomery into the bottom left corner of the net to put the O’s 1-0 ahead.

The second half saw the home side come out with solid intention and on 52 minutes, the O’s positive start paid off when they doubled their lead thanks to Ebou Adams. Caprice turned losing his marker before laying the ball into the path of Adams who struck sweetly beyond Montgomery from outside the box.

Four minutes later, the O’s notched a third goal when Koroma’s teasing free kick from the left was nodded home by Josh Coulson inside the six yard box. Game over or so it seemed as we moved up to the hour mark without too much positive intent from the away side. That was to change though in a magnificent last half hour for the away team.

With only 22 minutes remaining on the clock Gateshead pulled a goal back when Barrow’s cross found Johnson at the back post who smashed the ball past O’s keeper Dean Brill to give the visitors a lifeline. Was it a consolation?

With the wind in their sails Gateshead weren’t here to make up the numbers and they surged forward and Johnson bagged his brace on 78 minutes to make it 3-2. He latched onto a through pass before rolling the ball low beyond Brill into the bottom corner to create a nervous final ten minutes.

Substitute Mooney for Orient got in on the action almost immediately when he fed the ball into Bonne who saw his effort saved by Montgomery.

With nothing to lose the North East club piled forward and saw chances from Peniket and Johnson saved by Dean Brill as Orient looked nervous and in the last minute Peniket made it 3 apiece when he headed an early cross in to the back of the net as Gateshead snatched a replay.

The 65 Gateshead fans were in fantasy land as the O’s fans had a dose of reality and Justin Edinburgh and his team will be very disappointed in throwing victory away.

Fantasy football? Who needs it with games like these.

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Millwall Have Play Offs In Sight

Millwall beat Burton Albion by a single goal to nil to leave them just 6 points off the play off places after a hard fought victory against the strugglers.

That is four wins away from home on the trot now thanks to a Ben Marshall’s second half winner that puts Millwall up to 12th in the Championship.

Getting into the play offs is unlikely but Millwall have looked dominant in defence so far in 2018 and once again set their stall by putting up road blocks in the defence, something they have done time and time again of late. It’s unlikely that they will make the play offs but on this fine run of form certainly not impossible.

Despite having as much as 58% of the possession Burton failed to muster a single shot on the Millwall goal which tells you why the home team are stuck in the bottom three of the table.

They dominated play at times but Millwall just let the home team attack and looked to catch Burton Albion out either on the counter attack or via a set piece.

Once again Millwall were tough and resilient as they took all 3 points back down to South London for Neil Harris’s happy men. The away side were never going to take prisoners as they amassed a humungous 20 fouls in the game.

Burton had a lot of the game in a scrappy affair however they couldn’t deliver a decent final ball and that is now 13 home games without a win of which they have lost 11 of those games. That’s relegation form in anyone’s books. They had a lot of chances but Millwall keeper Jordan Archer did not have to make a single save as Millwall defended well.

An attendance of 4.105 at the Pirelli Stadium saw the hosts look tired after Millwall’s fairly physical presence in the middle of the park as Nigel Clough’s men dropped a place to 23rd in the league.

It was Ben Marshall the Wolves loanee who got on the end of deep cross at the back post and the ball seemed to take an agonising long time to cross the line and ultimately condemn Albion to another home defeat without a win on home soil in the league this season.

The Lions bared their teeth first on eleven minutes. Steve Morison sent over a dipping cross that was heading for Lee Gregory at the back post until Lucas Akins got up first to head behind at the expense of a corner.

After Martin Samuelson did some decent work on 20 minutes he found Akins who flicked the ball onto the roof of the net from twelve yards out.

A loose touch by Akpan on half way gave Millwall the chance to counter and although Tom Naylor did superbly well to nullify the threat of Lee Gregory, Morison was still able to deliver in a cross that McFadzean had to head away awkwardly from inside his own six yard box at the expense of a corner. The danger was not over there and when Cooper got up well to attack the corner there was an almighty scramble near the post before Bywater eventually managed to get both hands on the ball as things got a little bit messy.

Bent had a second chance to open his account on 39 minutes. A pinpoint ball from Davenport had the striker bearing down on goal but his shot sliced away off his shin failing to threaten Archer in the Millwall goal.

So a goalless first half and the second half began in much the same way and Dyer sent in another dangerous low delivery it took a shanked clearance from Shaun Hutchinson to keep his goal in tact as the ball skewed over the bar from close range.

When the Millwall goal came it was somewhat against the run of play. Jed Wallace managed to escape on the left and send over a searching cross that picked out Marshall at the back post and his looping header seemed to trickle over the line.

Sub Onyedinma replaced Ben Marshall and he went close with a curling effort on 73 minutes but fortunately for Albion put his effort wide of the post as the visitors looked to wrap up the points.

The Brewers spurned a glorious chanxce to equalise on 78 minutes. Davenport’s corner was flicked on at the near post by Akins and the goal appeared to open up for Naylor at the back post, the centre half stealing in but unable to keep his header under the bar.

Naylor’s last ditch header in stoppage time was the last chance for Albion to drag themselves level but once again the game had got away from Albion who see their three game unbeaten run ended.

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Brophy Goal Wins It For O’s

An important win away at Chester City by a goal to nil was more welcome relief for Leyton Orient as they moved up a place to 15th in the National League.

O’s fans will be breathing easier as the three points elevate Leyton Orient a more comfortable 8 points away from the danger zone as James Brophy’s second half winner sealed the game.

As for the home team it looks bad for Chester as they are now 6 points from safety in the relegation zone. Bottom club Guiseley earned a surprise win at home to Fylde by the only goal as Torquay lost 3-2 at home to Sutton United. Solihull Moors dug out a hard 0-0 draw with play off placed Wrexham at home. Guiseley, Torquay ans Chester are all starting to become cut adrift in the relegation zone while Solihull Moors are at least hanging in there to try and avoid the drop.

Following Chester’s home win on Saturday, a 3-1 home success over Eastleigh, hopes were high for the Cheshire team. However the east Londoners had other ideas as a James Brophy header on 67 minutes was all it took to settle the contest in favour of the O’s, and the Blues found themselves out battled in the second half and were unable to pierce a solid Orient defence.

Chester started well in the opening exchanges and Ryan Astles saw his 12 yard header from a Gary Roberts free kick comfortably held by Orient Keeper Dean Brill.

But the visitors had their first effort moments later when Josh Koroma skipped past Myles Anderson and burst down the right, but his 20 yard effort on the run skewed well wide, much to the relief of Chester keeper Sam Hornby.

Leyton Orient spurned a glorious chance with little over 10 minutes on the clock when, with Chester stretched, James Brophy managed to find Koroma at the far post, but the winger saw his close range effort blocked superbly by Myles Anderson.

As the first half wore on the O’s were getting plenty of joy down the right hand side through Koroma and Jake Caprice, and looked the more likely to make the breakthrough. Brophy saw a 15 yard effort saved well by Hornby after the winger had broken into the area on 38 minutes before Koroma broke quickly and sprinted down the right to put in a dangerous cross across the six yard box but there was no red shirt in sight to apply a finishing touch.

The two teams went into the half time break goalless but both teams showed thoughtful play and determined attitudes.

The second half was a more cagey affair with both teams basically cancelling each other out. Astles’ glanced header from a Roberts corner the closest that Chester came to breaking the deadlock.

The O’s first chance of the second half came just on the hour mark when Koroma was teed up on the edge of the box, firing low through a crowd of bodies only to see his effort held by Hornby.

But the visitors would soon have the advantage when, on 68 minutes, a Caprice cross was whipped in with pace and found the head of Brophy whose glanced header beat Hornby and nestled in the far corner.

Chester tried to find a way back into the contest but however they tried they never looked like unlocking a tight Orient backline that never gave the Blues an inch. The home team pushed and unsurprisingly more space opened up at the back as the O’s Koroma broke quickly to cross for Macauley Bonne but the Orient striker could only scoop over from just two yards out when he should have been celebrating the away teams second of the afternoon. A dreadful miss!

Bonne almost connected with a Caprice cross shortly after as Orient exploited the space in the final third and the game was getting away from Chester. Roberts tried his luck from 20 yards with five minutes of normal time left but his effort flew well over Brill’s upright.

Five minutes of added time were held aloft at the end of 90 minutes but there was to be no saviour for the home side as Orient held out.

A crowd of 1,935 saw Leyton Orient shut up shop as the final whistle sounded and a welcome 3 points for the O’s.

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Millwall Win To Climb Into Top Half Of Table

Millwall came from behind to win 2-1 at the New Den against Sheffield Wednesday to take them up to the heady heights of 11th place in the Championship.

Two second half goals from Lee Gregory and Steve Morrison were enough to turn the game around following the Lions going into the half time break a goal down after Wednesday had dominated large chunks of the first half.

Millwall came into the game with forward Aiden O’Brien sidelined with an ankle problem and defender Byron Webster still a long-term absentee with knee trouble. January signing Harry Toffolo is still awaiting his debut while veteran Australia forward Tim Cahill is building up his match fitness.

Although the visitors also had their problems with Wednesday striker Jordan Rhodes missing the game due to illness and he is probably one of Wednesday’s stand out players so a massive loss for the visiting team.

Once more the Lions allowed the away team to dominate possession, a common theme at the New Den this season. Incredibly Wednesday had almost two thirds of the possession and yet could only manage one shot on target in total as Millwall’s back four really have turned into a solid defence. Almost a nil wall! The Lions on the other hand had 12 shots in total of which four found the target and more importantly 2 found the back of the Yorkshire teams net.

With this victory Millwall moved up to nose bleed territory this season as they sit nicely in 11th place with all thoughts of relegation now out of the Londoners nightmares. Dare I mention that the Lions are on such a good run that they are only 8 points off of a play off place to the Premiership. OK maybe it’s a fantasy but Neil Harris’s men have done a brilliant job so far in 2018 and are shared on 45 points with Leeds United, Ipswich and Norwich City. All three teams were not in action tonight so Millwall leapfrogged all 3 on a superior goal difference.

Millwall had been winless in eight league matches against the Owls (D3 L5), since a 2-1 win as far back as September 2005. Also both teams had found the net in each of the last seven league meetings, with no goalless draws between the teams in league competition since December 1947 so it was likely to be a scoring affair.

However the game was far from easy as Sheffield Wednesday led at half time thanks to a Joey Pelupessy goal. He cut in from the left hand side and produced a sweetly struck shot to give the visitors the lead two minutes before the interval.

But Neil Harris’ side responded, first through Gregory’s close-range header in the 52nd minute and then just nine minutes later, Morrison turned in Jed Wallace’s cross from the right to turn the game on it’s head.

There were 13 minutes of stoppage time after Wednesday’s Jordan Thorniley was stretchered off in the second half, but Millwall saw out victory to extend their fine unbeaten run in the league to seven matches.

Striker Lee Gregory sparked the turnaround as he headed home from close range after Jake Cooper turned a free-kick from the right back across goal. Jed Wallace then won the ball on the right hand side of the penalty area and slid his pass across the six yard box to Morrison, who turned in for his third goal of the season.

Wednesday haven’t won this year and are without an away win since Boxing Day and have just one league victory since manager Jos Luhukay was appointed at the start of January. The Owls flap uneasily in 16th place after this defeat.

The Lions are now unbeaten in their last 7 league games with four wins and 3 draws and they last went on a longer run without defeat in the second tier back between March and August 2014 (11 games).

This win showed the Lions have the bottle for coming back from a hostile situation and this was another fine example of the discipline particularly in defence that the team now show.

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Bonne Voyage To Fylde As Orient Shine

A vital victory away at Fylde by a goal to nil was welcome relief for Leyton Orient as they left Lancashire with all three points against promotion chasing Fylde.

A Macauley Bonne first half penalty was enough to win the game and keep the O’s 6 points ahead of the relegation spots but they are still not far enough away from the bottom to feel at all safe.

This win though will be a welcome boost for Justin Edinburgh’s men as Bonne’s goal put him on 16 goals for the season second only to Fylde’s Danny Rowe in the National League with 18 goals. Both players were on show in front of a decent crowd of 2,206 up at Lytham St-Annes however Rowe was thwarted by a determined Leyton Orient defence.

Orient didn’t make any distance between themselves and the relegation zone as both Chester City and Solihull Moors won on Saturday. Solihull Moors had a superb 3-2 win over high placed Dover Athletic as Chester City stuffed Eastleigh 3-1. The bottom two teams did lose however as Torquay were defeated 3-0 to Dagenham and Guiseley lost at home 3-1 to Maidenhead Town. Guiseley rooted at the bottom will need a miracle to keep themselves in the division now.

In context this was a fantastic win for the O’s with Fylde in great form as Fylde boss Dave Challinor went with the same side that had beaten Gateshead last time out and they went close inside five minutes, when Orient allowed danger man Rowe a shooting chance but the frontman sliced his effort from 25 yards narrowly wide.

Leyton Orient grew into the game however and Craig Clay was the first to threaten when his vicious volley from the edge of the area was diverted away from goal by Jordan Tunnicliffe. Soon Dan Holman looked to capitalise on Orient’s spell of pressure when he let fly from 25 yards but Fylde keeper Jay Lynch was relieved to see the powerful effort fly inches over the bar.

Josh Koroma was proving a handful for the Fylde defence and stung the palms of Lynch from a tight angle, although a cross may have proved more beneficial.

Orient deservedly took the lead three minutes before the break when they were awarded a penalty. Simon Grand hauled down Holman and Bonne made no mistake from the spot, lashing the ball into the bottom left corner.

His Golden Boot rival Rowe scuffed an effort wide as the half drew to a disappointing end for Fylde, although the home side came out for the second period with a renewed sense of purpose as Zaine Francis-Angol tested Orient’s Brill with a strike from the edge of the area. Then Rowe was presented with another chance with an inviting shooting position 20 yards from goal after Jones had been impeded but the striker’s free-kick flew a foot wide.

At the other end Koroma was allowed far too much time and space on the hour as he raced from his own half to the bye-line before seeing his low cross-shot blocked at his near post by Lynch.

Bonne had a glorious opportunity to double Orient’s tally when James Brophy burst into the box from the left and fizzed the ball across that was inches out of their top scorer’s reach. Then Clay dragged a shot wide from Bonne’s cut-back as the visitors continued to enjoy the better of the action and they should have scored 10 minutes from time, when Brophy picked out Holman on the penalty spot in plenty of space but the ball ran over Holman’’s foot to safety.

With Orient in control Bonne nodded just over from 10 yards but Fylde could have nicked a point from the game in the dying seconds, when a ridiculous goalmouth scramble eventually fell to Henry Jones but his shot on the turn was blocked on the line.

Fylde remain in the final play-off place despite a poor afternoon, while the ‘O’s also saw Barrow and Hartlepool win below them to ensure they are are not out of the danger zone by a long way yet.

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Millwall’s 3 Point Meal In The Midlands

Hungry Millwall won by a goal to nil against lowly Birmingham City for their third straight away win of 2018 in the Midlands to push them still further from the relegation area.

A Fred Onyedinma strike 13 minutes from the end of the game gave the south Londoners the points in a match they deserved to win. Blues goalkeeper David Stockdale made a fine save to deny Onyedinma, but he finished at the second attempt.

The Lions spent 2017 relying heavily on home form in the Championship as the home form kept them away from the relegation area but in 2018 that is 9 points out of 9 as they continue searching for mid table safety which is getting closer by the match.

Millwall once again set their stall early relying on defence and allowing the home team to dominate possession and playing on the counter attack up to the lone striker. Despite having only 39% of the play the Lions never looked in any particular trouble as Birmingham managed their only chance on target in second half stoppage time when Jordan Archer blocked Harlee Dean’s low effort. City are the Championship’s lowest scorers with just 22 goals and it’s easy to see why as Millwall held them off with few troubles.

Meanwhile in comparison the London team had 6 shots on target as the game turned into a bit of a nibbly affair with 15 fouls per team as the Lions went closest in the first half when Marc Roberts headed George Saville’s cross come shot off the line.

City have now failed to score in 16 of their 32 league matches although both sides came into the game in good form, with Blues winning four of their previous seven league matches and Millwall unbeaten in five, and their confidence showed with chances created at both ends.

Birmingham had the better of an entertaining first half, with Craig Gardner’s effort deflected past the post by Saville, and Jeremie Boga’s free-kick narrowly off-target.

Millwall were more attacking in the second period as Stockdale was forced to make a decent save from Jake Cooper following Onyedinma’s opener and give Millwall enormous credit they could have scored on at least two other occasions.

But Millwall, who had failed to win away from home in their first 13 attempts this season, survived the pressure and their threat grew after the break and were met with little resistance from the men in blue.

Millwall, who secured their first league double over Birmingham in 19 attempts, stay 14th, while Birmingham move up a place to 19th courtesy of Bolton’s 2-0 defeat at QPR.

A jubilant Millwall boss Neil Harris said:

“He (Onyedinma) is up and down with his performances because he is young. But when he comes off the bench with 20 or 25 minutes to go that is the kind of impact I demand as a manager.

“I was a little critical of our first-half performance. The second half was much better with a really good goal and we could have had two of three more. It’s three wins in a row on the road, which isn’t bad for a team which couldn’t win away from home at the start of the season.”

While a disappointed Birmingham boss Steve Cotterill lamented:

“We didn’t play with enough zip or enthusiasm and this is what disappointed me. We didn’t play badly, but we didn’t perform anywhere near the level we have previously achieved. We looked flat and the ground was quiet with no atmosphere.

“We need to go on another good run, but it has never been plain sailing. Unfortunately it is going to be topsy-turvy for the rest of the season. It’s not nice to accept that, but we’ve been down at the bottom since day one. It is a difficult job but one I’ve got to do.”

Millwall have now broken the away day hoodoo and are almost guaranteed Championship football next term. Harris and his merry men are marching confidently.

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O’s Pick Up Draw Against Tranmere Rovers

Leyton Orient drew 1-1 in their home game against Tranmere Rovers at Brisbane Road in the National League.

A rugged dogged display from the O’s showed further proof that Justin Edinburgh’s men are going forward in the Orient transition against a Tranmere team from Birkenhead sitting on the cusp of the automatic promotional spots in 4th place. In fact a win would have seen the northern team leapfrog Wrexham into third place.

As Leyton Orient have found out the hard way the National League is a difficult league to play in and all hopes for the O’s of reaching an automatic return to the 2nd division and back into the arms of the football league had withered as early as October last year as the Londoners dreadful slump put the mockers of any early return success.

In the corresponding fixture up at Prenton Park in September Tranmere ran out 2-1 victors and the bookies made them favourites for this match too. However a calmer steely resolve is cast to the wind here at Brisbane Road since the hiring of former Tottenham player Edinburgh and he has certainly instilled a belief within the squad.

The fact that they can now start coming away from matches such as this entertaining game against a well organised Tranmere with at least a point speaks volumes for Edinburgh’s work rate and desire to get the Londoner’s back into the football league as soon as is possible. The first job was always going to keep them in the National League as they hovered far to close to comfort to the relegation positions when he took over at the back end of 2017. In fact even with this draw they are by no means out of the danger zone yet sitting an uncomfortable 6 points above the last relegation place.

This match saw a lively, good to watch, end to end encounter with two teams determined not to sit on their laurels as both teams attacked with equal gusto. Tranmere’s high placing in the league was obvious to see with some slick passing and good moves in an enthralling first half with Harris, Cook and Norwood all looking threatening on the counter attack. Meanwhile Orient held their own looking aggressive themselves coming forward and both goalkeepers had a busy afternoon.

Jake Caprice and Macauley Bonne both went close for Orient while for the away team James Norwood steered the ball just wide for Tranmere when placed well to score.

It looked set be 0-0 at the break however Ritchie Sutton headed Rovers in front from Josh Ginnelly’s corner in the 43rd minute. Then Liam Ridehalgh’s goal line clearance from Holman ensured it was 1-0 as the half time whistle blew.

Leyton Orient came out for the second half on the front foot and Holman scored his equaliser in the 52nd minute, though, following in after Scott Davies had denied Bonne.

At the other end Keeper Dean Brill kept the O’s on terms with a string of good saves and they could even have won it late on, Holman denied by defender Sutton’s brave block.

This was a respectable draw for Orient in the scheme of things and points are still needed to ensure safety. Orient have to keep alert with one eye over their shoulder as Halifax below them knocked the mornings top placed team Wrexham off of their perch with a surprise 1-1 draw over in Wales.

Elsewhere Hartlepool and Barrow’s game was called off due to a waterlogged pitch, Maidstone United picked up a decent point at Bromley and Torquay pulled off the result of the day winning 2-1 away at Maidenhead United.

Chester City, Solihull Moors and Guiseley all three in the bottom relegation places lost all by a single goal.

Next up for Leyton Orient is a game against Fylde next Saturday 17th February where a good result will be expected from the East London team.

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Warnock Frustration As Disallowed Goal Gifts Millwall A Point

Millwall and Cardiff City drew 1-1 at the New Den amid controversy following Cardiff being denied a goal late on in a battling affair in the Championship.

It was hard nosed, it was bruising and a tough match for both teams who refused to give an inch and you’d be forgiven you’d dropped into the England v Wales rugby match at Twickenham rather than Millwall and Cardiff not a million miles away in South London.

It’s still a fortress for Millwall at the New Den and this was a third home draw on the bounce although the visitors can feel aggrieved they didn’t get more from match referee Keith Stroud in front of a boisterous crowd of 13,204.

Neil Warnock was livid at the final whistle and seeing as he had spent the best part of the week ill in bed before this clash you can imagine the Cardiff City manager feeling a whole lot worse after this sickener because just as it looked as though the Bluebirds had stolen the victory, a dose of rough justice denied them victory. The Welshmen had not been pretty at all in a game about as brutal as it was entertaining, but had put themselves in a position to win this war in London.

The crucial point was when Sol Bamba had the ball in the net with 5 minutes to go and it seemed Cardiff had been rewarded for their determination and hard fought work. However, to the astonishment of an enraged Warnock, the goal was not allowed to stand with referee Keith Stroud having blown his whistle moments before the centre-back’s shot flew into the net in a penalty box scramble.

To make matters worse, the reason why there was such anger on the Bluebirds bench and among the green shirts on the pitch was that Stroud’s whistle had not been for a Cardiff infringement but for a foul on Joe Bennett. The Cardiff man had been floored by a flying challenge from Steve Morison and left high and dry on the turf, but Stroud had seemingly played advantage which the Bluebirds were about to take but Stroud then had other ideas as the whistle went and Warnock went absolutely bonkers on the touchline.

Cardiff had taken an early lead when Junior Hoilett having been chopped down ferociously in the second minute – a blueprint for much of the entire game – gained his revenge just a minute later. With Millwall’s Mahlon Romeo dithering, the winger robbed him of the ball and surged towards the penalty area and rocketed his shot into the bottom corner.

Millwall have been up against the top teams in the division of late and held their nerve against their Welsh visitors. A win for the Bluebirds could have seen them climb up to second. The early uproar wasn’t to prove to detrimental to Millwall who quickly found themselves back in the game and played some clever thoughtful football amongst some shocking fouls from both teams.

They certainly deserved the equaliser five minutes before the interval when Lee Gregory turned in Jed Wallace’s cross.

Millwall played well once again and the performance was robust and Cardiff, to their credit, did try and play the greater football, and they put up a decent fight to almost snatch a win against a side who have lost just 4 in 35 in this corner of London.

The Londoners edged a scrappy second half but were kept out by keeper Neil Etheridge, as Cardiff stayed fourth and a draw in fairness was about right. Try telling that to Neil Warnock though.

Australia international Cahill came off the bench in second-half stoppage time, but the veteran forward was unable to make an impact in his first appearance for Millwall since the 2004 FA Cup final.

Millwall manager Neil Harris said afterwards:

“We probably got away with one with the goal that was disallowed. I feel for Cardiff in some sense because they are probably on the wrong end of a decision.

“We had a very similar one at Brentford where we scored a good goal and it was pulled back, so that probably evens that one up for the season.

Feisty words from Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock:

“I think it is appalling at this level. Sol is going to shoot and then he blows. I don’t accept that. He is a really experienced referee and I feel let down. He cost us the game.

“We are fighting to get in the Premier League. But for the referee it would have been three points.”

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Looking Forward to the London Derby

Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal are locked in a battle to seemingly avoid the automatic Champions League spots. Both teams have stumbled recently when presented with the opportunity to make gains on the top four. Tottenham may consider themselves lucky to have got a result against Liverpool recently when a win was vital for their European aspirations. Can Arsenal make it successive seasons in failing to gain automatic qualification? Time will tell.

Mahrez goes to City!

Riyad Mahrez will more than likely travel to Manchester City this weekend. He is unlikely to be having a medical though. Mahrez has been on a self-imposed strike since his transfer to the Etihad fell through. Claude Puel may still take him on the bus though if only to let him see what he could have had.

This might have been a tough game for Manchester City with Mahrez playing, it will be easier without him. Expect the Midlanders to put up a great performance, but it is another win for the Sky Blues for me.

Palace could heap more misery on Everton at the weekend

Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace side have been flying of late and they are starting to pull away from the relegation places. Everton may not have fully recovered from their 5-1 demolition at the hands of Arsenal last week and Palace could prove to be another very tough test for Toffees.

Things need to get better quickly for Benitez’ Newcastle

Newcastle are like a corpse afloat right now. Dangerously close to the relegation zone and with little hope of that changing anytime soon. United may have slipped up against Tottenham but don’t expect Newcastle to begin their revival with victory over the Reds.

Arsenal run riot over awful Everton

Arsenal destroyed Everton with a stunning display that was effectively all over in the first 18 minutes. Arsenal were already 3-0 up with less than 20 minutes on the clock thanks to two goals from Aaron Ramsey and one for Koscielny.

Ramsey went on to complete his first ever hat-trick for the club and new signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also got off to a wonderful start with a classily taken goal in the 37th minute.

Southampton consign West Brom to a dark place

Southampton left the Baggies floundering at the foot of the table after a 3-2 victory at the Hawthorns. The ground was tinged with sadness anyway after the untimely death of one of its great footballing heroes, Cyrille Regis.

In many ways it was special day for Baggies fans but not special enough to get the win they need to get away from the bottom of the table. West Brom could do with a big Cyrille taking the ball from the half way line and running at defences right now. They haven’t seen any of his thunderously great goals at the Hawthorns for some time but for many the memory of his Goal of the Season winning strike against Norwich City in the 1981/82 season will never be forgotten, and probably never bettered.

Last minute drama at Anfield

Liverpool and Tottenham played out a pulsating at Anfield with some of the best action reserved for the last four minutes.

The game already looked to be heading for a draw (which would have given Liverpool the advantage in the race for the Champions League spots) when Harry Kane missed a penalty many thought should have been adjudged offside. One minute later Mohammed Saleh scored a Messi like goal at the other end to very definitely give the Reds the upper hand. Unbelievably, another disputed penalty three minutes later gave Kane the chance to make amends which he duly did. Nevertheless, Tottenham failed to make any ground on Liverpool, currently occupying third spot, and must do it all again against Arsenal at the weekend.

Eagles win Super Bowl 52

The Philadelphia Eagles defeat the New England Patriots 41-33 to win the 52nd Super Bowl at the US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis.

Tom Brady failed in his bid to take the Patriots to a record equalling sixth Super Bowl. The forty-year old legend was overshadowed by the Eagles, young Quarter-Back Nick Foles in only his second season in Pro Football. Foles became the first player in history to throw and receive a touchdown. The young substitute QB had a sensational game but it could have been very different for Philadelphia had Brady not been dispossessed with two minutes on the clock and the Patriots in play. The Eagles subsequently managed to run the clock down and claim their first ever Vince Lombardi trophy.

American Football fans will be able to see the Eagles play ‘live’ in London when they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley in October.

O’s Consign Dover Over The White Cliffs In Thriller

Leyton Orient beat Dover Athletic in a 7 goal thriller down on the Kent coast to advance in the FA Trophy with a pulsating 4-3 win.

In Orient’s first ever outing in the competition the Londoners beat Bognor Regis but looked out of sorts a couple of weeks ago. This game however was an absolute cracker and went down to the wire as excitement and fire echoed in abundance in the Kent town.

Orient had got themselves into a tiswas from leading 3-0 early in the second half to be pulled back by a defiant Dover to 3 goals apiece before there was late drama as the east London team snatched victory in the dying seconds. However the O’s almost plucked defeat from the jaws of victory until David Mooney scored a dramatic last gasp winner to destroy the hearts of all Dover fans. 

Mooney, the striker who has endured an erratic season and now shifts between playing on the park one week and sitting on the bench in regular succession had been the forgotten man this campaign as Macauley Bonne has been the man in form for the O’s but coming off the substitute’s bench and scoring the winner will boost both the fans, team and himself no end.

Dover started the match the better of the two teams and had a number of chances in the opening five minutes. The best of those chances fell to Anthony Jeffrey who picked up a loose ball 10 yards out and smashed it towards goal and Dean Brill in the Leyton Orient goal did well to save.

Orient had their first chance of the half after 12 minutes when Mitch Walker was forced into a save low down to his left. Matt Harrold found space in the box and tried to put it in the far corner but Walker kept it out.

Mitch Walker kept the teams level with a hat trick of saves after 26 minutes. His first was to his left after Lemar Reynolds made a good run and fired off a shot. From the resulting corner Walker saved twice in the goalmouth scramble and the ball was hacked clear.

With acres of space former Wolves defender George Elokobi put Orient 1-0 ahead in the 34th minute with a header from a corner. Elokobi was not picked up by a static Dover defence and easily headed home Jobi McAnuff’s ball into the box.

On the stroke of half-time Josh Passley cleared off the line as it looked certain Orient would add their second. Walker was beaten and Passley, rushing back to his own goal, cleared it from danger.

Three minutes after the break the O’s made it 2-0 when Macauley Bonne hit one into the top corner and past the diving Walker.

Then Matt Harrold appeared to put the result beyond any reasonable doubt in the 54th minute when he added Orient’s third from another corner. Harrold controlled in the box, held off his man and slotted home beautifully into the corner.

Dover fans could be forgiven for leaving and catching up with an early pint but in a frantic opening 12 minutes of the second half, Ryan Bird gave Dover a glimmer of hope when he pulled one back. Pinnock did well on the left to get his cross in and found Bird free six yards out who had a simple tap in. Put that pint on hold! 3-1 to the O’s but game back on.

Hot shot Bonne should have add a fourth for Orient after 74 minutes but he couldn’t beat Mitch Walker and it seemed to be a catalyst for the home side to prosper despite the minutes ticking by. Dover incredibly dragged themselves back into the game with two goals in the space of two minutes.

Mitch Pinnock scored the goal of the game after 81 minutes when he lobbed the Orient goalkeeper from 25 yards after Brill was stuck in no man’s land. Then Ryan Bird brought the teams level with his second of the match to the delight of the home fans when he shot well from 10 yards out.

However Mooney had the last laugh as he came on from the substitutes bench to hit it over Mitch Walker in the second minute of injury time to give Orient the winner in a classic.

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Priceless Away Win For The Lions

Two second half goals from Millwall saw them grab a super 2-0 win at Reading to see them consolidate their mid table position in the Championship.

An own goal from Reading’s Leandro Bacuna and a strike from Lee Gregory was enough to take the points home for the South Londoners as once more Millwall’s defence stood up to be counted.

As in so many games of late Millwall’s defence soaked up wave after wave of opposition pressure to hold off Reading and stay steady in 14th place in England’s second league. Reading enjoyed 62% of the possession but managed a solitary one on target attempt on the Millwall goal while the visitors managed 6. That says it all in a determined Millwall side that Neil Harris seems to have well drilled and with the bottom three all losing it ensures that the Lions are now 12 points clear of the relegation zone. Another half dozen points or so should see Championship footie at the New Den next season so Harris’s direct play football aided and abetted by a defence that have learnt to put up brick walls between themselves and goalkeeper Jordan Archer means that Millwall’s consolidation in mid table was what Harris had aimed for at the beginning of the season is almost completed.

Fair play, it’s not always pretty with some incredibly direct play up to lone striker Lee Gregory that amazes me that other Championship sides haven’t cottoned onto but i’m sure Harris will change the system for next season. This campaign was simply about staying in the league and the job is nearly done so hats off to Harris and his crew.

This defeat leaves Reading in 18th place in what has been a poor season for the Royals after such a decent season last campaign and it wasn’t just the defeat that was a problem for the Berkshire club as the home fans got frustrated as the match wore on.

Manager Jaap Stam said he was shocked to see Reading FC supporters boo defender Tyler Blackett off of the pitch as the former Manchester United man Blackett came on as an early sub. However he was withdrawn again following a sloppy performance and fans vented their fury at the 23-year-old who handed Millwall the second goal, booing him as he trudged off of the field.

The visitors had already taken the lead through a deflected Mahlon Romeo strike in a game which saw Millwall dominate Royals throughout.

Royals looked bereft of confidence throughout, despite an emphatic win over bottom club Burton Albion in midweek, as pressure mounted on boss Jaap Stam.

However the Lions started with confidence that rarely waned in a focused 90 minutes of football and Millwall were almost gifted an early present when Tiago Ilori needlessly gave the ball away and allowed Lee Gregory to charge through on goal. The defender recovered quickly however and denied Gregory the chance to shoot.

The visitors threatened again when a teasing cross from Wallace found Gregory in the middle but the shot looped high and over Vito Mannone’s crossbar with 10 minutes played.

And Neil Harris’s men thought they had taken the lead when former Reading FC academy star Jake Cooper swept home from a free-kick with 18 minutes gone, only for it to be ruled out for offside.

A tame pass back to the keeper by Bacuna nearly gifted Gregory another golden opportunity. Mannone was quick to react and cleared the danger.

Yet despite the teams going in at half time goalless in truth Millwall could have been 3 or 4 up. Millwall from the restart started up where they left off and the Royals booed off by their own fans at half looked like they were sticking their thumb in the dyke before the waters spilled forth.

And spill they did as Millwall finally took a deserved lead with 69 minutes gone when substitute Mahlon Romeo’s shot deflected off of Leandro Bacuna and sailed beyond the rooted Mannone in the Reading goal, sending the visiting supporters into la la land.

Millwall quickly doubled their lead when Blackett once again lost the ball and allowed Morison to race clear. Morison teed up Gregory in the middle to simply round Mannone and tuck the ball into the back of the net.

2-0 and game over surely and so it proved to be as Millwall picked up their second away win of 2018.

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