Derby County 0-1 Millwall: Frank Lampard’s side dealt crushing blow in bid to reach play-offs at Pride Park

20 Feb

Derby County’s play-off hopes were dealt a crushing blow as Millwall grabbed a vital 1-0 win at Pride Park.

It was the Lions’ second win in 18 away Championship matches, moving them five points above the relegation zone while Derby remain two points outside the top six.

The Millwall players celebrate victory at Pride Park

Derby could have few complaints after a desperately flat performance despite Ashley Cole making his full debut and Millwall thoroughly deserved the victory secured by Jed Wallace’s second-half strike.

Cole’s inclusion was no surprise after his performance as a second-half substitute in the FA Cup defeat at Brighton but he was one of only two changes while Millwall also made two from the weekend.

Frank Lampard had been in the same team as Millwall boss Neil Harris at Brentwood School but 12 places and 20 points separated them going into the game, although the visitors began confidently with Mahlon Romeo whipping a ball across the six-yard box.

Cole showed his experience to get across and break up an attack but Millwall were content to sit in and make it hard for Derby although Duane Holmes made a strong run down the right in the 21st minute only for Martyn Waghorn to over-run the ball.

Jed Wallace celebrates his second half strike

When Millwall conceded a free-kick 25 yards out, Harry Wilson placed the ball but could not get it over the wall and although Tom Huddlestone tried to switch play with some sweeping passes, Derby were being frustrated.

Huddlestone’s 25-yard shot was just over in the 40th minute but neither goalkeeper had been called upon in a poor first half.

Derby had a chance five minutes into the second when Fikayo Tomori’s ball put Jack Marriott in between Millwall’s central defenders but he lost his balance and scuffed the shot.

There was a scare for Derby when Wallace skimmed the bar with a cross in the 55th minute but Millwall stunned the home side with a breakaway goal in the 72nd.

Shane Ferguson released Wallace who ran into the box before driving a low shot under Kelle Roos, the first shot on target in the match.

Derby reacted with a double substitution but they needed a spark on the field as Millwall continued to play with discipline and resilience.

A free-kick in the 86th minute found its way to Richard Keogh at the back post but his ball in was cleared as Millwall’s defence held firm.

Jordan Archer punched away a corner in the first of four minutes of added time before he made his first real save to parry a Tomori header and that was Derby’s last chance as boos rang out at the final whistle.

West Ham United v Millwall: Lions boss Neil Harris wants to face London rivals in FA Cup fourth round

6 Jan

Millwall boss Neil Harris admitted he wants to face London rivals West Ham United in the FA Cup fourth round.

Harris watched on with glee as the Lions sealed a 2-1 comeback win over fellow Championship side Hull City on Sunday afternoon.

Neil Harris wants West Ham v Millwall in the next round

Subsititue Shane Ferguson came off the bench to strike twice in ten minutes to seal a memorable win after Jan Toral opened the scoring for the visitors.

With the draw for the fourth round taking place at Molineux after Wolverhampton Wanderers’ clash with Liverpool on Monday night, plenty of lower league sides are seeking out Premier League scalps.

And Harris, a legend at The Den after his distinguished playing career in south London, wants a clash with bitter rivals West Ham.

“The TV money, the prize money, that’s important for us trying to sign a player in the transfer window,” said Harris.

Ferguson celebrates his winner at The Den

“I wanted to be competitive, I wanted to win at home and now I want to draw West Ham in the next round!

“They were class goals [from Ferguson]. It’s what you expect from an international footballer. He has got the ability to do that.

“The belief hasn’t always been there with Shane but the run of games he has had and the form he has been in has been outstanding and those two goals were befitting of winning any game.

“His confidence should be sky-high, the team’s confidence should be sky-high as well. We are finding a way to win football matches.

Harris played against West Ham during his Millwall career
The London rivals have hated one another for nearly a century

“I think you saw the belief in the group – even when we were behind again – to come back and win the game.”

The bitter rivalry between the two clubs began nearly a century ago on the banks of the Thames when the Millwall shipyard broke the 1926 dockers’ strike and the outrage over the water raised tensions to tipping point.

Gang rivalries between the Kray family from the East End and The Richardson’s in the south also helped stoke the fires, with police presence heightened to absolute maximum on match days between the teams at modern-day clashes.