Bolton Manager, Phil Parkinson who on two previous occasions with different clubs, warned his players that they were to make sure they did not “bottle it” after crossing the white line. He was aware that our crowd could intimidate the players if they went a goal down early stages. This was the night that three former Millwall players were part of the Bolton squad, Mark Beevers who left the Den in the summer, Liam Trotter, and James Henry.
From the start of the game, the way Bolton played, you knew there would be no “bottle jobs” on their part.
Their back four looked solid from the start. With Mark Beevers and David Wheater as the central defenders and they are the best I have seen this season. They were rock solid all night.
Zack Clough and Jay Spearing, the former Liverpool player, were their best midfield players. Clough when in possession of the ball was always looking to launch an attack. Spearing was their playmaker in midfield.
The Lions battled well. After three minutes, Millwall was a goal down and after some neat inter-passing; Sammy Ameobi took a shot from outside the box which was not powerful enough.
For me, the Lions’ keeper, Archer was responsible for the goal. Somehow the ball went through his hands and then for reasons best known to him, he started to blame the defenders. Lions’ fullbacks, Martin and Romeo were going down the line and putting in crosses for Morison and Gregory to get on the end of but they were cut out by both Beevers and Wheater.
In the second half it was much the same again, Lions’ forward, Onyedinma was busy! He was having his best game I have seen but it was difficult for him, to say the least, to make any great headway.
Though it was not long until the Lions went route one! Both Gregory and Morison were well marshalled always, surrounded by two men.
The only decent chance Millwall had been when Thompson had a shot at the goal. It went through a crowd of players only to be cleared off the line.
Millwall Boss Harris made three substitutions but all to no avail.
Then with four minutes left, Bolton had a corner! It was taken; it was cleared, and the ball ended up at the feet of Wheater who with a low volley sent it directly into the left-hand corner – thus it was 2 – 0 and game over.
It has to be said that the Bolton Keeper never a real save of any consequence to make. Lions’ fans were complaining and rightly so!
It was route one football and if that is not bad enough there seems to be no Plan B.
Unless fortunes change pretty quickly, instead of it being a promotion campaign, it could end up being a struggle to avoid the drop into a division which we have not been in for over 50 years.
Millwall Line up: Archer, Romeo, Webster, Craig, Martin, Thompson, Williams, Butcher, Onyedinma, Gregory, Morison
Millwall Subs: O’Brien for Thompson, Worrall for Onyedinma, Ferguson for Martin
Bolton Line up: Howard, Taylor, Beevers, Wheater, Wilson, Clough, Spearing, Thorpe, Ameobi, Vela, Madine
Bolton Subs: Osede for Thorpe, Henry for Ameobi, Proctor for Clough