Wigan Athletic 2 – 0 Millwall
12th March 2005
I started this match off slagging my mate for choosing to spend the afternoon drinking in the lakes whilst I dragged myself of my sick bed to watch the latest instalment in the promotion bandwagon. I ended up thinking that Ambleside wasn’t far enough away. Dull doesn’t even come close.
It’s not even worth trying to make excuses for them. For the first half of this game Millwall defended and Wigan didn’t seem to realise it. They lacked effort, inventiveness, passion half of them even looked as if they lacked an alarm clock. The only incident of note, and I really do mean the only, was Millwall’s shout for a penalty, even without the benefit of Sky pointing out to be at least 8 times since, you could tell it was a good shout. The ball definitely came off Breckin’s hand, I suppose the ref didn’t see it, or is mistakenly under the impression that there is such a thing as ‘accidental’ handball.
Hutchings has said that he and Jewell had a “quiet chat” with the boys at half time. Well it wasn’t quiet enough. Yes we were better, but there was still a distinct air of ‘any time will do’. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that Millwall must have a better side than the one they put out, they only looked threatening when that Canadian lad that can ‘chuck it a fair bit’ came on a started putting balls in the box for Millwall’s two seven foot strikers, who then proceeded to turn the situation back to non threatening.
We could already have had a penalty by the time Teale was dragged down in the box, the ref evening things up, presumably on the basis that it was an accidental wrestling incident between Roberts and the Millwall defender. If anyone deserved something out of the game it was Teale, who had picked up his form from prior to the Ipswich game. Receiving the ball wide, he cut inside and managed to tempt a tackle from their young left back as he started to accelerate past him. The Duke again did his “how foolish am I going to look when I miss one of these” rolled in penalties and we were one-nil up whilst never really looking like scoring.
With still half an hour to playing you could be forgiven for thinking that the goal would see an improvement, forgiven but not right. The game plodded along until the last 10 minutes when some decent direct football saw Roberts chasing a through ball, beating two defenders for strength and pace and putting himself one on one with their keeper. We’ve all been here before – but this time he coolly lifted the ball over the keeper for 2-0. And that was that, thank god.
I might be being over critical – but I’m not usually; it might have something to do with being ill – but I wasn’t the only one bored. This was quite possibly the least entertaining 90 minutes of the season. I only hope that they were conserving their energy for things to come. Plusses came in the contiuing form of Teale and Kavanagh looking even more like the experienced midfielder we’ve needed since Tony Dinning did his disappearing act a couple of seasons back. I’ll leave you with this thought, how come, for one of the tallest sides I’ve seen at the JJB, Millwall have a smaller central midfielder than Jimmy Bullard?
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