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Millwall 4-1 Huddersfield Town
Millwall brought the curtain down on a satisfactory Sky Bet Championship campaign with a resounding 4-1 thumping of Huddersfield Town at The Den.
With the Lions play-off aspirations disappointingly put to bed at Loftus Road and Huddersfield safe from relegation, barring a numerical meltdown to the tune of at least fourteen goals, the pre-match billing had taken a considerable hit as both sides concluded their respective campaigns.
Much of the pre-match confab surrounded the controversial dismissal of Terriers management duo, Danny and Nicky Cowley along with their backroom staff. Town supporters had taken to social media, largely airing their collective disgust – Elite Development Team Coach, Danny Schofield, handed the reins as the uncomfortable fallout continued.
And perhaps the visitors were still mindful of that uncertainty. Connor Mahoney skipped past a challenge, then sweetly fired his second goal of the season, left-footed beyond Terriers stopper, Joel Coleman with barely five minutes on the clock.
Having played second fiddle during the opening stages, Huddersfield came close to restoring parity. Alex Pritchard’s close-range effort was blocked, after Steve Mounie’s cushioned header had created an opening – Andy King horribly wayward after picking up the pieces.
But the visitors had found their feet, Kalan Grant supplied an empathic finish, profiting from Pritchard’s tidy toil – Millwall, all of a sudden, on the back foot.
But Millwall started the second period much as they had the first. Jake Cooper arrived to meet Mahoney’s flag-kick with a powerful header – Coleman and his backline unable to prevent the Lions reestablishing their earlier advantage.
Bartosz Białkowski brilliantly saved from Grant as Huddersfield probed for a swift response. But on the hour Millwall extended their lead further.
Substitute, Jiri Skalak, seized on some hesitant defending before cooly beating Coleman with a low strike from sixteen yards.
Millwall had the bit between their teeth. Mahoney centred, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson steadying himself, before planting the Lions fourth of the evening – it had all been so easy.
Millwall finished the season in eighth place – again, proving they are established and more than capable. No doubt, they will be amongst the challengers next time around, with boss Gary Rowett, able to place his own stamp on an already talented squad.
Millwall: Bartosz Białkowski, Murray Wallace, Shaun Hutchinson (Capt), Jake Cooper, Shaun Williams, Ben Thompson, Matt Smith (Tyler Burey 80’), Shane Ferguson (Jiri Skalak 61’), Jayson Molumby (Billy Mitchell 69’), James Brown (Hayden Muller 61’), Connor Mahoney Subs not used: Luke Steele (GK), Tom Bradshaw, Ryan Leonard, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Junior Tiensia
Booked: Ben Thompson (foul)
Goals: Connor Mahoney 5’, Jake Cooper 47’, Jiri Skalak 63’, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson 79’
Huddersfield Town: Joel Coleman, Harry Toffolo, Richard Stearman, Karlan Grant (Jaden Brown 83’), Alex Pritchard (Matty Daly 70’), Steve Mounie (Emile Smith Rowe 70’), Trevoh Chalobah, Andy King (Scott High 77’), Demeaco Duhaney, Lewis O’Brien (Capt), Aaron Rowe (Micah Obiero 46’) Subs not used: Jonas Lossl (GK), Jonathan Hogg, Chris Willock, Micah Obiero
Goals: Kalan Grant 36’
Referee: Keith Stroud
Assistants: Adrian Waters and Matt Foley
Fourth Official: Charles Breakspear