MATCH REPORT: Millwall 1 Ipswich Town 0
Millwall v Ipswich: Ipswich Town suffered their third consecutive defeat, putting in arguably their limpest performance of the season to go down 1-0 at struggling Millwall this afternoon.
It was a fluke goal which decided it, debutant right-back Ryan Frederick’s cross looping over keeper Dean Gerken in the 40th minute, but Millwall more than deserved their first win in eight matches.
The south London side played with heart and provided all the attacking intent in what was Ian Holloway’s home debut as manager, while the Blues looked disjointed, desperately short of ideas and edgy throughout.
To cap a bad day at the office, midfielder Luke Hyam had to be stretchered off with his right leg in a brace following a full-bloodied collision with his fellow ex Northgate High School pupil Liam Trotter in the 13th minute.
Millwall dictated the tempo at the start of the match and more than deserved to be in front come the break, albeit the goal coming when Tottenham loanee Fredericks – only signed the day before the game – mis-hit a cross over Gerken and into the far corner of the goal.
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The Blues keeper was undoubtedly at fault, making no attempt to track the ball as it sailed over him.
There was a brief response from the visitors after the restart, with Tommy Smith’s thumping header from a corner cleared off the line by Lee Martin.
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McCarthy’s men were devoid of ideas though and continued to pump the ball long, a tactic which played straight into the hands of their hosts as towering centre-back Danny Shittu won everything in the air.
Millwall continued to look the more likely to score and should really have killed the game off when Martin tricked his way past two players in the box, only to blaze over the bar from eight yards out.
McCarthy subbed substitute Jay Tabb – who had looked well off the pace – and ended the match with four strikers on in the form of David McGoldrick, Daryl Murphy, Frank Nouble and Paul Taylor.
The closest Town came to snatching a leveller was when Taylor curt inside the box, but home keeper Stephen Bywater – the former Town loanee on for the injured David Forde – pulled off a good save at the near post.
Next up for the Blues is the visit of Reading to Portman Road, the Royals having thrashed Bolton 7-1 today.
– Reaction to follow.
MILLWALL (4-4-2): Forde (Bywater 44); Fredericks, Shittu (cpt), Lowry, Malone; Trotter (Abdou 69), Bailey (Wright 61), Martin; Keogh, Morison, McDonald;
Subs: Beevers, Woolford, Feeney, Marquis.
Booked: Malone (45)
IPSWICH TOWN (4-4-2): Gerken; Chambers (cpt), Berra, Smith, Cresswell; Edwards (Taylor 62), Skuse, Hyam (Tabb 13, Nouble 73), Tunnicliffe; McGoldrick, Murphy.
Subs: Loach, Mings, Hunt, Anderson.
Booked: Edwards (45), Taylor (89)
Attendance: 12,125 (1,398 away)
Referee: Eddie Ilderton