Chris Gwillam's report from Walsall 0-3 Millwall...After a pitch inspection around midday the Saddlers, with promotion in their sight, took on “The Lions” of Millwall FC.
Millwall kicked off the first half with the Saddlers kicking towards the Tile Choice stand and the quiet Walsall fans, who throughout the game kept silent.
The game started very controlled with Walsall taking command of the play with shots being hit but without any results.
Then in the 13th minute Millwall’s Romeo (27) slid harshly into Rico Henry (14) and received a yellow card, Walsall was awarded a free kick which resulted in a missed opportunity.
The first 15 minutes of play Walsall controlled with Millwall unable to keep up with the tempo.
A ridiculous challenge in the 31st minute brought Saddlers Sam Mantom (8) to the ground at the half way line with no caution being given to Millwall – play continued.
Millwall’s Romero hit a right footed shot in the 36th minute but on his debut Liam Roberts (23) made an excellent save, which he should be proud of and kept Walsall at a draw at half time.
1 added minute was shown on the board but was not used by either side.
Half Time score - Walsall 0 – 0 Millwall
A slight delay to the second half due to Millwall’s Abdou (26) putting on a new shirt and Saddlers Tom Bradshaw (9) removing strapping on his left leg.
Within seconds of the whistle being blown Rico Henry hit a shot from a narrow angle that sent the Millwall defence into shock as it hit the post and rebounded off Millwall’s Keeper Archer (13) and shimmered out for a corner, which once again resulted in nothing.
Then three minutes later Bradshaw went down in the middle of the park clutching his left ankle, which he had knocked in the first half. Due to this injury Bradshaw was substituted for Jordan Cook (21). For the next 10 minutes both teams played offensive football.
Then in the 60th minute Millwall passed a looping ball to their forward Gregory (9) who slotted it home into the net.
Nine minutes later Millwall’s Romeo- on his debut- hit from the right hand side of the gaol and past our young keeper.
Millwall subbed Wallace (25) for Martin (3) in the 75th minutes as well as the Saddlers substituted Adam Chambers (7) for Milan Lalkovic (15) and Kieroin Morris (18) replacing Andy Taylor (3).
Within a couple of minutes of the substitutions Millwall’s Gregory ran on the wing and slotted the ball past Roberts for a 77th minute goal.
Gregory was substituted for O’Brien (22) and Millwall’s Morrison (20) being replaced for Marquis (14) in the 87th minute. Truly and well deserved play maker Rico Henry was awarded Man of the Match.
4 minutes of added time was played but there was no way Walsall was going to score a consolation goal.
Full time score – Walsall 0 – 3 Millwall
Sean O’Driscoll quoted after the match “that the club have three good keepers and that Liam Roberts was the future of the club”.
Overall view was that the weather didn’t assist the team and that the Saddlers didn’t play to their best abilities. Attendance – 4843 (away fans – 749)