Millwall give Reading reason to worry about relegation

Posted Sunday, February 04, 2018 by PA

Millwall give Reading reason to worry about relegation

Reading’s Sky Bet Championship relegation fears worsened when they were beaten 2-0 by Millwall in a scrappy contest at Madejski Stadium.

Millwall struck twice in three minutes midway through the second half with an own goal from Reading defender Leandro Bacuna and Lee Gregory’s strike.

Reading took no shots in a tepid first-half display and although they improved after the break, Millwall held firm and countered swiftly on the break.

Jaap Stam’s Reading had ended a run of eight league matches without a win with a 3-1 victory at Burton on Tuesday.

Millwall, unbeaten in five outings in all competitions, had secured a first away win of the season when edging out Leeds 4-3 at Elland Road last month.

Australia forward Tim Cahill rejoined Millwall on a short-term deal during the week but was left out by manager Neil Harris as the 38-year-old is regaining match fitness.

A cagey start saw neither side threaten until home defender Tiago Ilori carelessly gave away possession in midfield.

Gregory was gifted a free run on goal only to be stopped by a fine last-ditch tackle from Tommy Elphick, the Aston Villa loanee making his first start for Reading.

Millwall kept up the pressure and Gregory should have done better when scooping over a Jed Wallace cross from close range.

Little was seen of the Reading attack during the opening stages but Millwall goalkeeper Jordan Archer had a narrow escape when he took too long over a clearance.

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson charged it down but the ball ricocheted to safety.

Millwall were quick to reply, with home keeper Vito Mannone doing well to deny Fred Onyedinma at his near post.

The Lions thought they had taken the lead in the 18th minute from Wallace’s free-kick, when Gregory bundled it in, but the effort was ruled out for offside.

Reading at last posed a threat through Mo Barrow’s surging run along the left flank but he finished with a poor cross.

Barrow again proved Reading’s main source of danger early in the second half and, after another piece of trickery, a better cross this time was headed straight at Archer by Yann Kermorgant.

As Millwall sat back, unlike their positive first-half efforts, Reading began to gain superiority.

Barrow was involved once more, cutting inside and forcing a sprawling save from the diving Archer.

Millwall gradually settled and were rewarded in the 70th minute, though somewhat fortuitously, when substitute Mahlon Romeo’s wayward shot was diverted into his own net by Bacuna.

Three minutes later, Reading were condemned to a fourth successive home league defeat when Steve Morison fed Gregory to calmly beat Mannone from an acute angle.




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