Matty James snatches Bristol City a last-gasp victory at Millwall



Posted Sunday, August 13, 2023 by PA

Matty James snatches Bristol City a last-gasp victory at Millwall

Bristol City began life without Alex Scott in fine fashion as skipper Matty James smashed home in stoppage time to snatch a 1-0 victory at Millwall.

James – playing without midfield partner Scott, who was sold to Bournemouth this week for a fee that could rise to £25million – found the bottom-left corner from a long throw-in from the right to earn Nigel Pearson’s side their first victory of the Sky Bet Championship season.

The visitors, who drew against Preston last weekend, were good value for the victory and their travelling contingent celebrated behind the goal long after the final whistle.

Gary Rowett’s Millwall side were too sloppy in possession and lacked creativity.

Duncan Watmore huffed and puffed, but his energy alone was not enough. A blocked, low strike from the forward after a neat dummy from Zian Flemming was as good as it got.

This was Millwall’s first home league match of the season and so all in attendance paid their respects to late former chairman John Berylson, who died in July aged 70.

A 114-page tribute book told stories by people from across the globe of the American who took over the Lions in 2007.

The home side proudly wore T-shirts with Berylson’s face printed on the front during their warm-up and American flags were unfurled in the Dockers Stand, with wreaths laid behind each goal by the captains.

The first shot on target came from Millwall, who were unchanged from their 1-0 away victory against Middlesbrough on the opening weekend. Left-back Murray Wallace got on the end of Flemming’s cross but his header from 10 yards was straight at goalkeeper Max O’Leary.

A lovely dummy from Flemming – who boss Rowett is confident of keeping after Burnley dropped their interest in the Dutchman – opened up a chance for Watmore but his low strike from a central area was blocked.

Midfielder Joe Williams was then booked for a tackle on the counter-attacking Watmore that would have been more suited to Twickenham than the Den.

For the final 15 minutes of the first half it was all City. A trio of corners were followed by a couple of free-kicks that enabled Williams and then James to pump the ball into the hosts’ box but to no avail.

Mark Sykes, making his first start of the season, had some joy on the right wing.

The opening exchanges of the second half were sloppy, particularly from the home side, with the groans from the stands strengthened as passes went astray.

City substitute Anis Mehmeti’s strike from the left went wide but then, with a minute of stoppage time to go, James’ effort found the bottom corner to send Bristol City home with three points.

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