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Millwall hang on to victory at Rotherham

Millwall v Crystal Palace – Pre-Season Friendly – New Den
(Image credit: John Walton)

Millwall put in a clinical display as they kick-started their Sky Bet Championship campaign with a 1-0 win at Rotherham.

After a six-month lay-off, football was back at the New York Stadium but it was hardly a classic as few chances were created by either side and Millwall snatched the game’s best opportunity to land their first three points of the season.

The first decent opening of the game fell the way of newly-promoted Rotherham’s Freddie Ladapo but he sliced wide after Chiedozie Ogbene had picked him out from the right wing.

Scott Malone would then have felt disappointed not to test Jamal Blackman with a free-kick from just outside of the box. His strike went high and wide.

Millwall fended off a sustained period of pressure in their own half including three consecutive corners as the half petered out goalless.

The visitors needed to show more invention in the second period but their opening goal in the 50th minute was a gift from the hosts.

Michael Ihiekwe missed a simple through ball and Jed Wallace easily darted through on goal and beyond Blackman to stroke into an unguarded net.

Another opportunistic chance fell to the same player but he mishit a bouncing ball wide from the edge of the area.

Rotherham reacted well and Bartosz Bialkowski had to cling on to Angus MacDonald’s header from Ogbene’s cutback.

Rotherham manager Paul Warne made a double change to get back into the game with new signing George Hirst, son of former England international David, brought on for his debut.

Joe Mattock offered the next attacking threat from left-back, though, as his effort had Bialkowski scrambling to tip wide for a corner.

Leicester loanee Hirst then came close to a first Millers goal but his snapshot was crucially blocked.

Millwall had set up to spring on the counter-attack and Jed Wallace looked their most potent threat as he broke down the right and fired over.

Rotherham kept pushing to get level in the final 10 minutes with Millwall content to show little ambition in getting forward.

Neat play between substitute Ben Wiles and Mattock down the left led to a dangerous cross but it evaded a touch from any Rotherham attacker.

Millwall managed to see out the bulk of four minutes of stoppage time in Rotherham’s half but had one scare as Wiles’ cross had to be clawed away by Bialkowski.