Sunday, 8 January 2017

Millwall lions roar past under-powered Cherries in FA Cup 3-0

Match Report
Millwall 3 v 0 AFCB
7 January 2017
Attendance: 9471
AFCB played in their yellow kit.
Millwall may have been the underdogs in this match but the odds were far more even by the time Eddie Howe had named his starting eleven. Howe gambled that the fringe players would gel and had the quality to progress in the competition, but just like in the League Cup they failed to deliver against a hungry Millwall side in front of a home crowd that delighted in having a big day against Premier League opposition. For the Cherries it was a humbling defeat and the match did not pass without Eddie Howe commenting that some players might not be good enough for this club.

There was a complete new line up for the Cherries from the side that fell away against Arsenal. It was pleasing to see Emerson Hyndman finally making a start and to see Jordan Lee play at right back like he did against Birmingham last season in the third round. There were reappearances for Lewis Grabban, Tyrone Mings and Lys Mousset, while Eddie thought that Ibe, Surman and Pugh would have the experience to guide the side safely through the tie. 

Meanwhile, Millwall made no changes to the team that drew with AFC Wimbledon in their last match. 
11 changes was asking a lot from the AFCB players to hit the ground running.
There are more pictures on Match Day Gallery.

Match Description
The Cherries looked shaky from the start. Marc Wilson failed to mark tightly from an early throw which saw Morison get the wrong side of him, while Surman and Federici were dangling the ball in front of the Millwall forwards rather than getting rid of the ball.

Before long, Jordan Lee gave a tight ball back to Federici that gave Lee Gregory an opening and the ball span out to Steve Morison who somehow managed to fire wide when facing an open goal. That was a huge let off and surely a wake up call for AFCB - but they didn't kick into gear.

It was nervous and stuttered passing with the Cherries failing to get any rhythm to their game. They looked like a bunch of strangers and Thompson was next to shoot high and wide.

Even Marc Pugh was questioning himself when he ran out of play having made the space to put a cross in. Agains Millwall broke and Gregory was breathing down on AFCB's goal before Tyrone Mings got in the way and managed to clear. 

It was around 15 minutes before AFCB managed to get a clear shot off even if Marc Pugh shot over. Meanwhile, Mings was having a holding battle with Morison that almost led to blows until the ref spoke to both players.

Millwall were up for this. While Bournemouth won a corner and then a free kick there was no concerted pressure on Millwall's goal. It was Millwall that seemed to find in behind and while Morison and then Gregory won corners from deflected shots, it was the second of these that saw a near post header from Morison that put Millwall 1-0 up on 26 minutes.


Would we see a reaction from AFCB? Not from this team said the fan next to me. Players who you would expect to lift the team started to find passing to team-mates rather difficult. Another good chance fell to Lee Gregory having linked up well with Fred Onyedinma, who beat four AFCB players on his weaving run down the left wing, but Gregory luckily put the chance wide.

Grabban, Surman and Ibe were all making mistakes. It needed someone to get hold of the game for AFCB. This team was leader-less though. Hyndman did get in an advanced position after a short corner, but hit his shot into the side netting.

Ibe tried switching with Pugh on the opposite wing but not much was changing in terms of a goal threat. Pugh's next shot was so wild it almost went out for a throw. Thank goodness it was half time and only 1-0.
Fun and games at half time. 
Second half
Callum Wilson came on for Jordan Lee who had been perhaps giving the ball away a little too often even if he was not alone in that. Millwall were straight at the Cherries though and from the kick off they won a corner.  Federici had to make a near post save from Gregory - things were looking bleak.

Just then Pugh found Grabban and a cross was inch perfect for Lys Mousset running on to it, but he managed to head wide unopposed from six yards! Only he knows how he missed the target.

It was a glimmer of hope that disappeared completely when Millwall went up the other end with Gregory and while Federici saved the first shot from Steve Morison, there were two players ready for the tap in which was taken by Cummings on 50 minutes.

This provoked a bit of a reaction when Grabban drove a shot at goal but it just skimmed over the bar.

Millwall brought on Ferguson for O'Brien. AFCB had readjusted by putting Pugh at right back and playing Callum Wilson through the middle and Grabban on the right wing. A further change came on 56 minutes as Gosling replaced Emerson Hyndman. Gosling very soon won a free kick as Thompson was booked.

Brad Smith had a chance on the far left side of the box, but he hit his volley over instead of down towards the ground. Another build up saw Ibe drive a cross right across the box, but there was no one gambling on it. In another instance Gosling and Mousset were central and yet could not get a shot away much to the fans' frustration. Surman also picked up a booking trying to stop a Millwall breakaway.

Bournemouth were winning corners, but Archer had hardly got a crease in his short in the Millwall goal. Callum Wilson was throwing his weight about against Webster but wasn't getting on the end of anything. Shots were blocked as Gosling threw his weight in, too.

Brad Smith who had been injured from a head clash earlier was replaced by Steve Cook on 74 minutes. Pugh went back to the left wing and Steve Cook filled in at right back. Onyedinma  was then subbed for Worrall in the 75th minute.

Millwall were still coming forward with Ferguson who hit it straight at Federici. Pugh slipped in on the left wing and should have done better when he blasted a shot against the side netting.

On 84 minutes Butcher replaced the hard running Gregory. Millwall were withstanding the final Bournemouth rally. Lys Mousset was still running in behind but could not find a finish or a final ball. Four minutes of added time would see the Cherries get the ball in the net, as Pugh's shot was pushed out as far as Callum Wilson who smashed in a goal only to see the flag go up for offside.

The players were mystified, but Millwall were game for another attack and this time Morison Robbed Grabban and ran well up the right wing before finding Worral who crossed to the left and Ferguson swept the ball across Federici and into the far corner of the net to make it 3-0.
AFCB were well below par in this game.
If you gamble with team selection and leave few regulars in the side to go away to a side that is doing well in their league you kind of expect a tough afternoon. AFCB got just that and the pity was that it was written on their faces in the first five minutes of the game. Millwall didn't have to be world beaters, but they were organised and diligent in jumping on AFCB players when they overplayed the ball and lost control. It was simple for Millwall and it was a struggle to watch this Cherries side that simply were not working as one. Eddie has to change his approach to these games and leave five or six regulars in the starting line up as this was not a training match, but a cup game that led many AFCB fans annoyed at the no show at the New Den. You don't get a second chance in games like this and that is the FA Cup over for another year.
3-0 was tough to take but Millwall deserved it.
Archer, Webster, Cummings, Hutchinson, Craig, Onyedinma (Worrall 75), Thompson, Williams, O'Brien (Ferguson 53), Gregory (Butcher 84), Morison

Millwall Subs
Worrall, Romeo, Butcher, Ferguson, Abdou, Smith, King

Federici, Lee (C Wilson 45), M Wilson, Mings, Smith (S Cook 74), Surman, Hyndman (Gosling 56), Pugh, Ibe, Grabban, Mousset

Allsop, S Cook, Gosling, Wilson, L Cook, Simpson, O'Connell

Federici 4, Lee 4, M Wilson 4, Mings 6, B Smith 5, Ibe 6, Surman 4, Hyndman 5, Pugh 6, Mousset 4, Grabban 4

Referee Rating: Andy Madley 6/10 not sure if he handled the Mings and Morison handbags so well but at least the game did not get out of hand.

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