Date: 1st February 2014 at 8:22pm
Written by:

Silverlion’s report on Millwall 0 Reading 3

The proverbial game of two halves which was initially decided by a poor mistake from Bywater and then went downhill from there.

We started well with some good movement and action in their box. DJ looked lively and Morison had a great volley in the box which flew over. We had a lovely flowing move in which we moved the ball well across the park to create a good scoring opportunity which Feeney blasted over.

It looked an even contest but after about 15 minutes they started to come into it. Poor control from Wright set them free and they moved the ball quickly up the park to create some pressure. Then they got 3 corners in succession and started to get on top. Then Bywater made his clanger. The ball was lobbed into our box, he dropped it and their big blondy took it across the box and slammed it in. We were deflated. From an even position we were chasing the game.

The second half started brightly but they got stronger and started to cause us problems. Wright and Feeney were replaced by Easter and Martin and we huffed and puffed for a few minutes. DJ did not look comfortable playing deeper and they really started to take control. From a corner Bywater made a good save from a shot inside the box but the ball fell kindly to their defender and he smashed it home from 10 yards. Then we got desperate and took Beevers off and put Marquis on who ran around but didn’t do too much. We lost our shape, our passing and our hope by pumping long balls into their box expecting they would make a mistake or gift us a penalty but it was all in vain. Then they scored their third from a lucky bounce to their bloke from his own shot and we were staring down the barrel.

In simple terms we are work in progress whereas they are a solid, big and confident team who can knock the ball around well and do not have any weak links.

Williams looks as if he could develop into a good player. One turn, run and pass and another clever lay off with the outside of his boot showed he had class. Woolford had a better game but Feeney was poor, Wright was lightweight and DJ didn’t do enough. Morison played OK in patches, Easter looked lively but lightweight and Martin ran hard with little reward.

We need to work much harder to get our noses in front and then we might be able to move on from there. Missing early chances and lack of strength and drive in the middle cost us early on and we paid the price by being beaten by a better team over 90 minutes. Maybe it would have been oh so different if butterfingers Bywater had held on to the ball near the end of the first half and it had been 0-0 at the break. For me Forde is decisive and inspires confidence in the back four and the crowd. Bywater dithers at the vital moment and we paid the ultimate price today.
I am going to miss the next two home games so I look forward to reading somebody elses observations.