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By Tom Moore, at The Den
Saturday, October 6, 2012
Championship: Millwall 2 Bolton 1
Darius Henderson’s 90th minute strike gave Millwall a dramatic win over Bolton Wanderers.
The striker had given the Lions a half-time lead with a deflected shot, Chris Eagles levelled the scores with a free-kick that went through the home side’s wall.
However, the former Manchester United man missed a penalty on the hour mark and it gave Millwall new life.
And they claimed the victory when Henderson fired home from just inside the penalty area.
The game sprang into life after five minutes as Bolton full back Tyrone Mears caused Millwall problems down the right wing and his cross fell to the feet of Keith Andrews but he fired wide.
The Lions roared back down the other end and James Henry tried to find Chris Wood just in front of goal but the ball was scrambled behind for a corner by Matt Mills.
From the set piece the home side had the ball in the net through Danny Shittu but referee, Gavin Ward, ruled it out for a foul on Bolton keeper Adam Bogdan.
Lions striker Darius Henderson took advantage of some slack defending from Mills to fire a cross in but the Trotters stopper was smothered the ball to deny Henry a tap-in.
The defender made up for it moments later with a sliding tackle to prevent Henry from running on goal.
Millwall took the lead after 18 minutes and manager Owen Coyle would not be happy with his defence.
Scott Malone’s cross was poorly dealt with by Mills allowing Henderson time and space on the edge of the area to fire a shot in.
The ball took a slight deflection but left the Hungarian stopper helpless and the striker had his third goal in three games.
Bolton had a good chance when Mark Davies was allowed the freedom of the Lions defence and Kevin Davies saw his bullet shot deflect wide off the head of Jack Smith.
The Lions had a great chance to double their lead 10 minutes before half time when Scott Malone had time and space in the penalty area but he fired well wide.
The Trotters were then awarded a free kick in a dangerous area when Shittu tripped Andrews but Mears fired the shot, from 20 yards out, comfortably over the bar.
But moments later the Lions could have had a half-time cushion when Wood headed wide from Henry’s pin-point cross.
The Trotters went straight down the other and Millwall keeper David Forde had to be alert to tip Chris Eagles’ powerful shot over the bar.
Sheffield Wednesday loanee Mark Beevers fouled David Ngog down the right-hand-side but there was no danger as the former Liverpool man headed over from the resulting free-kick.
With less than two and a half minutes of the second half gone Henry burst down the right and produced a pearler of a cross from the byline. Wood rose highest but his header was brilliantly blocked by Bogdan.
That save proved crucial as Bolton found themselves on level terms from their next attack.
Liam Trotter brought down Mark Davies and Eagles fired his free-kick under the Millwall wall and beneath the unsighted Forde.
The Lions felt that they should have been awarded a penalty when Ngog appeared to pull down Trotter but the referee saw differently.
Bolton charged down the other end and Kevin Davies’ cross was nearly turned in at the back post by Eagles with Forde struggling to get there.
Trotter was still angry about the penalty incident and talked his way into a yellow card and the referee awarded Bolton a free kick for dissent.
The visitors felt they should have had a penalty when Eagles went down under the challenge of Shittu but the appeal was declined.
But just after the hour mark the Trotters were awarded a spot-kick when Eagles was felled by Alan Dunne.
The former Manchester United man stepped up to take the penalty but he blasted the penalty over the bar and nearly into the upper tier much to the delight of the home fans.
The home side went down the other end and Henderson brought out a stunning save from Bogdan from his 25-yard free-kick.
Eagles, who had proven himself to be public enemy number one at The Den, went into the book for a rash challenge on substitute Chris Taylor.
Darren Pratley brought down Trotter and from Smith’s free-kick, Beevers’ header was gathered by Bogdan.
But Millwall were not to be denied and substitute Andy Keogh fed Henderson, who turned and shot to hand the Lions victory in the final minute of normal time.
And although Forde came and missed a ball pumped into the box, the Lions saw out five nervous minutes of additional time to claim the three points going into the international break.
Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Smith, Shittu, Beevers, Henry (Taylor 73), Malone (Batt 84), Abdou, Trotter, Henderson, Wood (Keogh 73).
Substitutes: Taylor, Wright, Racon, Mkandawire.
Bolton: Bogdan, Mears, Warnock, Mills, Knight, M. Davies, Eagles, Spearing (Lee 90), Andrews (Pratley 79), K. Davies, Ngog (Afobe 70).
Substitutes: Lonergan, Ream, Ricketts, Sordell.
Referee: Gavin Ward.