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By Tom Moore
, at The Den
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Championship: Millwall 2 Derby County 1
Andy Keogh was Millwall’s hero as his 76th minute goal settled a fascinating encounter with Derby County as the home side sent the perfect ‘Get Well Soon’ card to ill manager Kenny Jackett.
The Lions, with assistant Joe Gallen in charge of the team in the Welshman’s absence, had led at half time after Liam Feeney finished off a delightful team move, passing their way through the Rams defence.
But Will Hughes capitalised as the south Londoners’ defence allowed him time and space to lash a 25-yard effort home.
But it was Keogh who had the last laugh when he curled the ball home as the visitors failed to clear a corner.
Millwall started brightly Liam Trotter stung the hands of Derby goalkeeper Adam Legzdins in only the second minute, with a long-range shot with the Rams defence clearing the ball comfortably.
The Lions had another good opportunity a few minutes later as Andy Keogh’s low cross just evaded the touch of Chris Wood.
Jimmy Abdou broke down the right and Craig Bryson turned the ball behind from a powerful low cross.
The West Brom loanee headed over the bar with 19 minutes gone from Feeney’s corner.
But the Lions were ahead just after the half-hour mark in a stunning display of football, with a hint of controversy as well.
Keogh fed Wood, who in turn played a delicious ball through to Shane Lowry on the right flank.
The full back fired the ball across goal and it looked to have avoided everyone in the middle.
But Feeney was on hand at the back post to fire the ball across goal and into the net.
His joy appeared to be shortlived as the assistant referee had his flag up for offside.
Referee, Darren Drysdale who had replaced Graham Salisbury prior to the game, went over to consult his assistant and elected to award the goal.
Keogh was the one in an offside position and it is debateable that he was active although Feeney was clearly onside.
With seconds to go before half time Derby captain Richard Keogh tried the spectacular but his 35-yard effort went clean over the bar.
The Lions nearly led inside the first 90 seconds of the second half but John Brayford was on hand to deny Keogh as he was about to pull the trigger.
But with eight minutes of the second half played, Derby had the equaliser.
Will Hughes was allowed time and space to unleash a piledriver from the edge of the penalty area and it flew into the top corner, leaving Millwall stopper David Forde no chance.
The goal changed the complexion of the match in its entirety as the Rams lifted in confidence but Tottenham loanee Adam Smith embarked on a mazy run but his shot was lifted straight over the bar.
Millwall pushed for a second and Derby were indebted to their captain as Wood’s shot was deflected off the line by Keogh.
The West Brom loanee then had another chance from close range but his shot went well wide.
Scott Malone, on as a substitute for Chris Taylor, slipped his way through and James O’Connor had to be alert to prevent Keogh from shooting again, after being played through by the winger, with 15 minutes remaining.
But the Millwall striker was on the scoresheet moments later as he curled a shot home as Derby failed to clear a corner.
Derby should have had a penalty with three minutes remaining as Shittu brought down Theo Robinson but the referee turned down the appeals after Forde spilt a Michael Jacobs shot.
The Lions had the ball in the net moments later through Wood but it was instantly ruled out for a push.
Forde spilt another shot as time ran began to tick down and once again the south Londoners cleared.
The Rams laid siege to the Millwall goal but the Lions held out to claim the win and go nine games unbeaten.
Millwall: Forde, Shittu, Trotter, Lowry, Feeney, Beevers, Taylor (Malone 45), Keogh, Smith, Abdou, Wood.
Unused Substitutes: Taylor, Wright, Batt, Smith, N’Guessan, Osborne, Malone.
Derby: Legzdins, Brayford, Roberts, Bryson, Keogh, Coutts, Hendrick, Robinson, O’Connor, Hughes, Sammon (Jacobs 81).
Unused Substitutes: Deeney, Buxton, Tyson, O’Brien, Davies, Freeman.
Referee: Darren Drysdale.