Millwall were beaten for the tenth time this season after losing 2-0 at home to Birmingham on Wednesday evening. An own goal from James Meredith was followed up by Michael Morrison tapping home after a corner wasn’t cleared.
Both sides came into the game on the back of disappointing results at the weekend. Millwall, held to a 1-1 draw against Bolton while, Birmingham were beaten 4-2 in the second city Derby on against Aston Villa on Sunday.
Millwall manager Neil Harris made two changes from the draw with Bolton on Saturday. Mahlon Romeo returned to the side in place of Conor McLaughlin who dropped to the bench, while Steve Morison recovered from injury to take his place alongside Lee Gregory up front.
Birmingham started the better of the two sides and broke down Millwall’s left with Mahoney he crossed for Kieftenbeld who’s touch was poor and Millwall were able to get the ball clear. Minutes later it was Mahoney again who broke down the wing but he tried to be too cleaver and lost possession when inside the box.
Birmingham made their early pressure count after 11 minutes. Che Adams has the pace to beat Shaun Hutchinson on the edge of the box, his shot comes back off the post before hitting the unfortunate James Meredith and going in to the net.
Millwall’s first attempt on goal came from a free kick. Shane Ferguson stood up from around 25 yards but saw his free kick sail over the bar. Shortly after, Jed Wallace found some space and managed to cross looking for Steve Morison but it evaded him. Shane Ferguson picked up the return but his cross was cleared as the home side struggled to get any kind of momentum.
Birmingham should have been 2-0 up on 25 minutes. Good build up play between Maghoma, Adams and Lukas Jutkiewicz. The latter had time and space in the box but failed to get his shot on target.
It went from bad to worse for the home side after half an hour. Ryan Leonard, already booked went in high on Maikel Kieftenbeld and was shown a second yellow card and given his marching orders.
This sparked Neil Harris into a change, Ryan Tunnicliffe came on to replace Shane Ferguson as Millwall went to a 4-3-2 with a midfield trio of Wallace, Tunnicliffe and Williams.
The Blues had the first chance of the second half. Maghoma crossed the ball for Jutkiewicz who’s deflected effort was kept out by Archer. Millwall then had their first shot in target in the match. Jed Wallace’s free kick was well saved by Lee Camp who then held Jake Cooper’s rebound.
With 15 minutes to go Birmingham doubled their lead. Millwall failed to deal with a corner and rebound fell to Morrison who slammed home despite Jake Cooper’s best efforts on the line.
Millwall’s tenth defeat of the season. They are nowhere near as solid as they were last season and look a shadow of the team that went on that 17 – match unbeaten run towards the end of last season. A big month this is for Millwall with some very big games coming up.
Neil Harris now has mounting injury problems. Lee Gregory and Shaun Hutchinson both forced off in the second half, will be interesting to see what the extent of those injures are.
Attention now turns to Sunday when Millwall head to Bristol City. They will need to massively improve if they are going to get anything out of it.
Their main problem is in defence. The Lions are conceding goals for fun at the moment. Both goals tonight came from poor defending. Hutchinson gets too easily beaten and Meredith is unfortunate but the defence was left too exposed.
Surly it can only improve?