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Grant Hall own goal gives Millwall all three points from Middlesbrough clash

Millwall v Middlesbrough – Sky Bet Championship – The Den
(Image credit: Kirsty O’Connor)

Millwall bounced straight back from their midweek defeat to QPR with a 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough at The Den.

Gary Rowett’s men have enjoyed some fine home form in 2021 and picked up another three points thanks to an own goal from Grant Hall and an inspired performance from Jed Wallace.

The Lions were shown their first route to goal when Marcus Bettinelli scuffed his clearance to Billy Mitchell, who could not find a clean connection of his own and rolled it straight back to the keeper.

Wallace looked threatening from the offset and was about to breach the Boro defence for the first time in the 20th minute, but Marc Bola had other ideas and brought him down far enough away from goal to avoid a red card.

Less than 10 minutes later Wallace did make his way through on goal thanks to a clever flick from Mason Bennett but Bettinelli got down well to keep the shot out.

The Millwall pressure was mounting and the hosts got their rewards when Wallace carried the ball half the length of the pitch before cutting it back from the byline forcing Hall to turn it into his own net.

And just before the break Wallace did what Bennett had done for him 10 minutes earlier, putting Danny McNamara in behind, but the 22-year-old had too much time to think about scoring his first Millwall goal and skewed the effort wide in the end.

Clearly unhappy with his Boro side, Neil Warnock made three half-time changes on top of the one he had already made before the break and it was the first of those, George Saville, who forced Bartosz Bialkowski to make his first save of the match.

Saville emerged as the visitor’s biggest goal threat and had a second shot blocked in the box as the hour mark approached, with Warnock’s changes shifting the momentum in favour of Boro.

That impetus lasted right up until the 78th minute when Paddy McNair almost levelled things up following a lovely passing move on the edge of the box, but Bialkowski was positioned perfectly to beat it away.

Seconds later Millwall broke free with Scott Malone, who picked out Jon Dadi Bodvarsson on the other side of the pitch, and the Iceland international did really well to attempt a 20-yard strike as Bettinelli reached out a strong hand to keep it out.

Warnock was his usual animated self on the touchline as the game drew to a close but Boro could not muster one final attack to share the points.