Report: Millwall 0-2 Bolton
Bolton Wanderers made it four wins and four clean sheets on the spin as goals in each half from Sammy Ameobi and David Wheater sealed victory against Millwall at the New Den.
Phil Parkinson’s men continued their fine run of form to embolden their pursuit of automatic promotion.
It was a polished display from the men in yellow who showed a solidity in defence and finesse in their finishing.
Both goals were of the highest which sent the small but vociferous travelling battalion of Wanderers fans back up north in great spirits.
Wanderers remained unchanged from the team that enjoyed the 2-0 derby day victory against Oldham Athletic at the weekend.
Former Lions’ defender Mark Beevers lined up against his former club for the first time since making the summer switch from the New Den, while Liam Trotter and James Henry were on the bench, again returning to their former club.
A timely intervention from David Wheater prevented Millwall from opening the scoring with barely a minute gone after Ben Thompson got behind the Wanderers defence.
The visitors responded immediately and some neat link-up play between Sammy Ameobi and Lawrie Wilson resulted in a corner.
Millwall failed to sufficiently clear their lines and the ball fell to Ameobi, courtesy of a Jay Spearing assist, who unleashed a stunning 25 yard left footer into the top corner. It was the on-loan forward’s second goal in Wanderers’ colours and arguably a goal of the season contender. Jordan Archer simply had no chance!
A lapse in concentration – moments after Zach Clough was shown a yellow card for dissent – almost let in Steve Morison with a bullet header, but <Mark Howard remained alert to fend away danger.
Wanderers suffered a blow when Tom Thorpe hobbled off after 27 minutes. The midfielder looked to be in agony as he was replaced by Derik Osede.
Phil Parkinson’s men were beginning to regain their composure and some smart playing involving Madine and Clough resulted in the latter forcing Archer into a fine save.
Wanderers finished the half in the ascendancy and looked great value for their lead.
Keeping their shape well, Wanderers controlled the early stages of the second half and looked solid at the back.
Clough’s pace and trickery were a constant menace and he looked a threat every time he ventured into the Lion’s den.
However, his free kick just on the hour mark from 25 yards lacked the accuracy he enjoyed in Saturday’s victory.
The travelling band of Wanderers fans who made the very long journey down from BL6 were noisy throughout and showed their immense support, often out singing their London opponents.
The hosts’ frustration at not providing any penetration resulted in Williams skewing his powerful 35-yard drive well wide of Howard’s right hand post.
The home supporters sprang into life when Derik concede a foul near the corner flag. However, the dead ball was glanced over the Wanderers crossbar, which prompted sounds of frustration from the Lions’ faithful.
Millwall were getting back into the contest slowly, but without any end product. Dogged defending ensured Howard was left untroubled.
Henry came on for Ameobi who wasn’t as effective as he had been during the first hour and the former Millwall wideman was given a less than rapturous welcome.
Lions’ manager Neil Harris made his final changes of the match when he brought on Shane Ferguson and David Worrall for Joe Martin and the impressive Fred Onyedinma.
But Wanderers had the last laugh when Wheater drilled home his first of the season from the edge of the box to double his team’s lead and seal the three points.