Monday, April 22, 2024

Zian Flemming scores only goal as strugglers Millwall edge past Watford

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 Mar 2024

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Zian Flemming’s early free-kick was enough for Millwall to defeat Watford 1-0 at The Den and make it two wins from two since manager Neil Harris’ return to the club.

With several of their fellow strugglers also picking up results, coming away with maximum points was imperative for the Lions as it keeps them one point clear of the Championship relegation zone.

Watford are six points clear of trouble, but after their fifth defeat in six games their form is leaving them in danger of being dragged into the increasingly congested battle against the drop.

Millwall were ahead after just three minutes when Flemming’s deflected free-kick from over 25 yards out found the bottom corner, with Watford goalkeeper Ben Hamer getting hands to it but unable to keep it out.

The visitors had a quick chance to equalise when some sloppy marking from a throw-in led to Vakoun Bayo firing a shot into the side netting.

Hamer was having an uncomfortable afternoon and almost cost the Hornets for a second time when he allowed a long ball to drift past him, but he was bailed out by Duncan Watmore’s effort from an acute angle striking the post.

Matija Sarkic was tested for the first time at the other end when the Montenegro international got down to keep hold of Yaser Asprilla’s shot.

Captain Wesley Hoedt then bent a free-kick just over for Watford, who remained behind at the break after an error-strewn first-half performance.

Needlessly giving passes away was something that also afflicted Millwall in the opening stages of the second half, leading to what was an untidy period in the game.

The Hornets forged a half-chance in the 57th minute when Jamal Lewis drove a low ball from the left that Bayo could not direct on target after attacking the near post.

Both attacks were feeding off scraps, with Millwall’s Michael Obafemi forced to improvise from a Ryan Leonard long throw as he sent an overhead kick over the bar.

Ismael Kone was brought on by Hornets boss Valerien Ismael alongside Ryan Andrews, and the former sent a long-range effort over with 15 minutes left, with his side still searching for some fluency in attack.

They were at least pushing Millwall further back, although Jake Livermore’s effort from outside the box was easily dealt with by Sarkic.

That was as close as Watford came to forcing an equaliser, despite their late pressure, as the hosts picked up three more vital points.

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