Millwall 1 Tranmere Rovers 0

Last updated : 17 January 2009 By Footymad Previewer
A powerful Marc Laird header ended Millwall's frustrating league form midway through the second half to hand the Lions a deserved 1-0 win over a tough and resolute Tranmere Rovers.

It was the visitors who had the better of a woeful first half with both Ben Chorley and Chris Shuker denied by a string of brilliant saves from David Forde.

The Irish keeper had kept his side in the game on ten minutes when he tipped Chorley's acrobatic volley over the bar from the edge of the box.

On 18 minutes, the keeper back-tracked well to claw out Shuker's audacious effort direct from an in-swinging corner.

It took a while for Kenny Jackett's Lions to warm up on a day of celebration for record breaking goalscorer Neil Harris.

Harris almost capped his afternoon with a trademark goal on 24 minutes.

His curling effort just left of centre caught Rovers keeper Danny Coyne off of his line but the ball whistled wide of his near-post to the striker's frustration.

The game went into the break at deadlock with neither side looking likely to change the scoreline, but Shuker got in down the left and lashed a cross into the mix that evaded former Lion Bas Savage, Ian Moore and Edrissa Sonko.

A double substitution for the hosts shifted the impetus. Debutant Izale McLeod lit up The Den with his lively performance and rattled the woodwork within five minutes.

He found space down the left on to the end of Harris' nod-down but his deflected shot hit the outside of Coyne's post.

Shuker was denied by a smart double block by Paul Robinson and then Nadjim Abdou.

But on 71 minutes, energetic midfielder Laird powered home Dave Martin's accurate cross beyond Coyne sending the home side delirious.

The Lions were denied a penalty after Abdou was scythed down by Steve Jennings but referee Roger East waived the claims away.

The game petered out with the hosts now dominant until a feisty final few minutes excited the crowd.

Moore appealed for a penalty after an innocuous dive infuriated the Lions faithful. Savage then got unnecessarily involved in the row that threatened to boil over.

But a deserved win at the final whistle for the hosts keeps the Lions in contention at the top of League One.