Millwall 2 Wigan 1 – Williams and Morison on target as Lions grab crucial home win

BY JAKE SANDERS

Second-half goals from Shaun Williams and Steve Morison saw Millwall climb out of the relegation zone with just their third Championship victory of the season.

 

Wigan took the lead on the stroke of half-time as Jed Wallace turned into his own net and then had a golden chance to extend their advantage, but Josh Windass missed a penalty.

 

Just a minute later Millwall scored a spot-kick themselves through Shaun Williams, before captain Steve Morison came off the bench to complete the turnaround on 82 minutes.

 

The three points was enough to move the Lions up 19th in the Championship ahead of a crucial game against Ipswich Town at The Den on Saturday.

 

Neil Harris named an unchanged starting XI for the second game in a row despite the 3-1 defeat at Reading on Saturday and it was Millwall applied all the early pressure.

 

Jake Cooper was first to test Christian Walton in the Latics goal, but his looping header was easily claimed from Ryan Leonard’s long throw.

 

The lively Wallace buzzing around on the right for the Lions and sent over a dangerous cross that narrowly avoided the onrushing Shane Ferguson and Wigan just about survived.

 

Wallace continued to be at the heart of everything good for home side. This time he pickpocketed Chey Dunkley before finding Lee Gregory on the right, but he opted to pass instead of pulling the trigger and the chance was wasted.

 

Moments later, Ferguson came close to bagging his second in as many home games, but his long-range effort was comfortably held by Walton.

 

It took the visitors 37 minutes to register their first attempt on goal and it almost ended up resulting in the opening goal, but Reece James curled wide from a 20-yard free-kick.

 

But, just seven minutes later and totally against the run of play, Wigan did take the lead. James Meredith was caught napping before conceding a cheap free-kick on the right. Paul Cook’s men took full advantage as Lee Evans’ set-piece was turned into his own net by Wallace, although he didn’t know much about it. The visitors led at half-time, although they hadn’t even registered a shot on target.

 

That mistake proved costly for Meredith as he was replaced at half-time by Aiden O’Brien, with Ferguson dropping to left-back.

 

Millwall started the second-half brightly, but it was the Latics that had the best chance to double their lead. Windass put James Vaughan clean through on goal, but the former Everton striker took a heavy touch and Ben Amos rushed off his line to bravely slide in and deny him.

 

Paul Cook’s men continued to threaten and were handed a golden chance to go 2-0 ahead as Mahlon Romeo upended Vaughan in the box. Windass took the penalty but blazed well over.

 

And incredibly, just a minute later Millwall were given one of their own as O’Brien was hauled down by James. Williams made no mistake from 12-yards, confidently side-footing into the top left-hand corner.

 

That goal lifted the crowd and Harris’ men started to take control. O’Brien was once move involved and almost made it 2-1 to the hosts, but his deflected effort landed the wrong side of the post.

 

Morison was introduced with a quarter of the game remaining and grabbed his first goal of the season 16 minutes later to end a run of 16 games without finding the net. The excellent Ferguson danced between two Wigan defenders before playing a one-two with Gregory – virtually on the by-line. The winger produced the perfect cut-back for Morison to tap home into an empty net.

 

Gregory had a chance to seal the points, but his shot was deflected over. It didn’t matter, though, as the Lions held on put some breathing space between themselves and the bottom three.

IMAGES BY BRIAN TONKS

South London News