BY MAX HALL AT LOFTUS ROAD
The half-time introduction of Steve Morison for his 300th Millwall appearance roused the Lions from their lethargy but wasn’t enough to prevent a derby defeat as Neil Harris’s side were undone by a lacklustre first half and two torrid deflections that brought goals for Massimo Luongo and Ebere Eze.
With ex-Lion Eze looking up for it, and combining well with Nahki Wells in a lively opening, the former twice won free-kicks his strike partner couldn’t convert and Millwall survived a ball-to-arm moment from Jed Wallace.
Visiting keeper Ben Amos dashed off his line in the 29th minute to deny Jordan Cousins – played in one-on-one by a lovely reverse ball from Wells. But the respite was temporary, with the resulting corner played to Wells, who drove it in only for the ball to loop up off James Meredith in front of an obstructed Amos, allowing Luongo to leap and head it over the stranded goalkeeper.
And it was 2-0 within three minutes, Millwall again suffering a hideous deflection as a cross from the right reached Jake Bidwell who sent it back in to Eze, whose half volley skidded off Murray Wallace’s gusset to defeat Amos with a wicked bounce.
The half-time introduction of Morison for his landmark appearance added grit to the visitors and the former Wales international stung Joe Lumley’s palms before a 51st minute corner from Shaun Williams picked out Jake Cooper at the far post and his header came back off the bar and into Lumley’s arms via the head of the unwitting Murray Wallace.
Amos then got down well at the other end to deny Wells – as well as Bidwell’s follow-up – as Millwall were forced to leave gaps to chase the game. And Rangers almost took advantage in the 79th minute when Eze played in Luongo with a cute backheel only for Amos to block well, with Cousins’ follow-up effort charged down by Jake Cooper.
Millwall (4-4-2): Amos, McLaughlin, M Wallace, Cooper, Meredith (Elliott 79), J Wallace, Leonard, Williams, O’Brien (Skalak 74), Bradshaw (Morison 46), Gregory. Subs not used: Martin, Romeo, Webster, Karacan.