Wool­ford lev­els at the death

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Ed Lang­ford To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

MAR­TYN Wool­ford’s in­jury-time equaliser was sweeter than most for Ian Hol­loway af­ter the Mill­wall boss was the sub­ject of a num­ber of chants from Wat­ford’s trav­el­ling sup­port.

Wool­ford squeezed his late strike past Manuel Al­mu­nia in the fifth minute of added time to earn his side a richly-de­served point af­ter Al­men Abdi had given Wat­ford the lead for the sec­ond time on 86 min­utes.

Ear­lier, Lewis McGugan fired Wat­ford into a 17th-minute lead be­fore Mill­wall sub­sti­tute Steve Mori­son re­stored par­ity with a crisply-struck sec­ond-half vol­ley.

The re­sult leaves Mill­wall just a point off safety and Hol­loway has been buoyed by the im­proved per­for­mances of his squad of late, who are now un­beaten in four in their fight for sur­vival.

“I thought it was go­ing to be one of those days,” said Hol­loway. “It looked like it was over but I’m re­ally chuffed with that re­sult.

“It looked like good­night at 2-1 but the great thing about this club is that they keep fight­ing.

“I thought Wat­ford caused us prob­lems in the first half and we didn’t quite get it right but I knew we had people on the bench who could come on and give it a good go.

“We didn’t de­serve to go be­hind 2-1 in that sec­ond half so mag­nif­i­cent credit to the play­ers for cre­at­ing as many chances as we did.

“If we can put a se­quence to­gether we’ve got a chance. I need a strong set of play­ers and I think we’re grow­ing.

“I ges­tured 2-2 at the away fans at the end as they were giv­ing me stick all game. I don’t think I’ll be send­ing them a Christ­mas card.

“But I don’t care af­ter what they were call­ing me. It wasn’t nice.”

With both teams des­per­ate for a win per­haps the draw was in­evitable but the con­test it­self be­gan at a fran­tic pace.

Wat­ford’s in-form duo of McGugan and Troy Deeney linked up well and the pair com­bined to give the vis­i­tors the lead on 17 min­utes.

McGugan’s dummy al­lowed Deeney to back-heel the ball back into the path of the Wat­ford mid­fielder be­fore driv­ing home past David Forde for his tenth of the sea­son.

Mill­wall were shocked into life and should have lev­elled be­fore the break but Owen Garvan could only shoot straight at Al­mu­nia from Ste­fan Maier­hofer’s low cross.

Mill­wall fi­nally got re­ward for their in­creas­ing dom­i­nance just af­ter the hour when Mori­son volleyed home from the an­gle fol­low­ing Wool­ford’s cor­ner.

Hav­ing brought three strik­ers on, Hol­loway was push­ing for the three points and Alan Dunne was inches from a spec­tac­u­lar 25-yard win­ner be­fore be­ing de­nied by the fin­ger­tips of Al­mu­nia.

That save was only the start of the late drama as first Abdi thought he’d won the game for Wat­ford be­fore Wool­ford’s in­jury­time lev­eller.

The re­sult leaves Wat­ford seven points adrift of the play-offs and man­ager Beppe San­nino vented his frus­tra­tion at con­ced­ing so late on.

“I’m not shocked, I’m an­gry be­cause it’s hap­pened again,” said San­nino.

“It’s hap­pened many times this sea­son. If you take away all of the stop­page time from this year we could be much higher in the ta­ble.

“What’s dis­ap­point­ing is when you score so late your­selves and then don’t go on to win the game.

“It was a tough game to come and play in. Mill­wall needed the points so it was al­ways go­ing to be dif­fi­cult and we should have scored more in the first half when we were on top.

“With the play-off it’s not easy be­cause when we need to step up our per­for­mance we come up short.

“This draw leaves a big gap to the play-off so it’s dif­fi­cult.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

THUN­DER: Al­men Abdi drills in the sec­ond goal for Wat­ford LIONS’ PRIDE: Mar­tyn Wool­ford (hid­den) cel­e­brates with team­mates af­ter scor­ing the sec­ond goal for Mill­wall

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.