Olly dances to Great Es­cape

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Robert Hor­gan

Mar­tyn Wool­ford cel­e­brates his win­ner for Mill­wall against Bournemouth that guar­an­teed the Li­ons safety

IAN Hol­loway says re­tain­ing Mill­wall’s Cham­pi­onship sta­tus is the great­est achieve­ment in the club’s his­tory af­ter they saw off Bournemouth.

The Li­ons knew a vic­tory at the Den would be good enough to beat the drop and Mar­tyn Wool­ford’s first-half header made sure they steered clear of any dan­ger with score­lines chang­ing else­where.

De­feat to Birm­ing­ham at the end of March put them bot­tom, scrap­ping for their Cham­pi­onship lives af­ter a four-year stint.

But hav­ing seen their for­tunes change for the bet­ter dur­ing an ex­cit­ing cli­max, Hol­loway be­lieves the fu­ture is now bright for Mill­wall, given the at­ti­tude his play­ers have dis­played.

“I think as a club it’s our great­est achieve­ment. Ev­ery­body’s been hon­est and hard-work­ing,” said Hol­loway, who cel­e­brated his side’s sur­vival by danc­ing on the pitch af­ter the fi­nal whis­tle.

“Af­ter Birm­ing­ham and Black­burn Rovers we could have just ca­pit­u­lated but it’s typ­i­cal of this place to drag it from the boot­straps.

“To see this ground and the en­ergy and en­thu­si­asm in­side it is what made me want to come here. I’m pleased for every sin­gle Mill­wall sup­porter and I’m re­ally proud.

“It’s all about want­ing to be here, and want­ing to play here and show­ing pas­sion and want­ing to play the way that I want. “I want to build this place in to what I know it can be. I’ve got some things al­ready worked out to show the board be­cause I re­ally want to grow the club.

“The set-up un­der­neath is al­ready fan­tas­tic, we’ve got five or six young kids that I can’t wait to work with so I’m go­ing to dis­sect what we’ve al­ready got to work with.”

Wool­ford had the game’s first sight of goal on eight min­utes, latch­ing on to a Car­los Ed­wards long throw, but Lee Camp re­acted well at his near post.

Mill­wall came closer still on 22 min­utes when Ste­fan Maier­hofer’s flick-on to reach Steve Mori­son, but the striker’s thump­ing half-vol­ley can­noned back off the bar.

Tokelo Rantie then brought a good save out of David Forde, but the dead­lock was bro­ken at the other end on the half-hour when Wool­ford headed Owen Gar­van’s cross past the out­stretched Lee Camp.

Af­ter the break, half-time sub­sti­tute Shaun MacDon­ald tested Forde with a low header ten yards out, be­fore an over-hit cross from Simon Fran­cis al­most caught the Mill­wall keeper out but it sailed over.

Simeon Jack­son spurred two glo­ri­ous chances chances by shoot­ing wide with just the keeper to beat and a search­ing Gar­van free-kick came back off the post, while Forde de­nied Rantie at the death.

Bournemouth boss Ed­die Howe said: “I thought it was a game of poor qual­ity from both sides but I think that’s to be ex­pected with the cir­cum­stances that Mill­wall were play­ing un­der.

“I think we got caught up in the at­mos­phere, I don’t feel that we played to our usual level or to the level that we have shown in re­cent weeks.

“It was a very fast-paced game, there was very lit­tle time for any­one to show any com­po­sure on the ball.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

SUR­VIVAL: Li­ons hero Mar­tyn Wool­ford scores the win­ning goal to en­sure their Cham­pi­onship sta­tus

RELIEF: Ian Hol­loway

af­ter the game

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