HARRIS: LIONS ON TOP FORM
NEIL Harris insists Millwall are currently one of the hardest sides to beat in the league after a convincing win over fellow promotion-hopefuls Scunthorpe United.
Shaun Williams converted an early spot kick after Shaun Hutchinson was brought down, despite keeper Joe Anyon getting a hand to it.
Millwall went close to a second several times, before Shane Ferguson finally tapped in Jed Wallace’s cross from close range.
And while Aiden O’Brien ended the contest with a sweet finish, Matt Crooks managed to nod in a late consolation goal.
“I thought from the first whistle the players were outstanding,” Harris said.
“They won the individual battles, won the collective battle, we picked up more second balls, won more headers, knocked them off their feet – in a fair manner, of course – but I thought we were excellent.
“We had some really, really good moments of quality and the two goals in the second half show that.
“If we are at our best we are very hard to live with. Here, it was a really, really top Millwall performance.”
Millwall got off to the perfect start when Paddy Madden conceded a penalty after just two minutes, Williams’ shot having just enough power on it to elude Anyon’s grasp.
Josh Morris twice went close from a free-kick, curling his first narrowly wide before his second was well blocked by the wall.
The Lions ought to have doubled their lead on 31 minutes, Steve Morison finding Wallace at the back post, but the winger’s effort went high and wide.
Wallace missed a sitter early in the second half, blazing over from 12 yards with the goal at his mercy after a Morison header fell at his feet. But the Lions got a deserved two-goal lead on 57 minutes, Ferguson tapping in Wallace’s cross from close range.
O’Brien got himself on the scoresheet after 68 minutes, coolly flicking Tony Craig’s teasing ball into the net to put the game to bed.
Crooks scored with the final touch of the game to spoil Tom King’s clean sheet, but it was too little, too late.
The Iron drop to fifth and Scunthorpe manager Graham Alexander said: “The overriding feeling is one of disappointment.
“Giving away a penalty in the first couple of minutes isn’t the best way to start.
“The penalty was our own doing and it gives them a head start and you don’t need to give a head start to anyone in this league.
“That was the decisive factor in the first half, then we’ve conceded a soft goal from our perspective to give them a twogoal lead.
“We need to stop those sorts of mistakes costing us the points. Sometimes we have to just be disciplined enough to not give them the opportunity.”
STAR MAN AIDEN O’BRIEN Millwall HIGH CLIMBERS: Aiden O’Brien and his Milwall teammates mob Shaun Williams after he nets the opener from the spot, inset