The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Sam Tobin

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

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