Rusty Fil is still too sharp for Li­ons

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Richard Dore

PHIL PARKINSON heaped praise on Filipe Mo­rais af­ter the su­per-sub, who did not take part in pre­sea­son train­ing, struck a sweet free-kick to se­cure a draw for the Trot­ters.

In a bat­tle be­tween two of the Cham­pi­onship’s pro­moted sides there was lit­tle goal­mouth ac­tion in a timid first half, dur­ing which the vis­i­tors packed the mid­field.

But the game sprung into life af­ter the break, with Ge­orge Sav­ille’s ex­cel­lent opener can­celled out by a free-kick of real qual­ity from sec­ond-half sub­sti­tute Mo­rais.

“We’ve tried to get play­ers in the build­ing who’ve got a real point to prove and Fil typ­i­fies that,” said Parkinson.

“He wants to show ev­ery­one he can play at this level and I’m sure he can be­cause he’s got real hunger to show ev­ery­body.

“Fil’s missed the whole of pre-sea­son and he’s a key player for us. He came in Jan­uary last year and had an out­stand­ing last part of the sea­son.”

Bolton are op­er­at­ing with a thin-look­ing squad at present, but Parkinson opted to rest some play­ers from the Cup game in mid­week and was pleased with his team’s per­for­mance in south London.

“I’m de­lighted with our own per­for­mance,” he added. “Mill­wall’s a tough place to come, es­pe­cially for their first game back in the Cham­pi­onship. We al­ways knew it was go­ing to be dif­fi­cult.

“We stood strong as a team and apart from one slack mo­ment to give them the goal, some of our de­fend­ing and play­ers putting their bod­ies on the line was top class.”

The Trot­ters have won on their last two vis­its to the Den, but were un­done when the su­perb Sav­ille re­ceived a chipped pass from Li­ons tal­is­man Steve Mori­son, played a neat one-two, and prod­ded home from six yards with the sec­ond half four min­utes old.

Parkinson’s re­sponse was to send on Mo­rais, and he al­most had an in­stant im­pact when he sent in a cross from the right only for Adam Le Fon­dre to mis­di­rect the header.

The im­pact was fi­nally felt by Mill­wall on 62 min­utes when Mo­rais lined up a free-kick from 20 yards and ex­pertly stroked it into the top cor­ner, with Jor­dan Archer un­able to get within touch­ing dis­tance.

But with Mill­wall in con­trol for large pe­ri­ods of the match, as they were in the 1-0 de­feat at Not­ting­ham For­est last week, boss Neil Har­ris was left to rue missed chances.

“We were the bet­ter team, we had the most chances, got our noses in front,” he said.

“I’ve no com­plaints on the goal, it was an un­for­tu­nate one. Hutch slipped to give the foul away, if he doesn’t slip then he heads it clear and the ball doesn’t go in our net. But what a great free-kick.

“We con­trolled large parts of the game, we’ve not al­ways been threat­en­ing in and around the six-yard box.

“[Mark] Beev­ers head’s one off the line then blocks one on the line, both from Mori­son, the keeper makes a cou­ple of re­ally good saves – we looked a lot more dan­ger­ous.

“I’m disappointed not to win the game. That’s two games in a row where we’ve been the bet­ter team in this di­vi­sion and we’ve only got one point from it.

“How­ever, say­ing that, I’m re­ally pleased for my play­ers that we get our first point on the board.”

PIC­TURES: Brian Tonks

BY GE­ORGE: Ge­orge Sav­ille threads in Mill­wall’s open­ing goal

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