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  • By Christian Mayes

Super subs Cresswell and Afobe seal Millwall’s first win in 4 with a 2-0 win against Cardiff

By Christian Mayes at The Den

Goals from substitutes Charlie Cresswell and Benik Afobe proved the difference in an otherwise even contest at the Den as hosts Millwall ended their poor run of form with a 2-0 win against Cardiff.

Cresswell, on in place of the injured Millwall captain Shaun Hutchinson, rose above the Cardiff defence in a crowded 6-yard box to head the home side in front from an in-swinging corner taken by Scott Malone after 63 minutes.

Following the goal, the Lions looked to conserve their lead and were helped by a smart save from Bartosz Bialkowski, who got down quickly to his right to deny an effort from Cardiff’s Niels Nkounkou after 77 minutes.

Benik Afobe sealed the points in the 90th minute by cutting inside from the right and firing into the roof of the Cardiff net with his left foot.

After good starts to the season, both sides came into the game struggling for form with Millwall losing each of their last three games, while the visitors were winless in their last four.

Cardiff right back Mahlon Romeo, who signed from Millwall over the summer, ignited the contest with a crunching challenge on Callum Styles in the 53rd minute which resulted in a yellow card. The tackle added some bite into the game with both teams upping their physicality after the challenge.

Bluebirds substitute Mark Harris, brought on by Steve Morison at half-time, hit the post with a powerful effort from outside the box that left Bialkowski helpless midway through the second half.

Cardiff had the first real chance of the game after 13 minutes when Jaden Philogene headed just past the post from an Andy Rinomhota cross. The Villa loanee caused problems for the Lions defence throughout the first half, almost scoring after 36 minutes, this time a curled right footed effort being placed on the wrong side of the post.

Millwall had chances of their own in the first half, when a left footed effort from Zian Flemming flew past the far post following good build-up play on the left-hand side involving debutant Styles. The chance spurred the hosts into upping the tempo, with deadline day signing Styles creating a number of chances before the break in an impressive debut performance.

Styles had an opportunity to open the scoring in the 35th minute, with the ball falling nicely to him after a corner, only for his effort from just outside the box to go over the bar.

Cardiff’s Sheyi Ojo then hit the post with the best chance before the break from inside the 6-yard box in the 40th minute.

Former Millwall player and current Cardiff manager Steve Morison brought on new signing Callum Robinson and Mark Harris at half-time in a refresh of the Welsh side’s attack.

Of concern to Millwall manager Gary Rowett will be the availability of captain Shaun Hutchinson, who limped off after 48 minutes after going down off the ball.

Millwall face Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in their next league fixture on Saturday.

MILLWALL: Bialkowski; Wallace, Hutchinson (Cresswell 48’), Cooper; Saville (Malone 62’), Mitchell, Shackleton, Styles; Flemming (Honeyman 89’), Bradshaw (Burey 62’), Voglsammer (Afobe 62’).

UNUSED SUBS: Long, McNamara.

CARDIFF: Allsop; Romeo, Kipre, Ng, Nkounkou, Wintle, Rinomhota, Sawyers (Ralls 69’), Ojo (Harris 45’), Philogene (Whyte 69’), Watters (Robinson 45’).

UNUSED SUBS: Alnwick, Sang, Simpson.



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