30 August 2013


It seems we have played Millwall every other month for the last 20-odd years.  A boring fixture that might have meant a little more if Albion had played home games at The New Den instead of Priestfield in the late 90s.  This report, from a disappointing 1-1 a couple of years ago, is especially remembered for Ryan Harley's influence on the match. After this game, his short career at Albion was effectively over - his last appearance for Albion barely 4 months after signing.

"In an increasingly homogeneous Football League, where most clubs have the same songs, stadiums and fans, Millwall are an exception, they have an identity. For good or bad they stand out, and for this reason I like Millwall away.

Many Millwall fans have argued that they are unfairly portrayed in the media, that they use Millwall as a synonym for hooliganism and sensationalise anything to do with them to suit their agenda. Whilst I believe there is a lot of truth in this, Millwall fans seem aware of their reputation and enjoy living up to it. The droning, animalistic roar, the way a section of the home support seems to constantly stare at the away end and the way the fans in the blocks near the away end rush en masse, as close they can get, to the opposing fans after a goal are all part of the fun of the New Den.

Unfortunately for reasons stated earlier a lot of other people like Millwall away. The fixture attracts a subsection of fans whose idea of fun is to bait disinterested Millwall fans from behind the safety of a fenced-off walkway, oblivious to the fact that the two sets of supporters would soon merge into one. This caused at least one Brighton fan to come unstuck on the train back to London Bridge after winding up a Millwall fan a little too much.

The game itself was a pretty even affair. Fans-favourite Ryan Harley had a penalty saved after he cleverly tried to dink his penalty straight down the middle. In the second half Craig Noone put us into the lead, finishing well from a Craig Mackail-Smith cross, before Millwall equalised with a great strike from 30 yards out.

Whilst the shot that beat Ankergen was a good one, he arguably should have done better. Conceding the goal caused him to completely lose confidence as up until that point he’d looked very assured and had made an exceptional save in the first half, but afterwards he failed to collect a couple of straightforward crosses and his kicking was inaccurate. Steve Harper was brought in to replace him after this match, which does make me sympathetic towards Casper who I thought was a relatively good keeper and his comfort with the ball at his feet is missed."

TSLR050 will be on sale at The Amex tomorrow, though we only have a handful left this month. 

No comments: