Millwall are now 16(SIXTEEN) games unbeaten after running out 2-0 winners at The Macron Stadium, defeating struggling Bolton Wanderers with ease. In a game where The Lions were in control for the majority of the tie, goals arrived through target-man Tom Elliott and loan signing Ben Marshall.
With Marshall also laying on the assist for Elliott’s goal; an in swinging cross into the box from deep. It was a man of the match performance from the wide man who provided the quality in a match begging for a touch of class. Zapped of confidence the home side had the early possession, but on the break through the likes of Lee Gregory and Jed Wallace we were a constant threat.
The best of the two goals was Marshall’s second half strike. Mahlon Romeo of all players the architect, running almost 80 yards before squaring to Marshall who’s finish left Alnwick in goal no chance and put the game firmly to bed.
Since arriving on loan from Wolves, Marshall has now contributed three goals and five assists in 12 appearances for the club. With form in the last five games picking up immensely, I sure hope we have some sort of a clause in place with a figure already agreed should we choose to sign the player. Every good performance always adds a few quid to a loan players price tag…
The loanee is yet to be on the loosing side for Millwall this season, whilst bringing immense quality Marshall has made the position on the left side his own. Despite not being a natural left midfielder on arrival and considered the modern day number 10 type of player, credit deservedly is due to Harris and the recruitment team for identifying Marshall as a valid option for our side.
Keeping the returning Aiden O’Brien out of the starting XI is not an easy task. However Marshall has provided a creative outlet we desperately required on the left flank. At times over relying on the direct running Jed Wallace, we now have constant threats on both side of the pitch. Whilst O’Brien is a goal poacher, you often find O’Brien lurking at the back post and providing the final touch, instead Marshall is turning up at the back stick but also laying on a load of chances for our forwards to finish.
For the second time in 12 games manager Neil Harris opted to make one change to the side, with Elliott replacing Steve Morison in the starting XI much like our trip to Hull a month ago. Grabbing a goal for himself Elliott proved what he has to offer at the club, a handful in the opposition box the forward was also impressive in defensive set pieces.
Whilst competing with Morison for his place in the team means chances come at a premium, to have the luxury of Elliott as a squad option and have him make an impact and grab a goal will please Harris. Others who don’t get a look in at the moment include the likes of Conor McLaughlin, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Shane Ferguson, Ben Thompson and even the experienced Jason Shackell.
With competition for places brings that extra percentage of performance from players and it is clearly a massive contributing factor to our unbeaten run. We now find ourselves… We now find ourselves… Who am I hiding my excitement from… WE’RE IN THE PLAY-OFF PLACES WITH FOUR GAMES TO PLAY! I truly cannot believe the performances we are being provided with since the turn of the year, the players are rewarding the fans and the fans are playing their part in their support to.
Premier League football is only a dream I can’t even begin to let myself realise just yet, however to be this close with four games left in the season is an absolute credit to the work of Neil Harris and co. Not only is he a club legend, but we now have a squad in front of us on a weekly basis that understand what it means to represent the club and what their fans stand for. On a near zero budget too, competing with clubs who can splash cash for fun.