REPORT | ARGYLE 0 MILLWALL 2
Two second-half goals, one in the dying seconds, condemned Argyle to their first home league defeat of the Sky Bet Championship season.
The Greens dominated the game for an hour, creating numerous chances, but were hit by a suckerpunch from Zian Flemming.
Despite toiling to the end, George Saville had the final word for Millwall.
Argyle boss Steven Schumacher made two changes from the weekend draw at Hull City to take on a Millwall side looking for a response after their 3-0 defeat at home to Swansea on Saturday.
Kaine Kesler-Hayden and Mickel Miller returned to the team in place of Joe Edwards and Macaulay Gillesphey, and the Greens tested Millwall from an early corner, Morgan Whittaker forcing a decent save from Bartosz Bialkowski with a stinging drive before Adam Randell lashed the rebound narrowly wide.
The positive momentum continued for the Pilgrims and Whittaker, again, was driving into difficult areas for the Millwall defence. Ryan Hardie then stretched the Lions with a surging run into the channel, picking out Finn Azaz with a delicious pass but the shot was just off radar.
Whittaker’s next trick was a sublime touch for Kesler-Hayden to burst into the box and force another fine stop from the experienced Bialkowski. Argyle were turning the screw, Bali Mumba flashing a shot wide after good play from the lively trio of Whittaker, Azaz and Randell.
Hardie and Azaz were a constant menace but the frustration was understandably growing as rewards for their efforts continued to prove elusive. Millwall, meanwhile, began to show their threat with a Flemming shot blocked by the Green wall.
On 44 minutes, the whole stadium paused for a minute’s applause in honour of Argyle supporter Ian ‘Bomber’ Harris, who sadly passed away on the weekend. Thank-you to the players and supporters of Millwall for joining us in this moment of football solidarity.
Rest in Peace, Bomber.
One final save, denying Whittaker from a free-kick, ended the first period. Dan Scarr restarted the game with a terrific block tackle on Duncan Watmore before Whittaker’s cross just evaded the forward runners.
Yet another Whittaker effort was tipped over the bar but the balance then swung in favour of the Lions. Flemming was the scorer for the visitors, running on to a Watmore pass before a neat chip over the advancing Conor Hazard.
Randell and Miller were replaced by Luke Cundle and Mustapha Bundu, as Argyle tried to rediscover their previous attacking impetus but the fluency wasn’t quite the same. Hardie and Azaz did combine with one clever move but a slip from the number nine rescued Millwall.
Mumba kept Bialkowski honest in the closing stages, as Matt Butcher replaced Whittaker. The siege was on in the closing stages, Ben Waine and Tyreik Wright introduced for Mumba and Julioe Pleguezuelo but Millwall held firm.
The Lions then had the final word, Saville sealing the points in the final seconds.
Argyle: 21 Conor Hazard, 2 Bali Mumba (19 Tyreik Wright 90), 4 Jordan Houghton (capt), 5 Julio Pleguezuelo (23 Ben Waine 90), 6 Dan Scarr, 9 Ryan Hardie, 10 Morgan Whittaker (7 Matt Butcher 82), 14 Mickel Miller (28 Luke Cundle 72), 18 Finn Azaz, 20 Adam Randell (15 Mustapha Bundu 72), 29 Kaine Kesler-Hayden. Substitutes: 25 Callum Burton (gk), 3 Macaulay Gillesphey, 8 Joe Edwards, 16 Lewis Warrington.
Booked: Miller 30, Pleguezuelo 63
Millwall: 33 Bartosz Bialkowski, 2 Danny McNamara (3 Murray Wallace 86), 5 Jake Cooper (capt), 7 Kevin Nisbet (8 Billy Mitchell 90), 10 Zian Flemming, 14 Allan Campbell, 15 Joe Bryan (17 Brooke Norton-Cuffy 86), 18 Ryan Leonard, 19 Duncan Watmore (25 Romain Esse 75), 24 Casper de Norre (23 George Saville 90), 45 Wes Harding. Substitutes: 27 Connal Trueman (gk), 11 Ryan Longman, 22 Aidomo Emakhu, 39 George Honeyman.
Booked: McNamara 53, Campbell 53, Cooper 55, Leonard 88
Referee: Oliver Langford
Attendance: 15,891 (612 away)