Andy Gray’s stunning solo strike secured a sensational win at Fulham for Millwall despite the Lions being reduced to ten men midway through the second half this afternoon.
Billy Bonds’ battlers showed serious spirit to overcome a numerical disadvantage and recover from a dreadful defensive error to emerge victorious against promotion-hunting opposition at Craven Cottage. Their afternoon didn’t get off to the best start with former Tottenham defender Stuart Nethercott forced off injured after seven minutes and things went from bad to worse when Kenny Brown’s underpowered backheader for Mark Crossley was seized upon by Tony Thorpe, who rolled the simplest of finishes into an unguarded net.
But Millwall levelled just three minutes into the second half when former Arsenal trainee Paul Shaw fired home his tenth goal of the season from twenty yards after being teed up by Gray. It looked as if Fulham, who had passed up several chances to go back in front, had the perfect opportunity to reignite their floundering promotion push when Tony Witter, who had replaced Nethercott, was shown a second yellow card on the hour but Millwall continued to defend diligently and Gray raced 70 yards with the ball before unleashing an unstoppable effort into the top corner to score a sensational first goal of his injury-hit campaign.
Fulham laid siege the Millwall goal in a frenetic final ten minutes but Welsh goalkeeper Crossley denied his international team-mate Trollope before making a magnificent reaction save to keep out Peschisolido’s volley as Fulham’s bid for a successive successive promotion suffered a serious setback.
FULHAM (4-4-2): Taylor; Morgan, Lawrence, Blake (Freeman 67), Coleman; Bracewell, Hayward, Smith, Trollope; Peschisolido, Thorpe. Subs (not used): McAnespie, Carpenter.
GOAL: Thorpe (23).
MILLWALL (4-3-3): Crossley; Brown, Ryan, Fitzgerald, Nethercott (Witter 7); Bowry, Gray, Newman; Hockton (Doyle 64), Shaw, Grant (Allen 87).
BOOKED: Witter, Gray, Brown.
SENT OFF: Witter.
GOALS: Shaw (48), Gray (77).
REFEREE: Mick Pierce (Portsmouth).