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Match Reports

Late Saville strikes rob Royals

Millwall deny Royals with late brace at The Den

26 September 2017

A late brace from George Saville denied the Royals anything from a Tuesday night fixture at The Den, despite Dave Edwards putting the visitors ahead with his first goal for the club.

  • Beerens forces good low save from Archer in goalless first half
  • Edwards heads Reading into the lead with a close range header
  • George Saville heads Millwall level with a looping finish
  • Saville steals victory with a deflected left-footed drive

One change was made to the eleven that started at home to Hull City at the weekend, with Tiago Ilori starting in place of the man he came on for against the Tigers, Liam Kelly. Leandro Bacuna returned to the squad to take a place on the bench in place of John Swift, Adrian Popa also came into the squad for the injured Jordan Obita, while former Royal Jake Cooper was named as a Millwall substitute.

Roy Beerens earned some early space down the left and cut a low cross into the middle where Aluko looked to muscle his way in front of a defender, but referee Andrew Madley blew his whistle to award the hosts a free kick.

At the other end, Morison won the Lions an early corner which was met by the head of Byron Webster, but his effort at goal sailed harmlessly into the palms of Vito Mannone on his goalline.

Shaun Williams tested Mannone's handling a little more when he was teed up for a shot on the edge of the area. He danced round an Edwards challenge and fired past Moore's block but it was straight at the Italian who comfortably gobbled up the low shot.

Jed Wallaced whipped in a good cross from the right and nearly found Onyedinma at the near post, but Blackett did well to slide across and make the challenge to win a goal kick. And with 23 minutes gone, Beerens was found by Van den Berg out on the left and the Dutchman cut inside and forced Jordan Archer into a good diving save low to his left.

McCleary let rip with a right-footed effort from distance that swerved wide of its target on the half hour. But a good tackle from Edwards inside the Royals box thwarted Webster soon after as the Millwall man chested it down and prepared to take aim.

As half-time neared, Aluko fed Gunter down the right and the full-back played a low ball into the middle. It flashed across goal and fell for an unmarked Beerens arriving at the back post who took a first time shot at goal, but it deflected off a Millwall defender and angled behind for a corner.

Three minutes of injury time were signalled and Gunter needed to head clear under pressure from Morison. But the teams would go in goalless at the break.

Half time | Millwall 0-0 Reading

It was a scrappy start to the second period with neither side able to find their flow. The only half chance of the opening quarter of an hour fell to Aluko who turned to capitalise on a piece of miscontrol from a Millwall defender but didn't have to time ti get a shot away before being crowded out on the edge of the box.

A neat exchange of passes allowed Aluko to win a corner on the left, and Beerens' delivery found the head of Moore but his knock down was hacked clear without Archer being troubled.

Edwards won a free kick next as the away side began to press for the breakthrough. But Aluko's delivery was headed clear with ease. The former Fulham man won a corner soon after though and from that set piece, the deadlock would be broken.

Aluko swept an inswinging corner into the box and Dave Edwards rose high to place a downward header past Archer from six yards out. His first goal in a Royals shirt. 1-0.

The home side looked to a response and Wallace got in behind down the left, pulling the ball back dangerously only for Moore to intercept it and clear the danger.

And Millwall levelled drew level with ten minutes left on the clock when a deep cross was floated into the Reading box and Saville rose to direct a header bac across Mannone and into the roof of the away team's net.

And Saville stuck a second to give Millwall a late, late lead. A hopeful ball forward was cleared to the edge of the Royals box and Saville acted fasted, slamming a left-footed drive past Mannone via a slight deflection on the way into the back of the net.

Clement and Bodvarsson were on trying to find a way back into the game late on and Beerens won a free kick that he delivered into a crowded box in injury time. It pinballed around but the Lions survived.

McShane was denied an injury time leveller by the sprawling Archer and then Edwards appealed furiously for a penalty, which was dismissed by referee Andrew Madley. And the final whistle sounded to send the Royals fans home with nothing to show for their efforts.

Full time | Millwall 2-1 Reading

Archer, McLaughlin, Meredith, Hutchinson, Williams, Onyedinma (Ferguson 84), Wallace (Cooper 89), Webster, Morison, O'Brien, Saville.   
Subs: Martin, Craig, Thompson, Tunnicliffe, Twardek.
Yellow: Wallace
Goals: Saville 80, 86

Reading: Mannone, Gunter, Blackett (Clement 87), McShane (c), Moore, Ilori, Van den Berg, Edwards, Aluko, Beerens, McCleary (Bodvarsson 81).
Subs: Jaakkola, Evans, Bacuna, Kelly, Popa.
Goals: Edwards 71

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