Published on October 25, 2012 | by Richard Wilder

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Millwall 3-3 Birmingham

Birmingham City striker Marlon King struck a decisive hat-trick to earn his side an unlikely 3-3 draw against Millwall at the New Den. Goals from Millwall’s Chris Wood (2) and Chris Taylor on his full home League debut, ensured Millwall an impressive 3-0 lead inside the first 20 minutes, but three quick fire goals from Marlon King ensured the points were shared in this pulsating Championship clash.

Millwall scored their first goal through ex Birmingham Striker Wood, who managed to squeeze his close range header under the arms of England goalkeeper Jack Butland. This was soon followed by another close range finish from winger Taylor, who poked home scoring his first goal for the Lions in the process. Millwall’s third came courtesy of Wood again, with the striker scoring with an impressive lob over Butland. Birmingham managed to salvage a goal out of nothing on the stroke of half-time when King fired into an empty net giving Birmingham a lifeline heading into the Second Half. King quickly added to his goal with a clever finish just four minutes into the second half and he compounded the home fan’s misery scoring his and Birmingham’s third with a tidy finish from just inside the box.

The result leave’s Millwall five games unbeaten in the Championship, speaking to the clubs official website, Millwall Manager Kenny Jackett said, “Our goals against column is not good enough this season, we’ve conceded three tonight and sides don’t need many shots to score against us. You have to sustain periods of pressure where people have the ball and you’ve got to be able to soak it up. For us it’s one shot, one goal – the defending wasn’t good enough.”

The first chance of the game fell to Birmingham, when King fired a curling shot narrowly over from just outside the box. This kicked Millwall into life, and shortly after they were ahead. A huge throw into the penalty area from Winger Liam Feeney found the head of Darius Henderson, whose superb flick fell perfectly into the path of Wood, who stooped down to head past Butland from the edge of the Six yard box. Two minutes later Millwall scored again, this time courtesy of the hard working winger Taylor, who poked home into the roof of the net from close range following a deep ball into the box from Liam Trotter. Minutes later the Home fans were in dreamland, when Feeney cut down the right wing before producing a sublime cross, which eluded both Birmingham centre backs and fell kindly to the feet of Wood. Still with work to do, Wood managed to scramble the ball over Butland’s head and into the net to put the Lions 3-0 with only 20 minutes of the game gone. Wood then missed a golden opportunity to put the game to bed and claim his hat-trick when he found himself one on one with Butland, but scuffed his shot wide of the mark, much to the disbelief of the home fans. The Lions started to sit back and operate more defensively and on the stroke of halftime Birmingham clawed a goal back. A wayward shot from Leroy Lita wrong footed Millwall keeper David Forde and Marlon King was quickest to pounce, smashing the ball into the back of an empty net.

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The second half started in the same way the first half ended with Birmingham on the attack. Just four minutes in and the midlands side had reduced the deficit to 3-2 following another goal from the talented King. Scottish left back David Murphy burst forward and fired in a low cross which landed into the path of King. With his back to goal, King managed to adjust his feet and shoot on the swivel past a helpless Forde in the Millwall goal. The momentum had now clearly turned into the hands of the away team. The home fans had also started to become disgruntled and this soon started to rub off onto the players, with a clear lack of ideas and belief starting to show in their football, not helped by the hostile crowd. The equalizer came in the 63rd minute when King pounced to score his hat-trick with a neat finish into the bottom corner from just inside the area, following another low cross from left back Murphy. Birmingham continued to press for a winner with young winger Nathan Redmond produced a smart save from keeper Forde. Millwall were reeling and Birmingham looked like adding a fourth goal. Millwall managed to get back into the game and almost scored a winner when Henderson curled a free-kick a whisker wide in the final minute of normal time.  Despite a further four minutes of stoppage time that produced a flurry of corners for Millwall and a final chance for Birmingham with King firing just wide, neither side could score the winner. The game ended leaving both sides aggrieved with a draw at the final whistle and both sides still struggling at the wrong end of the table.


Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Smith (Lowry, 46mins), Abdou, Shittu, Beevers, Feeney (Keogh, 66mins), Trotter, Henderson, Wood, C.Taylor. Subs not used: M.Taylor, Osborne, N’Guessan, Malone, Wright.
Bookings: Lowry

Birmingham City: Butland, Murphy, Caldwell, Davies, Mullins, King, Morrison, Elliott, Redmond (Burke, 88mins), Lita, Robinson. Subs not used: Ambrose, Fahey, Packwood, Hancox, Diop, Doyle.
Bookings: Mullins, Elliott

Kick Off: 7.45 pm
Date:23.10.2012
Ref: M.Haywood
Att: 9,258 (away 510)

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