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Millwall 1-0 Plymouth: Cooper goal sets up nervy finale for Plymouth

Written by on April 28, 2024

Jake Cooper scored his third goal of the season

Millwall struck late to secure a narrow win over Plymouth at The Den, piling pressure on The Pilgrims at the bottom of the Championship.

Jake Cooper struck seven minutes from time to secure a fourth successive win for Neil Harris’ side.

Plymouth were left to rue missed opportunities as they lost successive league games.

They are just a point and a place above the bottom three with one game to play, and this loss has kept Huddersfield’s hopes of survival mathematically alive.

It was a nervous occasion with Plymouth looking over their shoulder, and that was reflected in the tempo of the game. Chances were at a premium, but Morgan Whittaker shot over from distance after winning the ball high after 13 minutes,

Mustapha Bundu forced Millwall goalkeeper Matija Sarkic into a save when he drove into the area and fired at his chest.

Plymouth’s pressing was paying off. Joe Edwards fed Whittaker just after the half-hour mark, and his shot was blocked away for a corner.

Millwall broke from it and Tom Bradshaw almost opened a sight of goal, but he was denied by Whittaker, before Ryan Leonard stung Michael Cooper’s palms.

Leonard was the hero at the other end, as he made a perfect challenge to stop Whittaker from going through on goal.

With 15 minutes remaining, Lewis Gibson headed agonisingly over from a corner, and as time ticked on, the pressure was on to find a winner to ease the relegation threat.

But then Cooper found the winner on 83 minutes, meeting Leonard’s cross and looping a header his namesake in the visiting goal.

Plymouth will now host play-off chasing Hull on the final day, knowing they’ll need to win to guarantee safety.

Millwall boss Neil Harris:

“I asked the players, can they perform at The Den? Everyone told us that they couldn’t when I took over, and that was my biggest challenge, and they have.

“I asked them today, when there is nothing to play for, can you go and do it of your own accord?

“Again, they did, it was important in many ways today. Plymouth got into a couple of dangerous areas, but in the second half, I thought they were very limited on that.

“We were just a really good Millwall team again, playing at The Den, we were just a really good Millwall team in probably 13 games.

“I don’t look any further back than when I arrived, it was a difficult moment when I came in and my job was to stay in the division and unite the football club. We have achieved both.”

Plymouth coach Kevin Nancekivell:

“It is another mammoth game next week, we have been here before, we are going to need everybody on our side with us.

“Our supporters have been fantastic every weekend of the season and we are going to need them more than ever on Saturday.

“We are going to need them all on Saturday if we are going to make Home Park as hostile as possible, and the lads can work as they did today and get a little bit more of an end product.

“I did not think there was much in the game, I thought we were competing, and it was end-to-end.

“They got the goal that mattered, and we could not find a finish to some of our play, so disappointed that we did not get any points but listen it is still in our hands, and we can go into the last game of the season knowing that.”

Line-ups

Millwall

Formation 4-4-2

  • 20Sarkic
  • 18Leonard
  • 6Tanganga
  • 5Cooper
  • 2McNamara
  • 11LongmanSubstituted forHutchinsonat 90+1′minutes
  • 23Saville
  • 24De NorreSubstituted forHoneymanat 85′minutes
  • 19WatmoreSubstituted forEsseat 68′minutes
  • 9BradshawSubstituted forNisbetat 68′minutes
  • 10FlemmingSubstituted forMitchellat 85′minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Hutchinson
  • 7Nisbet
  • 8Mitchell
  • 17Norton-Cuffy
  • 21Obafemi
  • 25Esse
  • 33Bialkowski
  • 39Honeyman
  • 45Harding

Plymouth

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Cooper
  • 26PhillipsSubstituted forPleguezueloat 81′minutes
  • 6Scarr
  • 17Gibson
  • 2Mumba
  • 20Randell
  • 8EdwardsSubstituted forDevineat 87′minutes
  • 22GallowaySubstituted forSorinolaat 87′minutes
  • 15BunduSubstituted forWrightat 87′minutes
  • 10Whittaker
  • 23WaineSubstituted forHardieat 70′minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Pleguezuelo
  • 9Hardie
  • 11Wright
  • 16Devine
  • 21Hazard
  • 27Forshaw
  • 29Sorinola
  • 34Roberts
  • 35Issaka
Referee:
Andy Davies
Attendance:
17,863

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Millwall 1, Plymouth Argyle 0.

  2. Second Half ends, Millwall 1, Plymouth Argyle 0.

  3. Foul by Kevin Nisbet (Millwall).

  4. Lewis Gibson (Plymouth Argyle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Offside, Plymouth Argyle. Adam Randell is caught offside.

  6. Corner, Plymouth Argyle. Conceded by Ryan Leonard.

  7. Foul by Kevin Nisbet (Millwall).

  8. Lewis Gibson (Plymouth Argyle) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Attempt missed. Adam Randell (Plymouth Argyle) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

  10. Substitution, Millwall. Shaun Hutchinson replaces Ryan Longman.

  11. Corner, Millwall. Conceded by Lewis Gibson.

  12. Attempt blocked. Romain Esse (Millwall) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Dan McNamara.

  13. Substitution, Plymouth Argyle. Callum Wright replaces Mustapha Bundu.

  14. Substitution, Plymouth Argyle. Alfie Devine replaces Joe Edwards.

  15. Substitution, Plymouth Argyle. Matthew Sorinola replaces Brendan Galloway.

  16. George Saville (Millwall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Foul by Bali Mumba (Plymouth Argyle).

  18. Foul by Romain Esse (Millwall).

  19. Joe Edwards (Plymouth Argyle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Substitution, Millwall. George Honeyman replaces Casper De Norre.

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