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Millwall 2 Cardiff City 1
21st Aug 2001
Welcome to Millwall!
OK, so it's only the arsing Worthington Cup, but Cardiff still managed to take 6 coachloads down to the infamous Den on a balmy late Summer evening, ably escorted by a flotilla of police riot vans and motorcycles.
It felt like we were royalty as the convoy was waved through red traffic lights in the rush hour traffic of grimy south London. Thankfully, we attracted very little adverse reaction from the Millwall faithful, apart from a fat arm spotted gesticulating from an upstairs pub window close to the ground.
Millwall, The Den: good stadium, great view, nice bar - but the bastards beat us!
The first 15 minutes saw City firmly under the cosh, with Millwall's imaginative attacking skill and midfield control reminding the Bluebirds that they're a division above us.
City held out till the 23rd minute before conceding a soft goal from Sadlier hit at close-range. City fought back during a lively first half with their efforts being rewarded just before half time when Earnshaw rounded the goalie to slot home from a tight angle.
Lovely, lovely Welsh flag at The Den
The second half saw Millwall launch a sustained attack on City's goalmouth, forcing a handball by Kavanagh in the box. The subsequent penalty was confidently driven home by Steve Claridge.
City put in the pressure as the minutes ticked away, but failed to capitalise on their chances with substitute Josh Low missing one or two good chances.
City go close in the dying minutes
Overall, there weren't many complaints about the performance: at times it was obvious that we were playing a team a division above us, but there was enough there to suggest that City are laying the foundations of a very strong team.
At the final whistle, City fans - who had put in an impressive singing performance all evening - faced the usual interminable wait as the supremely disorganised police tried to sort out the police escort to take them back to Cardiff. The London based supporters in the 1927 Club ended up having to scramble out at Greenwich once they realised that the police had lied about a promised central London drop off.