An 85th minute winner by Steven Morrison ended Millwall’s 3 year absence from the Championship, after Millwall beat Bradford 1-0 in the League 1 play-off final.
Both teams had clear cut chances to take the opening with the best chance falling to Bradford City, after a rapid counter-attack and Billy Clarks shot from inside the box getting stopped by a fantastic finger tip save by Millwall keeper, Jordan Archer.
Millwall boxed Bradford in for the first 15 minutes with crosses coming in thick and fast. However, they were unable to penetrate Bradford City’s defence. Bradford then cranked up the pressure and went on the attack but were unable to find a way through. At the break, Bradford were on top but the game was still goal less.
The second half started with Bradford searching for a goal and Millwall having to defend. Bradford were thoroughly in control but were unable to make their chances count and it would prove costly.
As the game went on, fatigue set into the Bradford City players and these conditions suited Millwall. Long balls, stretching the City defence, caused problems that Bradford couldn’t handle and a looping header by Lee Gregory to the back post was prodded in by Morison, who may have been ever so slightly offside. 5 minutes plus another 5 of injury time was not enough for Bradford City and Millwall had won the game and clinched promotion to the Championship.
Bradford were able to handle multiple crosses into the box with a towering defence of Knight-Percival and Rory McArdle. However, when Millwall worked there way into the box, after series of passes they easily found themselves in dangerous positions. This was the case with Jed Wallace who pulled his shot just wide.
Charlie Wyke, a replacement for club legend, James Hanson, has had a fantastic half season since signing in January, grabbing 7 goals and 3 assists, but didn’t get much of the ball throughout the game which was a factor in Bradford not scoring. Josh Cullen controlled the midfield for Bradford and Mark Marshall was fantastic on the left wing but couldn’t provide a cutting edge.
Millwall went through heartbreak last season losing the play off final 3-1 to Barnsley. However, they were able to get through this season. Millwall weren’t favourites by a long shot after just getting the last play off place in the last game of the season, 1 point clear of 7th place Southend. They showed their play off experience beating Scunthorpe over two legs and Bradford in the final.
Bradford City controlled the game but failed to put the ball into the net. Bradford had a fantastic league campaign conceding the joint fewest and losing the second least amount of times and this defeat would no doubt leave them dejected. However, the play offs should remain the target next year and with a few more recruits they may be able to push for the automatic places yet again.