"Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight.
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more."
Walking through the large, heavy wardrobe doors, our evacuees in navy blue passed through the moth balls and fur coats into the cold opening of Narnia. The pitch was cold, and winter chill was blowing through the stadium. Walking towards the lampposts that illuminated the playing surface, the Narnians welcomed the arrival of our Sons of Adam who many had prophesised would be victorious over the Witch and return brighter days to South Bermondsey.
The Witch arrived on the side line, and the army of minions in fluorescent green followed suit to make sure that our brave heroes would not bring freedom that was theorised. In the 2nd minute, one of our saviours was sold the idea of delicious Turkish Delight, and as he was convinced to take a bite of the powdery treat, Junior Hoilett threw himself to the floor and won a foul. Mahlon Romeo just stood there as he saw the yellow card come out, and he knew the Witch's tactics were not to be trusted.
What happened in the 3rd minute showed that our Edmund Pevensie at right-back still hadn't learned his lesson, and that the Turkish Delight on offer was just too good to resist. Taking another bite and slipping as Junior Hoilett ran past him, Romeo could only watch as Hoilett found the back of the net from outside the box.
Our evacuees did not know what to do, the Witch had created an army that was powerful and had ruled over practically everyone and the story of Aslan, our inner belief that would save us, seemed to be only works of fiction. George Saville, James Meredith and Ben Marshall were trying to stir up some belief in the side, and looked like they were trying to restore a land the Narnians in the stands could be proud of, but the Witch had turned the rest of our team in navy to stone. There were no real challenges, Millwall weren't winning the second ball and the Bluebirds looked like they would be victorious.
Our Aslan seemed like he had been defeated and that this would be a painful defeat, and we would be left in a cold and weak winter forever. From the 17th minute and for four consecutive minutes, Millwall were being attacked with corner after corner after corner. Laying on the stone table, we were being ridiculed. Being tortured, shamed and humiliated, all we could do was let Cardiff attack. Aslan's mane was sheared to show the defensive animal underneath, and the knife was plunged in. Cardiff may not have scored from any of these, but they were proving too strong.
Hiding and helplessly watching in the shadows, our Narnians wept at the sight of their hero, until the seemingly impossible happened. Like the mythical Stone Table in the CS Lewis classic, there was a huge crack in the 22nd minute when Steve Morison's effort rattled the woodwork. This huge noise was followed by another gargantuan crunch which echoed around Narnia in the 28th minute, when Shaun Hutchinson's 50/50 tackle only showed one winner. Aslan had been resurrected at the surprise of the Welsh side and the Lions were now showing some belief.
The battle was on and our Sons of Adam were now inspired. The Witch's influence over all had lessened and those who had previously been turned to stone were now back awake. Lee Gregory's strike in the 38th minute came agonisingly close, but it'd be in the 40th minute where one of our attacks would draw blood. Breaking down the right hand side, Jed Wallace was found by a Steve Morison ball over the top. Wallace found Gregory who buried it into the back of the net. The Witch and her army could not believe it, as the belief they had that they would reign supreme was dwindling.
After re-grouping after 45 minutes, Mahlon Romeo had another taste of Turkish Delight a minute into the second half and nearly allowed Hoilett into space. Luckily, the rest of the Millwall backline would not be fooled and managed to get the ball away.
In the 52nd minute, the impressive Shaun Hutchinson defended bravely, using the shield that had been given to him to deflect the attacks of the Bluebirds, and although there was a spell of some clumsy defending, our inner spirit of our resurrected hero was in all of us and we managed to keep Cardiff out.
Marshall continued to inspire and had a shot pushed wide in the 55th minute, and Lee Gregory's glanced header that just flashed over in the 58th minute showed that the evil force's grasp over Narnia was being loosened.
Our Sons of Adam came close to taking the lead in the 65th minute when Jed Wallace's shot was pushed away by Neil Etheridge. The save was pushed into the path of George Saville, and although our number 23 drew his sword to try and win the battle, the Witch's army just managed to smother the ball.
As the game was heading more towards a victory for our young evacuees, Sol Bamba managed to deflate the home fans and plunge Narnia back into winter. Rising and managing to find the back of the net in the 83rd minute, the net rippled and our hearts were broken. That was until the referee blew his whistle and disallowed the goal for an earlier foul. The Witch on the side line was furious, and she wasn't much happier with the late chance and the penalty claim in the 90th minute also.
Sensing that the game needed some experience, our Professor who had shown our refugees the way through the wardrobe sent on someone who hadn't been seen for a few years. With the number 7 on his back, our Mr Tumnus trotted his faun legs onto the field to rapturous applause. It may have only been for a few minutes, but seeing our comeback kid run onto the field filled the fans with delight and belief. The final whistle sounded and the game ended 1-1.
It was a good story to read and showed fight and determination. The Witch may not have been defeated, but the winter she brought with her had been defrosted. Like this game, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is one story, but as we know, the Championship is the whole Chronicles of Narnia and in our form it may not need to go to The Final Battle.
🏆 Man of the Match 🏆
One goal and a battling performance from the Millwall number 9 shows his importance to the team. Leading from the front, he was a thorn in the side of the Cardiff back line.
💬 Fans after thought 💬
This week I check back in with Mr. Mark Barnes, a good friend of mine and a big Millwall fan. And blimey can he run fast...
Name: Mark Barnes
Favourite player this season: Shaun Hutchinson
All time favourite player: Terry Hurlock
Greatest Millwall moment: Winning at Hull to go up to the old Division on 1987
What did you think of today's game?: Strong performance, we didn’t panic after going a goal down so early on. We were dominant after their goal, but sadly tailed off after Fred came on.
What do you think of the season so far?: We look like we belong in this division what we haven’t got with funds we more than make up with attitude, hard work and a strong bond within all the team.