"When are you gonna come down?
When are you going to land?"
Neil Harris approached the centre of the stage with over 16,000 people in attendance. After a disappointing display away at Blackburn Rovers the week before, the fans were anticipating a performance that would get our toes tapping and the feel good feeling from our managerial maestro. Unfortunately, for the Millwall supporters at The Den for this concert, the ivories that our manager was playing resembled a depressing and disappointing rendition which was more Goodbye Yellow Brick Road than Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting.
Millwall were the team who started brighter and in the opening minutes had linked up nicely in the QPR half of the field, but for all the nice passing and interplay the fans saw from Jed Wallace, Matt Smith and Shane Ferguson, there was little penetration and the away side were rarely threatened. Our Rocketmen had packed their bags last night pre-flight and showed early signs that they meant business, but it was the visitors who would've taken the lead in the 16th minute if it hadn't been for a last ditch tackle from Alex Pearce in the Millwall penalty area. The crowd roared and showed we were still standing, but this would start to turn into a long afternoon for those in South London.
The action on the field quietened down and aside from a 27th minute effort from Jed Wallace for the Lions and a 35th minute chance from QPR's Eze, both chances which were both blazed over the bar, there was very little for both sets of fans to enjoy and sing along to. It was the visitors who had the final chance before half-time when the impressive Eze again twisted and turned in the 39th minute before unloading an effort goal wards, but this effort was blocked and gathered easily by Bialkowski in the Millwall goal.
The start of the second half arguably had more action than the entire opening 45 minutes and saw Jed Wallace have a good drilled effort towards the QPR goal held well by Lumley in the 47th minute of the game. Only moments later the away fans were appealing for a penalty after Hutchinson tussled in the 18-yard box with Hugill and then it was the home fans who appealed when the latter was only shown a yellow card for a late, late lunge on Jed Wallace in the 50th minute.
It was Mark Warburton's side who would break the deadlock in the 55th minute and decided to go breaking the hearts of those in Zampa Road. A counter attack from a corner saw the Hoops race to the other end of the field and resulted in Wells placing the ball past Bialkowski and into the bottom corner.
Sensing he needed to make a change and freshen things up, Neil Harris introduced our own Pinball Wizard, Tom Bradshaw to the game and the striker made an instant impact. Winning a corner in the 70th minute, Bradshaw charged down the QPR back line and kept the pressure on the Hoops defence. The corner a minute was floated in and after the ball ricocheted off of a number of bodies in the box, it landed nicely to Shaun Hutchinson who poked it home from close range.
The momentum was with Millwall and the home fans were singing their song loudly, but a moment of madness and lack of concentration in the 73rd minute saw Bialkowski miscontrol a back pass straight into the path of Wells. The forward darted into the penalty area and placed the ball into the back of an empty net in front of the travelling fans.
Millwall should have equalised in the 80th minute when a mistake in the QPR defence saw Jed Wallace race through on goal and be one-on-one with the Rangers' 'keeper, but somehow the Lions attacker missed the target altogether and placed it wide of the far post.
The final action of the game was a moment of controversy when the home fans were adamant they should have been awarded a penalty in the 87th minute. A strike from Jed Wallace in a crowded area appeared to hit a QPR arm and although there were plenty of appeals from all around The Den, the ref waved play on and the danger passed.
The final whistle sounded and the home fans showed their disapproval to the performance they had witnessed. This was a disappointing 90 minutes for Millwall and Neil Harris, but with big games in the coming weeks against Huddersfield and Leed United, the Lions need to dust themselves down and showed that the critics can't hold them forever.
Millwall: Bialkowski, McCarthy (O'Brien 88'), Hutchinson, Cooper, J. Wallace, Thompson, Matt Smith, Ferguson, Pearce (Mahoney 76'), Molumby, Bodvarsson (Bradshaw 69').
Subs not used: Steele, M. Wallace, Williams, Leonard.
Queens Park Rangers: Lumley, Kane, Cameron, Hugill, Eze, Ball, Manning, Chair (Pugh 83'), Wells (Scowen 76'), Barbet, Leistner.
Subs not used: Kelly, Matt Smith, Mlakar, Masterson, Alfa.