Millwall boost play-off hopes with win over Hull

Scott Malone’s bizarre opener and Tom Bradshaw’s strike secured a 2-1 victory over the Tigers.

By Press Association Published: 18 April 2022 - 4.20pm

Scott Malone’s freakish second-half goal helped Millwall to a 2-1 win against Hull at The Den to boost their playoff hopes.

Malone made it 1-0 after 51 minutes when Richie Smallwood’s clearance rebounded off him into the net, before Tom Bradshaw doubled the lead four minutes later.

But the game was far from over as Tom Eaves scored an 86th-minute consolation to make the home fans sweat.

The result means Millwall move up to seventh while Hull remain in 19th.

The first chance fell to Millwall striker Bradshaw when Danny McNamara drove a low cross into the box from the right but despite being in space, his effort drifted off target.

The hosts could have scored again after Malone floated a delightful free-kick into the box, though it was eventually cleared.

Hull then sprung into life and Alfie Jones forced a stunning save from Bartosz Bialkowski, who got down low at his near post to deny the wandering centre-back.

Callum Elder then nearly cost Hull dearly following a calamitous back-pass to keeper Nathan Baxter.

The left-back’s weight of pass was off, but he did brilliantly to recover and stop Tyler Burey from tapping the ball into an empty net having gone round the keeper.

Malone was proving a thorn in Hull’s side and came close to grabbing the game’s first goal after drilling a low shot toward the bottom right corner to force the save of the half from Baxter.

After the break, Benik Afobe had another chance to score when the ball fell to him close to the penalty spot, but another save from Baxter kept Hull in it following the striker’s powerful shot towards the centre of goal.

The ball then went straight down the other end, and from a corner, Bialkowski was forced into another good save from Jones.

But just a minute later, Malone’s stroke of luck broke the deadlock. His awful first touch allowed Smallwood to make a tackle but in attempting to clear the ball, Hull’s skipper saw the ball crash off Malone’s shins and into the net from 20 yards.

Bradshaw was put through one-on-one with the keeper in the 55th minute and it was 2-0 as the forward scored his ninth goal in all competitions by lofting the ball over the Tigers keeper.

Afobe nearly made it 3-0 with 24 minutes remaining, showing his skill to nutmeg Jacob Greaves before whipping a shot into the side netting.

The hosts had another chance to extend their lead in the 74th minute, hitting the crossbar from Burey’s shot following some threatening deliveries into the box.

There was hope for Hull, though, as they scored through substitute Eaves after Keane Lewis-Potter’s mishit dropped perfectly for him at the far post, but it proved to be a consolation as Millwall secured a crucial three points which leave them outside the playoffs on goal difference alone.

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