Connor Mahoney had a major hand in Millwall’s 2-0 win over Luton Town tonight that lifted the South Londoners to fourth in the Championship table.
The winger has not always been a guaranteed starter for the Lions since his move from AFC Bournemouth but displays like tonight will help his cause.
It was Mahoney’s corner on the stroke of half-time which Matt Smith met at the back post and the striker’s header – which looked to just be going back across goal – deflected off Martin Cranie and into the Hatters net.
But if there was debate about who Millwall’s opener was going to be awarded to, there was no such doubt for the second which wrapped up maximum points with 11 minutes to go.
Ryan Leonard did brilliantly in the build up, showing the strength to hold off Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu before sliding in Mahoney on the left of the box. The winger produced a precision low finish across Simon Sluga.
It is two straight victories for the Lions and they have Barnsley up next on Saturday at The Den as they look to be among the division’s frontrunners in the opening months of the campaign.
The victory was fully deserved by Millwall, who had the opportunities to have put the contest beyond Luton well before Mahoney put the seal on the result.
Jed Wallace put an excellent chance wide shortly after the restart while Smith headed a delicious Mahoney cross against the right upright in the 23rd minute.
Mahoney was a threat all evening for the Lions with the only blemish an air kick on a Mahlon Romeo pull-back. The former Blackburn, Birmingham and Bournemouth man also forced Sluga into a save low to his right from a stinging effort from the edge of the box.
Bart Bialkowski made a reaction stop late on to deny Cranie and prevent a nervy finish to an entertaining contest.
Rowett also handed a debut to Kenneth Zohore. The West Bromwich Albion striker, signed on loan on Friday, replaced the hard-working Mason Bennett in the 80th minute.
PICTURES: KEITH GILLARD
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