Millwall ended their season in style by thrashing Huddersfield Town 4-1 at The Den on Wednesday evening.
It was a game that was effectively a dead rubber for both sides with the Lions out of the Championship play-off race and only a massive goal swing would see Huddersfield dragged into the relegation scrap at the bottom of the table.
The Lions put the disappointment of missing out on the top six behind them as Connor Mahoney opened the scoring with a fine individual effort.
He was on hand to assist twice more.
Firstly, it would be his corner which Jake Cooper headed home at the start of the second half. The former Birmingham man got his second assist of the night as he crossed for Jon Dadi Bodvarsson to make it 4-1 after Jiri Skalak had added a third on 64 minutes.
Gary Rowett made seven changes to the side that lost 4-3 at QPR on Saturday – a result which ended Millwall’s play-off hopes.
Alex Pearce, Mahlon Romeo, Ryan Woods and Jed Wallace were all missing from the matchday squad.
James Brown made his first league start at right-back. Murray Wallace returned along with Shaun Williams, Ben Thompson, Jayson Molumby, Connor Mahoney and Matt Smith.
Ryan Leonard, Tom Bradshaw were both on the bench, alongside academy products Junior Tiensia, Billy Mitchell and Hayden Muller. Tyer Burey was also on the bench.
Millwall took the lead after just four minutes. A long ball was played up to Matt Smith, the striker won the flick-on and Mahoney arrived quickest to pick up the ball, beat two defenders and finish low into the far corner to give the hosts the lead.
Matt Smith came close to doubling the lead four minutes later but his header was straight at Huddersfield keeper Joel Coleman. On 22 minutes Smith’s header from Mahoney’s free-kick was comfortable for Coleman.
Two minutes later Huddersfield had their first chance. Former Millwall man Harry Toffolo got forward well down the right hand side. His cross was headed back across goal by Steve Mounie for Alex Pritchard, whose shot was blocked brilliantly by Jake Cooper. Andy King put the follow-up wide.
Huddersfield equalised on 36 minutes. Alex Pritchard’s through-ball found Karlan Grant and the former Charlton striker smashed the ball past Bartosz Bialkowski.
Millwall retook the lead at the start of the second half. Mahoney’s corner was headed in powerfully by Jake Cooper for his third goal of the season.
But just a minute later Huddersfield almost drew level. Grant cut inside the Millwall defence and struck towards goal, his effort was saved by Bialkowski before King smashed the rebound over the bar.
On the hour mark Hayden Muller was introduced to make his first league appearance for Millwall. Four minutes later Millwall added their third goal. Jiri Skalak, introduced at the same time as Muller, was alert as the ball broke free following an advantage. He latched onto it, drove through and finished wonderfully past Coleman from outside the box, for his first goal of the campaign, with just half an hour to go.
Rowett then introduced both Billy Mitchell and Bodvarsson for Jayson Molumby and Ben Thompson.
Smith went close again 15 minutes from time. His right-footed shot from the edge of the box was stopped well by Coleman.
Millwall got their fourth in the 80th minute. Mahoney was the supplier again, this time finding substitute Bodvarsson who finished calmly past Coleman. Cooper went close from another corner with eight minutes left but his header was wide of the target.
PHOTOS BY KEITH GILLARD
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