A second-half surge helped Millwall claim a 3-0 victory over Peterborough United on Saturday afternoon – with Benik Afobe and Jed Wallace playing a starring role in what may be their last game at The Den as Lions players.
Stoke City loanee Afobe broke the deadlock eight minutes into the second half while out-of-contract talisman Jed Wallace came off the bench and provided the crosses that led to the second and the third.
The Lions can still mathematically qualify for the top six but it will require a five goal swing and a number of other results to go their way on the final day.
Sheffield United’s win on Friday evening left Millwall knowing it would take some of a miracle for them to reach the play-offs but in front of a huge crowd on a glorious afternoon at The Den, a lack of motivation would’ve been inexcusable.
The Lions certainly looked in the mood to entertain in the opening stages, with some slick passing play and clever flicks, but the home support were forced to be patient.
Danny McNamara nearly provided the spark on the eve of the half-hour as a burst of pace allowed him to slip past multiple defenders into the box but his cross floated across the face of goal without finding a teammate.
Six minutes before the break Jonson Clarke-Harris prodded the best chance of the half wide. A quick turnover allowed Sammy Szmodics to slide the ball through to Posh’s top scorer but his curving run made a finish difficult and though he got to the ball before Bart Bialkowski, his effort was never on target.
Gary Rowett will surely have had some strong words for his players at the break and they had the desired effect as David Cornell was forced into a save inside the opening minute.
George Saville arrived to connect with Ryan Leonard’s drilled cross but his powerful effort stayed out thanks to the goalkeeper’s legs.
Three minutes later it was Bialkowski that came to his side’s rescue as he tipped Jack Marriott’s bouncing shot wide for a corner.
Afobe’s 13th goal for Millwall may well be his last for the club as he’s set to return to Stoke at the end of the season but it was enough to break the deadlock after 53 minutes.
Ryan Leonard’s long throw was brought down by Saville and after missing at the first attempt, the Potters loanee crashed a half-volley into the bottom corner.
Jed Wallace was introduced to a rapturous reception moments later for what could be his final game as a Lions player and nearly made an instant impact but his half-cross half-shot flashed just wide of the upright.
The woodwork gave Posh a lifeline twice in quick succession as we entered the final 30 minutes with first Millwall’s newly crowned Player of the Year Murray Wallace hitting the crossbar and then Saville’s header striking the post.
But the visitors’ luck ran out with 17 minutes to go as Josh Knight turned Jed Wallace’s probing free-kick from deep into his own net.
Millwall’s talisman was the catalyst for the third as well three minutes later as he collected the rebound from a corner and curled a delicious ball to the back post for Saville to head home – capping off an impressive second-half display.
If this is indeed to be the last time we see Afobe and particularly Jed Wallace in a Millwall kit at The Den then at least they have said goodbye in style.
Full Time: Millwall 3-0 Peterborough United