After getting back to winning ways at home to Huddersfield Town on Saturday, Preston North End were left disappointed yet again after suffering another defeat.
Their away form has usually been rock solid this season, but North End have fallen in recent weeks to both Sheffield Wednesday and Cardiff on the road.
After a confidence-boosting victory against the Terriers at the weekend, Alex Neil’s team would have been expected to make a real go of it against a solid side in Millwall, and they ended up taking the lead.
A 12th minute thunderbolt by Ched Evans gave PNE the advantage, but the game was levelled before half time thanks to a fantastic long-range hit from Scott Malone.
The winner came on 86 minutes through Mason Bennett, and his goal lifted the Lions up to 10th position in the Championship.
It was another poor night for North End though – let’s see who shone and who didn’t come out smelling of roses after defeat at The Den.
WINNER: Ben Whiteman
There weren’t many winners to choose from for PNE on a dismal night in London, with perhaps Ched Evans’ sublime left-footed volley being one of the only positive points.
But Ben Whiteman continues to impress after his January arrival from Doncaster Rovers.
He’s played every minute since signing and has slotted in as a deep-lying playmaker for PNE, taking over the role that Ben Pearson vacated.
Whilst Whiteman isn’t a tough tackler like Pearson, he’s very good at cutting out the danger and he has a wide range of passing ability – and last night he basically played as a quarterback, stepping between the two centre-backs and distributed the ball up the pitch.
Preston fans would like to see him get up the pitch a bit more, but Alex Neil clearly wants to deploy him differently and he’s doing a really good job right now.
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LOSER: Daniel Iversen
A few PNE players had off-nights – Scott Sinclair and Anthony Gordon never really got into the game, Andrew Hughes had a tough night against Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Jayson Molumby was anonymous on his return to Millwall.
But after Mason Bennett’s winner for the home side, the loser of the night can only go to one man and that’s Daniel Iversen.
The imposing Dane has been a revelation for North End since arriving on loan from Leicester to replace Declan Rudd, making crucial saves at key times against Blackburn, QPR and Huddersfield.
Last night though was the first real time that Iversen could be fully blamed for an opposition goal – Ryan Woods’ lofted ball through the middle looked like it was going straight to the goalkeeper, but his hesitance to come out left him very vulnerable.
And with Bennett the much quicker man, he bravely put his head in where it could have hurt and beat Iversen to the ball to score the winner for Millwall.
A moment to forget indeed for Iversen, but he’s saved North End more often than not, so he will be hoping to put it behind him.