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Millwall let actions speak louder than words as Championship play-offs move into sharper focus – South London News

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Actions speak louder than words. And Millwall are clearly taking that approach when it comes to their promotion aspirations.

It seems a clear ploy by the Lions’ players to politely but steadfastly steer away from talking about their top six prospects and instead just go quietly – but super-impressively – about their business.

And business is booming right now. Gary Rowett’s side have taken 20 points from a possible 24 and kept five clean sheets in a row. They have not conceded in 452 minutes – just shy of eight hours – and that figure doesn’t include the stoppage time that has been played in those fixtures.

The 2-0 win over QPR in mid-February had been the most complete performance by the South Londoners this season as they controlled proceedings from start to finish. But I’d have to say that Wednesday’s victory by the same scoreline against Huddersfield trumped it.

The Terriers rocked up in SE16 on a 17-match unbeaten run that was the longest undefeated sequence in England’s top four leagues. They left The Den mightily relieved they were not on the receiving end of an absolute spanking.

Benik Afobe’s last hat-trick came in a 6-0 win for Milton Keynes over Colchester in November 2014.

And he had three or four absolutely glorious chances to walk off with the matchball in midweek. Instead he had to settle for two goals. On both occasions he made almost instant amends for not finishing big opportunities.

In the first half his decision to take an extra touch allowed Matthew Pearson to make an interception.

But four minutes later he opened his body to send the ball past helpless Huddersfield keeper Lee Nicholls.

It was the same in the 57th minute. Afobe had failed to get enough venom or accuracy as Mason Bennett put a chance on a plate just two minutes earlier. But then he instinctively whipped another clinical strike home after Scott Malone’s free-kick dropped to him inside the area.

Huddersfield could not handle the pace and power of Bennett or really put a dent in Millwall’s defence after the opening 10 minutes. Once the Lions got to grips with their opponent’s shape it turned into a routine victory.

Millwall’s run is made all the more remarkable by having so many players unavailable although there was the boost of Sheyi Ojo being back on the bench after two months out with an ankle injury.

At the moment – and nowhere can form be seen as more temporary than the Championship – they are looking the real deal. But Forest, Middlesbrough and Luton will also all be feeling the same way.

It would be very Millwall-like for them to have worked their way into this position and then undo that good work against clubs in the bottom echelons of the table.

Their run-in looks inviting with only Luton and Bournemouth – both away – involving clubs in the promotion shake-up.

Best to keep calm, keep quiet and just carry on grafting – with no lack of quality. It seems to be doing the trick so far.

STAR MAN
Benik Afobe. Led the line with real aplomb.

BEST MOMENT
Hard to split the way Afobe took each of his goals.

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