26 August 2023

Kevin Nisbit earns Millwall’s first home points of season in victory over Stoke

26 August 2023

Millwall held off a strong second-half push from Stoke to secure a 1-0 win and their first home points of the season.

Gary Rowett, who had taken stick from his own supporters in defeat at Norwich last weekend, saw his side control the first half at the Den and deservedly go in with a lead courtesy of a strike from summer signing Kevin Nisbet.

Stoke came into the game after a quadruple substitution at half-time as Andre Vidigal went close with a one-on-one and forced a fine save from Matija Sarkic, while Tyrese Campbell hit a post and Wouter Burger had a late drive fizz wide.

But it was Millwall who hung on and Rowett continues his hold over his old side, having won six out of nine encounters since leaving the Potters in 2019.

Millwall had taken hold of a scrappy match midway through the first half and Mark Travers made a series of saves.

The goalkeeper had to be down smartly to keep out a low, whipped free-kick from wide on the left by Zian Flemming. George Saville thought he had scored with the rebound only for Ben Wilmot to flash across to deflect wide with a header.

Stoke fans were still singing Travers’ name when he shifted across to keep out another Flemming free-kick and then acrobatically got his fingertips to stop a close-range header from Jake Cooper.

Millwall found the breakthrough when Stoke failed to deal with a loopy long throw from the right, bouncing kindly for Nesbit to find the bottom right corner.

Stoke manager Alex Neil handed debuts to new signings Mehdri Leris and Burger in a major half-time reshuffle.

The visitors did come to life and, after Campbell had their first shot on target, Wesley pushed a through-ball to Vidigal to clip a shot just past Sarkic and the post. Campbell cracked a shot just over the crossbar from the right corner of the area.

Stoke dialled up the pressure as the heavens opened and Campbell had a shot blocked by Shaun Hutchinson before Leris shot just over in a scramble.

Flemming had half a chance to seal the win, but his shot was blocked by Luke McNally and Sarkic was forced into a flying stoppage-time save to keep the score at 1-0, diving to his left to tip over a dipping 30-yard drive from Vidigal.

Travers joined the Stoke attack for a couple of late corners, seeing Campbell flick a header onto the far post before Burger flashed onto a loose ball in the dying moments and skidded a shot past the left post.

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