What was going to be the first step on the road to revival following the news that Rotherham were likely to be docked points, ended up being the final nail in our Championship coffin as Millwall bullied us all over the pitch into reacting to provocation, two players dismissed and two goals conceded as it all crashed around us.
Gary Caldwell opted to stick with the same starting eleven from Friday’s game away at Fulham, there was the surprise addition of Tim Chow on the bench, a player that had apparently been released the week previously, change of heart and mind from the club as the Development Squad captain has been handed a new one year deal.
The Latics started the game brightly, Millwall looking very nervous, the first real chance of the game fell to Marc-Antoine Fortune and to be honest I should be sat here writing a very different report on proceedings.
The Latics attacker was free six yards, out dead centre of goal with Forde rooted between his posts, a great ball was put into Fortune for him to head home, unfortunately for us the chance had fallen to the man who has forgotten how to score and he produced a dreadful effort which was easily dealt with.
Millwall turned the heat up on the pitch and in the stands, every challenge that the Latics made was met with shoves and moans from their players, finger pointing threats and barracking the referee, the stands were baying for blood and referee Steve Martin started to lose control of the game as melees broke out on more than one occasion.
Surprising both sides went in at half time with eleven men still on the pitch.
The second half started in the same vein as teh first, Latics playing the football, Millwall spoiling for a fight, the referee bottling out of tough decisions. James McClean burst through into the Millwall area, he was blatantly tripped by a trailing leg, no penalty given, but the Latics were looking the likeliest to win the game.
Gary Caldwell made a change as he looked for the break through, Martyn Waghorn replacing the hapless Fortune, eight minutes later the Latics were down to ten men. Waghorn challenged for a ball in the Millwall box, he clearly had his leg stamped on as he was on the floor, but he reacted and kicked out, the Millwall player dropped like he had broken his leg and Waghorn was off.
On 74 minutes Millwall made the one man advantage pay, the Latics failed to clear an attack, the ball was whipped in from the left, Abdou burst into the area and met the cross with a diving header from 8 yards, 0-1.
Latics had a great chance to equalise, Gaetan Bong was clear in the Millwall box, cutting in from the left, he needed to curl the ball with his right foot into the far corner, he went for power with his left and from a great position blazed over the bar and almost out of the stadium.
Jason Pearce received his marching orders in the closing minutes in bizarre fashion, a cracking challenge, a Millwall player feigning injury, Pearce getting shoved in the face, a red card for the Latics defender, referee not a clue.
Millwall wrapped up proceedings in injury time, a counter attack down the Latics right by substitute Gueye saw him out pace Harry Maguire and fire low past Scott Carson, 0-2.
Tim Chow came on for Jermaine Pennant on 81 minutes and make his first team debut to round off a strange week for himself.
We are all but mathematically relegated, time to look ahead and hopefully build on the style of play that we have so far seen under Caldwell to take us into the new campaign, but we need to recruit wisely and recruit some goalscorers because that has been our Achiles heel this season.
Millwall – Forde; Cummings, Nelson, Beevers, Harding; Upson, Abdou, Williams (Bailey 41), Martin (Gueye 69); O`Brien (Woolford 84) Gregory
Subs – Archer, Cowan-Hall, Taylor-Fletcher, Fuller
Latics – Carson, Maguire, McClean, Pennant (Chow 81), Kim, Boyce, Bong, Perch (Capt), Pearce, Fortune (Waghorn 53), Kvist (Ojo 90+2)
Unused subs – Al Habsi, McCann, Barnett, Murphy