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by Tom Moore
, at The Den
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Championship: Millwall 1 Middlesbrough 3
Marvin Emnes’ brace lifted Middlesbrough level with Cardiff in the race for the Championship play-offs after a hard-fought win at Millwall.
Emnes, who had a loan spell at Swansea in 2010, deflected the ball into the back of the net for the Boro’s opener as the Lions were unable to get into the game at all.
The 23-year-old then scored an excellent long-range goal with just under 10 minutes to go until half-time.
However, Darius Henderson headed home before half-time to leave the second-half delicately poised.
Millwall dominated most of the second-half but with only four minutes left Curtis Main made it comfortable.
Middlesbrough had four golden opportunities to take the lead inside the first six minutes and three of them fell to Lukas Jutkiewicz.
The Pole, who joined the Boro from Coventry in January, controlled a long ball forward but his shot was well wide, with David Forde stranded.
The Irishman then made a sensational save to deny the 22-year-old’s effort and from the resulting corner Marvin Emnes headed over from two yards.
Barry Robson produced an excellent cross and Jutkiewicz’s goalbound header was tipped over the bar by Forde.
Boro took a deserved lead after 15 minutes when Rhys Williams’ shot deflected off Marvin Emnes and into the net for the Dutchman’s 13th goal of the season.
Millwall looked to hit back and Andy Keogh was denied by Jason Steele but the linesman had flagged the January signing offside.
Emnes doubled his tally when he picked the ball up the ball 25 yards out, ran across the defence and fired an unstoppable shot past Forde.
Millwall did pull a goal back with two minutes to go before half-time as Darius Henderson headed home Liam Trotter’s flick-on after Scott Barron’s free-kick.
The Lions enjoyed a spell of dominance just before the hour mark as they forced a succession of corners.
Liam Trotter broke free after a mix up in the Middlesbrough defence but blazed his shot over with an hour gone.
Spurs loanee then drew an excellent save out of Steele as the Lions threw the kitchen sink at Boro.
Liam Feeney was then denied by Steele as the pressure mounted on the visitors with 10 minutes remaining.
However, Middlesbrough sealed the points with four minutes remaining as Main fired home to punish Millwall for failing to grab an equaliser.
The Lions tried to claw it back in the six minutes of stoppage time but Middlesbrough took the victory which keeps the pressure on the teams around them.
Millwall: Forde, Smith, Robinson, Lowry, Barron (Dunne h-t), Feeney (Henry 85), Trotter, Wright (Abdou h-t), Kane, Keogh, Henderson.
Subs (Not Used): Allsop, N’Guessan.
Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte, Bates, Hines, Bennett, Haroun (Main 65), Rhys Williams, Robson (McMahon 87), Arca, Jutkiewicz, Emnes (Smallwood 83).
Subs (Not Used): Ogbeche, Martin.