MX23RW : Friday, June 5 19:21:15| >> :600:3504960:3504960:
Mar 6, 2020 at 7.45pm UK at City Ground
Attendance: 27,307
Nott'm ForestNottingham Forest
0-3
Millwall
FT(HT: 0-3)
Smith (20', 26', 33')

Matt Smith apologies for denying Jayson Molumby first senior goal

Matt Smith apologies for denying Jayson Molumby first senior goal
© Reuters
Smith got a touch to the youngster's finish on his way to completing his treble.

Millwall's hat-trick hero Matt Smith has apologised to Jayson Molumby for denying the 20-year-old the first senior goal of his career.

Smith's trio of strikes in a 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest came during a rampant 13-minute first-half spell at the City Ground that has lifted Lions boss Gary Rowett's side to within two points of the Sky Bet Championship play-off places.

A stooping 20th-minute header was followed six minutes later by Smith getting a touch to a fine side-footed finish from Molumby, on loan from Brighton, with the midfielder celebrating as if he had netted his first goal in 34 appearances.

But after a far-post poacher's header in the 33rd minute to complete his first league hat-trick, and only the second of his nine-season career, Smith said: "I've apologised to Jayson. I said sorry.

"I said to him that his celebration probably merited the goal. But it came so quickly, I just stuck a leg out and it's just hit the top of my foot.

"I knew instantly it had come off me, and also I knew Sky were watching and they were going to see it in close up, so I didn't have any concern in my head it was mine."

Smith's only other hat-trick came just over five years ago when he scored all four goals in a 4-2 Johnstone's Paint Trophy win at Gillingham while with Bristol City.

"I've been in the division long enough, so it was about time one came along," added Smith. "I've had plenty of twos over the years but to get a three is no easy feat. I'm happy to see it happen."

The win was Millwall's largest away from home in the Championship since a 4-1 triumph in November 2012, with Forest again the victims.

Rowett said: "I'm really pleased after the last couple of performances in which we've maybe not done enough to win the game.

"I spoke to the players about it, that if they wanted any sort of opportunity in pushing for the top six then we had to grasp the game, be a little braver than we have been, and we were.

"And defensively I thought we were absolutely superb, as we have been all season, and conceding the least number of goals since I've come in (in October)."

Forest had the chance to move to within five points of the top two with a win, but their own promotion hopes are faltering after claiming just six points from the last 18 on offer.

Boss Sabri Lamouchi blamed the loss on tiredness. He said: "We gave them the opportunity to kill us, and they killed us.

"It was a classic plan to play on the counter-attack and we suffered a lot. It's a bad moment for us and we showed our limits physically and mentally. It was the wrong performance and a bad result."

ID:392123:

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rhs 2.0
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Leeds UnitedLeeds37218856302671
2West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom371913564372770
3Fulham371810952381464
4Brentford371791164333160
5Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest371612948381060
6Preston North EndPreston37168135045556
7Bristol City371510125153-255
8Millwall37131594440454
9Cardiff CityCardiff37131595250254
10Blackburn RoversBlackburn371411125245753
11Swansea CitySwansea371314104645153
12Derby CountyDerby371312124949051
13Queens Park RangersQPR37148155862-450
14Reading37139154642448
15Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds37139154649-348
16Birmingham CityBirmingham371211144857-947
17Stoke CityStoke37126194955-642
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield37119174558-1342
19Middlesbrough37914143747-1041
20Wigan AthleticWigan371011163850-1241
21Hull City37118184963-1441
22Charlton AthleticCharlton37109184454-1039
23Luton TownLuton37105224371-2835
24Barnsley37810194262-2034

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