Millwall 0-1 Nott'm Forest

Greg Halford

Nottingham Forest's Greg Halford scored the winner to defeat Millwall and keep his side's play-off hopes alive.

The former Reading defender headed in Andy Reid's right-wing corner after eight minutes to end Forest's recent run of six matches without a win.

Hosts Millwall were denied a penalty when Shaun Batt went down under Elliott Ward's challenge in the first half.

But the defeat leaves the Lions in 20th place, only two positions above the Championship's relegation zone.

This was a much-needed victory for Forest, a result that moves them up to seventh in the table, level on points with Bolton and just one place below the play-off places.

Millwall were without two of their key defenders, Shane Lowry and Danny Shittu, through suspension and it showed when Halford struck from an early corner.

Forest's Radoslaw Majewski tried his luck from 20 yards only to be denied by goalkeeper David Forde, before Billy Sharp just failed to force the ball over the line following a goalmouth scramble.

The Lions' run to the FA Cup semi-final has left them with a fixture backlog, so boss Kenny Jackett made five changes from the tiring side beaten 2-1 by Blackburn in midweek. His new-look line-up could have levelled but James Henry lobbed inches over an open goal.

Forest had a chance to double their lead when Reid's curler beat Forde, only to be cleared by Millwall defender Adam Smith on the goal-line.

Jackett brought on strikers John Marquis and Andy Keogh in a bid to snatch a point.

Lions defender Karleigh Osborne came closest to an equaliser with a downward header which went wide but Forest held on for the victory.

Nottingham Forest boss Billy Davies:

"But now we go into a pre play-off play-off next Saturday. It's a very exciting time for everybody. The last day of the season will be a nerve-shredding time. To find ourselves in this position with one game to go, I'm proud of the players and the staff and hopefully we can get that three points and sneak into the play-offs.

"It's a fantastic end to the season. Roll on Saturday!

Millwall manager Kenny Jackett:

"It was a poor goal to give away from a set-piece. We had plenty of time to get back into it and I can't fault the commitment of the players but we needed a break, something to fall for us. Ultimately it's disappointing as you need to score goals at home and creatively we weren't quite there today.

"We've been close but not close enough, which has been the story of the second half of our season."

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