Cahill keeps Millwall on upward path

Wimbledon 0 Millwall 1
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The Independent Football

Having comprehensively beaten their London rivals West Ham United on Sunday, Millwall moved ahead of them in the First Division table with a less impressive - but none the less comfortable - victory over doomed Wimbledon last night.

Tim Cahill's first-half goal was enough to maintain the startling impact of Dennis Wise's first foray into management and consign the hapless Dons to a 10th consecutive defeat.

It was a 10th win in 13 matches for Millwall. Wise, the one-time Wimbledon icon now has his team in both the last four of the FA Cup and the top six in the First Division, although the watching Mick McCarthy, manager of their Cup and league rivals Sunderland, witnessed a below par performance. He can be assured Millwall will be more fired up for the Cup semi-final at Old Trafford on Sunday week.

"Mentally you can take your foot off the pedal and maybe we did that after coming through a massive game last Sunday," Wise's No 2, Ray Wilkins, said. "But we are grateful for small mercies. A win is a win."

Wise was involved from the 18th minute after an injury to David Livermore and pulled the strings effectively in midfield but the home side resisted until the 42nd minute, with the 6ft 6in former Southampton goalkeeper, Scott Bevan, marking his home debut with two good saves from Paul Ifill.

Then a sweeping move along the right flank ended with Cahill giving the visitors the lead, adding to his two goals against West Ham. Neil Harris sent Kevin Muscat away and the full-back's low cross was perfectly delivered for Cahill to slide the ball home from a distance of eight yards.

Without a goal in seven matches, Wimbledon tested Andy Marshall only once through Barton's shot just before half-time. However, the security of a second goal eluded Millwall, Bevan denying the excellent Cahill with a superb stop.

Wimbledon expect to be out of administration within a month but their prospects of extracting revenue from a sceptical Milton Keynes public are not looking rosy.

Last night's match attracted only 3,037 spectators - the smallest gate since the move to the National Hockey Stadium - and one third of that number came with Millwall.

Wimbledon (4-4-2): Bevan; Darlington, Williams, Hawkins, Puncheon; Oyedele, Barton (Kamara, 72), Chorley, Jarrett (Smith, 38); Herzig (Mackie, h/t), Gray. Substitutes not used: Ntimban-Zeh, Martin (gk).

Millwall(3-5-2): Marshall; Muscat, Lawrence, Ward, Ryan; Ifill (Chadwick, 60), Cahill, Roberts, Livermore (Wise, 18); Harris (Sweeney, 67), Dichio. Substitutes not used: Warner (gk), Elliott.

Referee: M Jones (Chester).