Darren Pratley of Bolton Wanderers, left, celebrates scoring with his team-mate Rob Hall during the Championship game against Millwall. Photograph: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
Darren Pratley fired Bolton to a rare away win as Neil Lennon’s side won 1-0 at Millwall in the Championship. The midfielder outshone the returning Eidur Gudjohnsen as the visitors, revitalised since Lennon took over, collected only their second victory on the road this season, making it seven matches unbeaten and climbing to 14th.
Gudjohnsen was given his first start since rejoining the club he left 14 years ago for Chelsea but the 36-year-old striker had left the field by the time Pratley crashed in a fine second-half winner. Gudjohnsen did have half a chance in the opening five minutes when Lee Chung-yong’s cutback reached him on the edge of the area but the former Iceland international could not get his shot away in time.
Instead Lee was Bolton’s main attacking threat and he got behind the Lions’ defence again moments later, only for Pratley to head his cross straight at the Millwall goalkeeper, David Forde.
Forde also kept out Tim Ream’s header from the resulting corner and denied Rob Hall and then Pratley after another mazy run from Lee. Yet despite Bolton dominating possession, the best two chances of the first half fell to Millwall.
First the winger Magaye Gueye’s fine ball sent Lee Gregory between the Bolton centre-halves but the striker, who hit the winner at Brighton last week from a similar range, dragged his angled shot wide. As half-time approached Andy Wilkinson’s cross from the right found Angel Martínez but the Spaniard’s volley flew inches past Andy Lonergan’s left-hand post.
There was controversy just after the interval when Forde’s long clearance sent Gregory racing through again. Gregory got to the ball before Lonergan and touched it towards goal before tumbling over the onrushing keeper’s challenge, but Stuart Attwell ignored Millwall’s claims for a penalty. There were more penalty appeals moments later when Scott Malone hit the deck in the area – but Attwell waved play on again.
The Bolton winger Hall was somehow denied a goal on the hour when his shot cannoned off the inside of the post, flew along the line and off Forde’s leg before rolling to safety. But Pratley struck in the 68th minute when he collected Lee’s fine pass, beat Danny Shittu on the edge of the area and arrowed his shot past Forde into the net.
Martyn Woolford could have equalised with five minutes remaining but Lonergan was out quickly to block his shot as Bolton held on for the three points.