The greatest games of the last 25 years – No 23

23) 1999-2000 MILLWALL 2 GILLS 2
DIVISION TWO

It was always going to be a huggggge match – local rivals, both chasing promotion, on a D-Day collision course for Easter Monday. But the dynamite in the fire was that, since winning 3-0 at Burnley, we now had a chance of, whisper it, automatic promotion. Only thing was, we were 2-0 down before you could say, “Shit, we’re 2-0 down”. But our away form was superb this season, always remaining cool under pressure, and so we quietly eased our way back into the game.

First, Ty Gooden hit a screamer (that is he scored from 25 yards out, not punched a Westlife fan). Then, just before half-time, Andy Hessenthaler set off on a run which ended with a swivel and shot of such dexterity it would’ve out-foxed Nureyev. 2-2. The match calmed down after the break, as though it had to take a moment out to reflect on how absurd it had been, although Asaba still hit the bar and Gooden fluffed a one-on-one. But as, just an hour earlier, we’d seen Millwall fans maraud towards us, grunting with both hatred and delight, we went home happy with a draw.

Bartram, Southall (Asaba), Edge, Ashby, Butters, Pennock, Smith, Lewis, Hessenthaler (Nosworthy), Gooden, Onoura (Rowe)

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