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Match Report


Posted Sat 02 Oct 10 at 18:23 PM

Millwall 1 Burnley 1

Millwall were unable to mark their 125th anniversary with victory as 10-man Burnley proved the proverbial party-poopers at The Den.
On an historic day, the only thing missing for Kenny Jackett's Lions was the three points that his side could and should have claimed.
Despite playing for over 80 minutes a man down following the eighth-minute dismissal of Clarke Carlisle, Burnley not only took the lead with virtually their only effort on target, but then having let Scott Barron in for a leveller, Brian Laws' side adopted the most frustrating time-wasting tactics that by the end were bordering on pure gamesmanship.
"We had the chances to win the game, especially in the second half," conceded boss Jackett after Saturday's match.
"The sending-off changed the game, but Burnley made sure we had to grind out opportunities.
We did do that, dominated possession, but unfortunately we didn't take the chances when they came our way."
The Lions will be wondering just how they didn't record their first win in seven games - and Alan Dunne in particular, who on another day could have been walking off with the one-off special celebration ball used on the day.
Millwall, with pacey frontman Theo Robinson making his full start alongside Steve Morison, started brightly and it was a clumsy foul on the lively debutant by Carlisle that saw referee Keith Stroud brandish a straight red card with barely eight minutes gone.
Burnley responded by sacrificing midfielder Dean Marney for Michael Duff, leaving Chris Iwelumo to plough a lone furrow up front for the visitors.
It was The Lions who carved out the first couple of good chances with Morison chesting down David Forde's long clearance and hitting a low shot straight at Brian Jensen on 12 minutes, and then Robinson heading Chris Hackett's deep cross straight into the grateful keeper's hands 60 seconds later.
Burnley made a second change on 13 minutes when former Lion Leon Cort replaced Andre Bikey, and the home side nearly took advantage of hesitency in the Clarets' rearguard, only for Dunne to tamely hit a shot straight at Jensen following good build-up play by Robinson and Hackett.
It was Burnley who stunned the home fans on 22 minutes when, with their first incisive attack of the game, Chris Eagles worked space on the right and Jay Rodriguez guided his header beyond the reach of Forde.
Tony Craig sent a left-footer wide as The Lions looked for an instant response, and four minutes later that's exactly what they got. Morison's persistence and determination saw him win possession on the left, he picked out Robinson who in turn laid the ball off invitingly for Barron, and his crisp low shot gave Jensen no chance.
Eagles was lucky to escape punishment for a raking, late challenge on Craig - and the left-back failed to return after half-time with an injury sustained in that tackle.
Prior to the break, Dunne managed to squeeze in a header from Hackett's freekick that Jensen managed to save at point-blank range.
With Danny Schofield replacing the injured Craig at the start of the second-half, goalscorer Barron dropped to fill in the left-back berth and former Yeovil man Schofield slotted in wide midfield.
The resulting 45 minutes proved to be pretty much one-way traffic with Millwall banging on the Burnley backdoor, but to no avail.
Right-back Dunne endured a mixed second-half - getting into great positions, but ending up goalless and with a 47th-minute yellow card for allegedly diving. It was his fifth booking of the season and now rules him out of the derby at Crystal Palace on 16th October.
Overall though, Millwall created enough chances to have won handsomely.
Hackett's first-time volley following a quick throw by Dunne flashed wide before skipper Paul Robinson hit the foot of the post with a 57th-minute header from Hackett's corner.
Another Hackett delivery was flicked on by defender Robinson and the ball fell invitingly for Dunne, who hooked over from 12 yards.
The introduction of Neil Harris for tiring debutant Robinson nearly paid off immediately when, within seconds of his 68th-minute introduction, Forde's upfield punt was headed on by Morison to Chopper, only to hit a stinging shot straight into the hands of Jensen.
Cue the first bout of cramp to afflict the visitors, with Cort requiring treatment by the Burnley physio, much to the frustration of the home fans.
The woodwork again came to Burnley's rescue 12 minutes from time, on this occasion Schofield's sublime skills ended up with a goalbound curling effort that was tipped onto the bar by the fingertips of Jensen.
Harris took too much time to shoot and the opportunity was lost on 79 minutes, with Burnley sub Duff then suffering a bout of cramp that ate up even more time.
Millwall's sense of urgency was ultimately matched by a sense of frustration as chances came and went, the best of which was Dunne's free header from a Hackett corner that flew over the bar two minutes from time.
Although the three points evaded Jackett's men, it was not for the want of trying and with a little more luck The Lions would have been signing off for the international break just one point outside the Play-Offs.

Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Craig (Schofield, 46mins), Abdou (Carter, 78mins), Robinson, Ward, Mkandawire, Hackett, Morison, Barron, T.Robinson (Harris, 68mins). Subs not used: Mildenhall, Henry, Smith, Laird.
Bookings: Craig (43mins), Dunne (47mins)
Scorer: Barron (26mins)

Burnley: Jensen, Fox, Carlisle, Cork, Marney (Duff, 8mins), Iwelumo (Thompson, 76mins), Elliott, Mears, Rodriguez, Bikey (Cort, 13mins), Eagles. Subs not used: Alexander, Wallace, Paterson, Grant.
Booking: Eagles (44mins)
Sending off: Carlisle (8mins)
Scorer: Rodriguez (22mins)

Ref: Keith Stroud
Att: 12,330 (away 842)

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