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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 15 Oct 11 at 18:04 PM

Middlesbrough 1 Millwall 1

Gutsy Millwall battled back to secure their first away point since the opening day of the season with a hard-fought draw at high-flying Middlesbrough.
There may be a question mark about whether Boro's Rhys Williams got the final touch to Brian Howard's 54th-minute corner to cancel out Barry Robson's first-half opener for Boro.
But there could be no question that Kenny Jackett's Lions deserved a share of the spoils as they brought an end to a poor run of results away from SE16.
Admittedly Tony Mowbray's side did hit the woodwork twice - the second occasion in the dying seconds of injury-time courtesy of sub Faris Haroun - but it felt at long last as if Lady Luck was smiling on The Lions.
Boss Jackett, an animated figure on the touchline throughout, handed a debut to loan signing Patrick Agyemang and he partnered fit-again front man Darius Henderson in a new-look attack.
Jimmy Abdou replaced James Henry in midfield, but it was Boro, looking to set a club record of 11 games unbeaten at the start of the season, who settled into their stride quickly.
Lions keeper David Forde had to react quickly to save Robson's second-minute free-kick and then did well to smother a sliced clearance by team-mate Paul Robinson, before emerging from a pack of players with the ball in his hands following an incredible goalmouth scramble in the opening minutes.
However the home side made the breakthrough on 24 minutes when Abdou's diving headed clearance fell invitingly for Robson, who took a couple of touches before lashing a low shot into the bottom right corner.
Boro forward Scott McDonald wasted a good chance to extend Boro's lead when he dragged a shot wide from the edge of the area as Millwall struggled to find any attacking impetus.
It took a fine piece of play by Tamika Mkandawire to really kick-start The Lions into life, slipping the ball to Agyemang on the right before powering forward to meet the debutant's deep cross, only to head agonisingly wide of the target.
Howard so nearly played Agyemang through one on one with home keeper Jason Steele on 42 minutes, but his final pass was a tad too strong enabling Steele to collect.
Jay Simpson replaced Agyemang at the break in a bid to spark some energy and movement into the Millwall front line, but it was Boro who went close with McDonald's shot held by Forde before the same player headed Marvin Emnes' centre onto the crossbar, whilst his follow-up was parried away by The Lions keeper.
Jackett's men hauled themselves level nine minutes after the break when Howard's inswinging corner flew in off a combination of different players, with the strike eventually looking to fly over the line via Boro's Williams.
That goal sparked an onslaught by the visitors, who buoyed by their leveller then peppered keeper Steele with a flurry of efforts; Henderson twice heading narrowly over from Howard deliveries before shooting into the side-netting from Abdou's centre.
Howard then curled over from just inside the area, before finishing a rapid break by chipping the ball straight into Steele's grasp from a central position with Trotter screaming for the ball to his right.
Boro struggled to handle a revived Millwall, Jackett's men playing with real intent and purpose as the game wore on.
Right-back Mkandawire did briefly have to come to the rescue with a magnificent block to avert the danger as Emnes shaped to shoot from McDonald's low delivery 16 minutes from time.
The Lions continued to press forward and Henderson's low effort deflected wide before Howard's 20-yarder flew inches over the bar as the fourth official held up the board to indicate four minutes of injury time.
It was heart-in-mouth time for the travelling camp though when, in the last few seconds of injury-time, Boro sub Haroun rose to meet Emnes' inswinging cross, but his header deflected wide off the post.
Defeat would have been a bitter pill to swallow after such a determined display, and The Lions move out of the bottom three with the type of performance to breathe fresh hope into the campaign.

Middlesbrough: Steele, Williams, Bennett, Bates, Thomson (Haroun, 64mins), McDonald (Martin, 83mins), Emnes, Robson, Park, Bailey, Arca (Tchuimeni-Nimely, 64mins). Subs not used: Hoyte, McManus.
Booking: Bailey (35mins)
Scorer: Robson (23mins)

Millwall: Forde, Mkandawire, Barron (Smith, 90+1mins), Trotter, Robinson, Ward, Feeney, Howard, Abdou, Henderson, Agyemang (Simpson, 46mins). Subs not used: Mildenhall, Henry, N'Guessan.
Bookings: Abdou (2mins), Simpson (68mins), Barron (85mins), Henderson (89mins)
Scorer: Williams og(54mins)

Ref: R. Madley
Att: 16,669 (away 270)

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