Skip to main content

Match Report


Posted Sat 31 Mar 12 at 15:20 PM

Cardiff City 0 Millwall 0

Millwall dug deep to secure a battling point with a gritty, gutsy display at high-flying Cardiff City in Saturday's lunchtime game.
Both The Lions and Bluebirds had second-half goals ruled out for offside (Andy Keogh) and a foul (Aron Gunnarsson) respectively, but a draw was a fair result overall.
And how crucial the point - and second successive away clean sheet - could prove to be for Kenny Jackett's side as they temporarily moved six points clear of the drop zone with six huge games still to come.
Following the sad and untimely passing of Lions legend Barry Kitchener on Friday, both teams wore black armbands as a mark of respect, whilst the two sets of supporters stood as one to loudly applaud Big Kitch long before referee Anthony Bates had signalled for the official 60 seconds to start.
The game itself saw Millwall comfortably prove a match for their promotion-chasing opponents throughout.
Jackett's men enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges and Keogh was on the end of a shove in the back from Ben Turner after five minutes as he threatened to break through. Referee Bates,who officiated superbly from start to finish, blew for a free-kick but James Henry's subsequent effort unfortunately flashed a couple of yards over.
Henry's snap shot on eight minutes bobbled wide after some less than convincing defending by a jittery Bluebirds rearguard had failed to clear their lines in a shaky opening period.
A fine threaded crossfield pass from Jack Smith picked out Liam Feeney moments later, with the wide man fizzing a low effort wide.
Lions stopper Maik Taylor showed strong hands to hold Stephen McPhail's stinging effort as Cardiff registered their first shot on goal just before the quarter-hour mark.
It took a fantastic piece of defending by skipper Paul Robinson to deny the home side a certain goal after 20 minutes, though. Taylor broke down the right and when Taylor's weak punched clearance fell invitingly for Joe Mason, there was Robbo to somehow clear off the line with a breathtaking block.
However, thereafter the opening 45 minutes passed by with both The Lions and Bluebirds showing plenty of effort and endeavour, but lacking that little piece of craft and guile to break the deadlock.
Cardiff pressed early in the second half and Taylor did well to re-adjust his footing and tip Mason's looping header over the bar seconds before Kenny Miller contrived to flick his header wide from close range.
Miller then hooked the ball wide at full stretch from Stephen McPhail's dinked ball and Peter Whittingham's free-kick bounced a whisker off target as Cardiff tried to build up a head of steam.
Millwall responded though, and on 58 minutes a powerful forward header by Robinson picked out Keogh, who twisted and turned before despatching a low cross that Bluebirds keeper David Marshall did well to gather.
The introduction of top scorer Darius Henderson for Millwall and then Rudy Gestede for Cardiff around the hour mark saw the tempo upped a notch as both teams prised and probed for that elusive opening goal.
Keogh thought he had managed just that with a quarter of an hour remaining, sweeping the ball home from Tony Craig's cross, but the celebrations were cut short by a linesman flagging for offside.
Keogh was then denied by the fingertips of Marshall, who chased out of his goal to claw the striker's chipped effort away, although the Millwall man did well to even get an effort on target as he was impeded by Mark Hudson as he prepared to shoot.
Cardiff then had an effort ruled out of their own too, this time Gunnarsson's downward header past Taylor chalked off for a foul by the Bluebird midfielder on 81 minutes.
There remained one big chance to settle this game, and it fell Millwall's way six minutes from time when Henry raced through to reach a long clearance, but with the goal begging, steered his effort agonisingly of the left hand post with keeper Marshall stranded.
However, defeat would have been harsh on Malky Mackay's men and The Lions travelled back with every reason to be satisfied with a solid, compact performance, and hard earned point too.

Cardiff City: Marshall, McNaughton, Taylor, Hudson, Whittingham, Miller (Earnshaw, 76mins), Lawrence, Gunnarsson, Mason (Conway, 73mins), Turner, McPhail (Gestede, 63mins). Subs not used: Heaton, Blake.
Booking: Lawrence (79mins)

Millwall: Taylor, Smith, Craig, Abdou, Robinson, Lowry, Feeney, Wright (Ward, 90+3mins), Keogh, Kane (Henderson, 59mins), Henry. Subs not used: Forde, Dunne, Bouazza.
Bookings: Henry (61mins), Smith (80mins), Henderson (90+1min)

Ref: A Bates
Att: 21,259

    Latest Match Reports