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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 02 Nov 13 at 17:35 PM

Final score from The Den

Millwall were left ruing what might have been after letting a 2-0 lead slip as table-topping Burnley clawed their way back to secure a share of the spoils in a real ding-dong Den encounter.

Scott McDonald (23mins) fired The Lions in front and when Danny Shittu's deflected effort flew past Tom Heaton to put The Lions 2-0 ahead on 37 minutes, it looked as if Burnley's eight-match unbeaten run was at real risk of coming to an end.

But barely seconds after taking a two-goal lead, Sam Vokes stole in to reduce the arrears and hand the visitors a lifeline before Millwall sub Shane Lowry completed the scoring, steering the ball into his own net for Burnley's equaliser just before the hour-mark.

Lowry had started the match on the bench for Millwall, but was brought on after barely six minutes when left-back Scott Malone fell awkwardly after challenging for the ball in a forward foray.

On came Lowry for his first taste of senior action since 14th September and quickly settled into his stride as the home side grew in confidence and started to ask questions of the visiting defence.

That pressure paid off handsomely on 23 minutes when Nicky Bailey's free-kick was knocked into the path of McDonald by Paul Robinson, and he hit a fierce first-time left-foot volley that flew across goal and into the back of the net.

That goal lifted Steve Lomas' charges - and The Den faithful - who were in dream land 14 minutes later when a corner was cleared only as far as Shittu and he hit a snap-shot from the edge of the area that took a wicked deflection off Jason Shackell and beat the keeper to make it 2-0.

The cheers of the elated home supporters were quickly silenced though, when just 45 seconds later when Michael Kightly whipped over a cross that deflected off Lowry allowing Vokes a free header to reduce the deficit.

Burnley, who had been pretty quiet and contained until that point, suddenly woke up and for the final eight minutes of the opening half looked more like a team at the top of the table.

However, it was Millwall who came flying out of the traps after the break and McDonald's audacious shot-on-the-turn from distance flew narrowly over the bar before Martyn Waghorn's powerful shot stung the hands of Heaton in the visiting goal as he tried to arrow a shot just inside the keeper's near post.

But it was Burnley who struck when, with Derry and Edgar down injured, the ref allowed play to continue and Kightly's delivery was turned into his own net by Lowry as he desperately tried to clear.

Derry, back in the team in place of the suspended Jimmy Abdou, was to play no further part because of his injury and Liam Feeney took his place.

McDonald was a whisker away from heading Millwall back into the lead midway through the half following a superb piece of skill by Liam Trotter, who was immense for The Lions throughout. On this occasion McDonald's header flew narrowly wide but it was then The Lions turn to have a lucky let-off when Scott Arfield weaved his way into a great position and let fly with a thunderous drive that smashed against the woodwork before bouncing clear.

Burnley may have tried to get the bit between their teeth but Lomas' men had other ideas and in a pulsating final quarter of an hour both teams went all out to try and clinch a winning goal.

In an atmosphere more akin to a Cup tie, the visitors were appealing for a penalty when Vokes claimed he had been fouled. Nicky Bailey disagreed and the pair went into referee Gibbs' book.

Despite pressing forward in the final few minutes, The Lions just could not find that elusive telling pinpoint delivery or goal to snatch all three points that their performance probably deserved.

Millwall: Forde, Smith, Malone (Lowry, 6mins), Robinson, Shittu, Trotter, Bailey, Derry (Feeney, 57mins), Waghorn (Morison, 67mins), McDonald, Woolford. Subs not used: Bywater, Dunne, Morison, Easter, Keogh.
Bookings: Bailey (65mins), McDonald (69mins)
Scorers: McDonald (23mins), Shittu (37mins) 
 
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Mee, Jones, Arfield, Edgar, Kightly (Stock, 83mins), Ings, Duff, Vokes, Shackell. Subs not used: Cisak, Lafferty, Stanislas, Long, Hewitt, Noble.
Bookings: Vokes (65mins), Edgar (61mins), Stock (88mins)
Scorer: Vokes (38mins), Lowry (59mins og)

Ref: P.Gibbs
Att: 10,168 (away 1,077)

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