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Match Report


Posted Tue 17 Mar 15 at 21:32 PM

Full-time from The Den

Interim manager Neil Harris was unable to mastermind Millwall's first win on home soil since October, but The Lions dug in for a gritty point against fellow strugglers Brighton & HA at The Den. 

The Lions' home record going into this game had been woeful this season, having tasted victory a paltry three times and just once in their previous 12 matches.

However as Chopper stressed to his team beforehand, forget the past, deal with the here and now - and his players really could not have done more to lay this particular ghost to rest than they did on the night. 

Harris made two changes to the side that started at Bolton, with Martyn Woolford replacing Ed Upson on the left flank and Sid Nelson partnering Jos Hooiveld in the heart of defence due to the absence of skipper Alan Dunne, who started a two-match ban.   

Millwall started well looking for a first Championship win since 10th February and a deep corner from Shaun Williams caused panic in the visiting rearguard and then the lively Aiden O'Brien dragged an effort wide following a quick counter attack on five minutes. 

Lions keeper David Forde had a rush of blood five minutes later when he came charging out to challenge Craig Mackail-Smith some 30 yards from goal. Mackail-Smith rounded the keeper, who slipped, but then tried to square the ball and played his pass straight into the path of Jimmy Abdou who intercepted perfectly.

Chopper's charges created a couple of chances with Williams' powerful shot blocked and then Martyn Woolford fired into the side netting as The Lions continued to ask questions of the visiting defence.

A curling free-kick from Williams dropped onto the roof of the net from a central position after O'Brien had been hacked down 20 yards out and the young striker was denied by Seagulls' keeper David Stockdale before the break after effortlessly dribbling his way past a handful of Brighton players. 

The closest Chris Hughton's side came to scoring in the first-half was via Leon Best, but Forde did well to save the frontman's fizzer.

Millwall started the second-half just as they had the first, looking full of purpose and intent, but it was Brighton who went closest to breaking the deadlock with a sweetly struck 20-yard free-kick from Joe Bennett that smacked the bar.

A speculative long-range effort from Gary Taylor-Fletcher flew wide as The Lions responded before Brighton again went close, this time when Best steered a free header wide of the target from Bruno Saltor's diagonal delivery. 

An inviting first-time cross from Woolford picked out Gregory on 71 minutes, but the latter was unable to make a clean connection and his header flashed wide.

Chopper brought on Stefan Maierhofer and Magaye Gueye, and then Diego Fabbrini for the last nine minutes in a bid to find that piece of magic to win the game. 

Urged on by the home crowd, Millwall pushed on in vain trying to find that all-important winning goal and so nearly could have nicked it right at the death, only for Jos Hooiveld to plant a firm header from Williams' corner over the bar from 12 yards.

Millwall: Forde, Cummings, Harding, Abdou, Hooiveld, Nelson, Williams, Woolford (Fabbrini, 81mins), Gregory, Taylor-Fletcher (Maierhofer, 73mins), O'Brien (Gueye, 73mins). Subs not used: Archer, Beevers, Fuller, Upson. 
Bookings: Woolford (41mins), Taylor-Fletcher (58mins) 

Brighton & HA: Stockdale, Saltor, Greer, Calderon, Kayal (LuaLua, 46mins), Stephens, Halford, Best (O'Grady, 75mins), Mackail-Smith (Teixeira, 75mins), Bennett, Holla. Subs not used: Walton, Hughes, Ledesma, Ince.  

Ref: A. Woolmer 
Att: 9,105 (away 1,369)

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