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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 18 Apr 15 at 17:54 PM

Full-time from the Cardiff City Stadium

Millwall were left wondering what might have been after failing to covert their late pressure into a winning goal as they drew 0-0 at Cardiff City.

The Lions could have clinched all three points right at the death when Ricardo Fuller found fellow sub Gary Taylor-Fletcher, but the latter fluffed his chance six yards out. 

However the point gained still keeps Millwall in with a fighting chance of avoiding relegation with three games remaining and a four-point deficit to make up on fourth from bottom Rotherham United.

Interim manager Neil Harris was forced to make three changes to the side that started against Wigan with Ed Upson (suspended), joining Shaun Williams (foot) and Shaun Cummings (knock) on the sidelines.

In came Alan Dunne at right-back, Nicky Bailey in midfield and Martyn Woolford on the left flankin an otherwise unchanged starting XI.

The visitors had to absorb some early pressure from Cardiff and nearly fell behind immediately when Joe Mason headed left-back Scott Malone's cross just wide from close range.

Bailey flashed an effort marginally over the bar from 25 yards with The Lions first real attempt on goal, but it was Cardiff who continued to look the more likely of the two teams to break the deadlock in the opening 45 minutes.

Sean Morrison planted a firm header from Peter Whittingham's corner over the bar and Dan Harding was a whisker away from diverting the ball past his own keeper, but David Forde showed a strong pair of hands to gather.

Harding then had a shot at the right end, but his fierce volley was blocked before Whittingham forced Forde to beat away his long-range attempt.

Chances were few and far between but the home side came closest to scoring just before the break when Joe Ralls whipped in a cross from the left, with some assistance from a swirling wind, the ball changed direction and swerved onto the crossbar before bouncing to safety.

Millwall nearly made the breakthrough on 50 minutes when defender Mark Beevers smashed a powerful shot against the bar. The ball dropped invitingly for Lee Gregory, who saw his goalbound follow-up gathered at the second attempt by Marshall on the line.

Russell Slade's Bluebirds struggled to find the same attacking rhythm that they had in the first period, and it was Harris' charges who looked stronger and pressed with more purpose as the game wore on.

Cardiff defender Morrison lost possession to Lee Martin and his intelligent pass found Aiden O'Brien unmarked inside the box, but Marshall kept out the striker's effort with his legs. Abdou and Fuller both then saw efforts blocked in a goalmouth scramble as Millwall desperately tried to find their way through.

With the game heading into the final five minutes and Millwall very much looking the stronger and hungrier of the two teams, sub Taylor Fletcher spurned a great opportunity to win it when, with the goal at his mercy, he failed to connect properly with Fuller's flick-on and the chance to secure three points instead of the one was lost.

Cardiff City: Marshall, Peltier, Malone (Fabio, 22mins), Ecuele-Manga, Whittingham, Noone (Kennedy, 85mins), Gunnarsson, Ralls (Pilkington, 64mins), Mason, Morrison. Subs not used: Moore, Adeyemi, O'Keefe, Harris.
Booking: Peltier (39mins), Doyle (76mins)

Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Harding, Abdou, Nelson, Beevers, Woolford, Bailey, Gregory (Taylor-Fletcher, 74mins), O'Brien (Fuller, 74mins), Martin (Gueye, 62mins). Subs not used: Archer, Hooiveld, Cowan-Hall, Powell.
Booking: Gregory (29mins)

Ref: M Brown

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