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Match Report

 

Posted Tue 30 Jun 15 at 16:55 PM

Millwall extended their unbeaten run to six games and moved up to seventh in League One with a hard-fought goal-less draw against Bradford City.

In a game high on commitment and endeavour, The Lions were forced to dig deep and stand firm against a physical Bantams team who had keeper Ben Williams to thank for securing a point.

With 16 minutes remaining and the teams locked at 0-0, Williams produced a top drawer reflex save to tip over namesake Shaun Williams' goal-bound shot.

It was the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock with the defences dominant throughout.

The Lions showed just one change from the side that started against Doncaster Rovers in midweek as Williams' returned from a back injury, coinciding with Ben Thompson's absence after his fifth booking of the season midweek. 

Williams took his place alongside George Saville in a four-man midfield, flanked by Shane Ferguson on the left and Aiden O'Brien on the right. 

Bradford boss Parkinson brought in Gary Liddle for Billy Knott, the latter of whom took his place on the bench having sustained a slight knee injury in the Bantams' previous match at Wigan Athletic. 

Both teams went into action full of confidence having not lost in five matches, and harbouring thoughts of staying in touch with the top six. 

There was no lack of effort or commitment in a hard fought opening half, in which the two teams effectively cancelled each other out. 

Scoring chances were at a premium with Bradford and Millwall carving out one clear opportunity on goal in the first 45 minutes. 

With 31 minutes on the clock Carlos Edwards intercepted a crossfield pass on the halfway line and embarked on a mazy run through the heart of the Bantams defence. The right-back worked his way into a central position some 16 yards out, and left fly with a rasping left-foot shot that flew a yard over the bar. 

At the other end a huge throw from Lee Evans bounced across the face of goal and landed at the feet of Kyel Reid at the back post, only for the Bantams winger to inexplicably lash his shot over from four yards.

The second-half started in much the same fashion as the first, with both The Lions and Bantams patient in their approach work, but coming up against some resolute defending.

It was from a whole-hearted block by Tony Craig, diverting James Hanson's 53rd-minute shot, that the Millwall skipper unfortunately was forced off injured.

Morison took over the captian's armband and on came Byron Webster, who stepped in alongside Mark Beevers and produced a faultless performance in the heart of the back four.

Fred Onyedinma was introduced for Shane Ferguson just passed the hour mark and the youngster twice whipped over inviting deliveries that were just beyond the reach of his team-mates in the penalty area.

At the other end Edwards did well to avert the danger after a quick Bradford counter-attack that saw Devate Cole skip past Williams and Webster, but the right-back showed all his experience and smuggled the ball to safety from inside his own penalty area.

However the best move of the match so nearly produced the only goal of the match for Millwall 16 minutes from time.

A superb interchange involving Saville, Morison and Lee Gregory on the right flank sliced open the visiting defence and when Williams took aim from 14 yards with a shot that was heading into the roof of the net, keeper Williams somehow got his fingertips to the ball to push over for a corner.

That proved to be the last clear effort on goal as The Lions continued to match the robust approach of their opponents, but simply could not find that little bit of magic to prise open a solid defence and claim all three points.

Millwall: Archer, Edwards, J.Martin, Craig (Webster, 56mins), Beevers, Ferguson (Onyedinma, 62mins), Williams, Saville, O'Brien, Gregory (Pavey, 90mins), Morison. Subs not used: Forde, Cummings, L.Martin, Powell. 

Bradford City: Williams, Darby, Meredith, Evans, Liddle, Hanson, Burke, Reid (Marshall, 72mins), McArdle, McMahon, Cole (B.Clarke, 80mins). Subs not used: Cracknell, N.Clarke, Knott, Leigh, James. 
Booking: McMahon (68mins) 

Ref: K. Johnson
Att: 9,367

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