Report | Millwall 0-0 AFC Wimbledon
Millwall and AFC Wimbledon slugged it out at The Den on Tuesday night in a hard-fought derby - but The Lions had to settle for a share of the spoils in a goalless draw that saw the visitors play the final 16 minutes with 10 men.
Neal Ardley's Dons were forced to dig in deep during a frantic finale following the 74th-minute dismissal of Jon Meades for a second bookable offence.
But on a night that saw former Lions favourite Paul Robinson return to The Den, it was almost inevitable that the centre-half should mark an emotional evening by helping The Dons frustrate Neil Harris' charges.
In the absence of experienced front duo Steve Morison and Lee Gregory, boss Harris started with Aiden O'Brien and Harry Smith up top, with Shane Ferguson and David Worrall coming in on the left and right flanks respectively to provide the ammunition.
The first-half was not short on commitment or endeavour, but both defences were in dominant form as the two sides cancelled each other out.
Millwall conjured the best chance of the opening half an hour on 23 minutes, when Ferguson's low angled drive was palmed away by keeper James Shea after Smith and O'Brien combined to play the left winger in.
At the other end, Lions keeper Jordan Archer was supremely protected by his back four during the first 45 minutes. On the one occasion the visitors did get into a really dangerous position, former Den striker Lyle Taylor lashed a shot wildly over the bar a couple of minutes before the break from close range.
Worrall forced a flying save from Shea with a curling free-kick after the restart, but the game really started to open up as the second-half wore on.
A rampaging run by Dons frontman Dominic Poleon sliced through the home side, but having done all the hard work and got into a great position, the Wimbledon player sliced his cross horribly away from goal and the danger was averted.
At the other end a slick move saw Joe Martin slip the ball through to Ferguson on the overlap, his deep cross was touched by Worrall into the path of Ben Thompson, but the midfielder's shot was grabbed on the line by a grateful Shea.
A long range drive from Dannie Bulman was pushed away by the strong hands of Archer as Wimbledon responded, and The Lions were mighty relieved when sub Chris Whelpdale walloped the loose ball over from eight yards.
The visitors were reduced to 10 men with 16 minutes remaining when Meades, already booked for a foul on Worrall, was shown a second yellow card for pulling back Lions sub Fred Onyedinma as he wriggled his way into the penalty area.
Onyedinma was a whisker away from breaking the deadlock two minutes later as Millwall threatened to make the extra man count, only to clip his shot wide from 10 yards before fantastic interplay between the sub and Mahlon Romeo came to a disappointing end with a cross that failed to match the quality of the approach play.
Smith, who worked tirelessly throughout in only his fourth ever senior appearance, planted a firm header straight into the keeper's hands as The Lions pressed hard for a late winner but to no avail as the visitors stood firm to take a point from their first ever League visit to SE16.
Millwall: Archer, Romeo, Martin, Craig, Webster, Worrall, Williams, Thompson (Butcher, 80mins), Smith, O'Brien (Onyedinma, 66mins). Subs not used: King, Cummings, Abdou, Mbulu, Pavey.
Bookings: Thompson (33mins), Martin (71mins), Craig (82mins)
AFC Wimbledon: Shea, Fuller, Meades, Bulman, Robinson, Francomb (Beere, 71mins), Reeves, Elliott, Poleon (Owens, 75mins), Taylor (Whelpdale, 64mins), Robertson. Subs not used: McDonnell, Nightingale, Barnett, Egan, Owens.
Bookings: Meades (51mins), Fuller (80mins)
Sending off: Meades (74mins)
Ref: G Horwood
Att: 8,614 (away 1,164)
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