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Match Reports

Lions level with League leaders in Boxing Day bonanza

Our report from The Den...

26 December 2017

Millwall earned a deserved point on Boxing Day as goals from Lee Gregory and Jake Cooper secured a 2-2 draw against Sky Bet Championship leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers at The Den.

Gregory gave The Lions an early lead, but strikes from Diogo Jota and Romain Saiss put Wolves on top.

Millwall would not give up there, however, with Cooper heading home the equaliser late into the second-half.

Neil Harris made three changes from Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Pride Park against Derby County, with Conor McLaughlin, Shaun Williams - for his first start since 26th September - and Tom Elliott coming into the starting line-up at the expense of Mahlon Romeo, Ryan Tunnicliffe and Steve Morison, who all dropped to the substitutes' bench.

The afternoon started at a frenetic pace, with the first chance in front of goal going the way of the visitors on five minutes as Helder Costa's effort was deflected wide for a corner-kick.

The Lions' opening attempt on goal came from a Jed Wallace free-kick, but Cooper's cushioned header easily fell into the arms of John Ruddy. Wallace then tested Ruddy with a shot on 10 minutes.

Two minutes later, Jordan Archer had to be at his best to keep out Matt Doherty with a strong save from a thumping close-range effort. That proved to be decisive, as from the resulting corner-kick, Millwall broke away and took the lead. Wallace's run from deep was supported by Gregory and Aiden O'Brien either side, with the winger opting to slide the ball into the path of Gregory, who slotted past Ruddy for his fourth goal of the campaign.

It could have been two shortly after, but O'Brien just couldn't find the target following another delightful Wallace pass.

Midway through the first-half Wolves looked to be in the ascendancy, with Costa once more forcing Archer into a smart save on 25 minutes. The midfielder once more tried his luck four minutes later, but failed to trouble the Millwall net.

Just after the half-hour mark, George Saville's looping ball looked to set Gregory on goal, but the striker was not able to control. 

Cooper nearly doubled the lead but hit the side-netting with a header, whilst with time nearly up, Wolves levelled through Jota, who poked home from close-range after good work from Costa.

Three minutes into the second-half, a ricochet saw the ball cannon into the path of Gregory, but Ruddy rushed out well to stop the frontman doubling his tally.

With 56 minutes on the clock, the visitors turned the game round and took the lead through Saiss, whose shot just evaded the reach of Archer and nestled into the corner of the net.

McLaughlin and Elliott both had to withdraw from the action through injury in the early stages of the second-half - they were replaced by Romeo and Morison.

Jota's effort on 68 minutes was stopped by Archer, before four minutes later, The Lions levelled through Cooper, who nodded home at the back post after Shaun Hutchinson's header hung in the air following a corner-kick.

Substitute Alfred N'Diaye perhaps could have won the game for Wolves in the last minute of normal time, but the midfielder found the upper tier behind the goal with his effort.

Archer palmed away a free-kick in stoppage-time in the final action of the afternoon - a point that extends Millwall's unbeaten run at The Den to four games.

Millwall: Archer, McLaughlin (Romeo 51'), Meredith, Hutchinson, Williams, Gregory, Wallace, Elliott (Morison 60'), O'Brien (Tunnicliffe 82'), Saville, Cooper. Subs not used: Martin, Craig, Thompson, Onyedinma.

Scorer: Gregory 13', Cooper 72'

Booking: Williams, McLaughlin, Hutchinson

Wolves: Ruddy, Doherty, Douglas, Bennett, Cavaleiro (Bonatini 46'), Neves, Boly (Miranda 68'), Coady, Costa (N'Diaye 80'), Jota, Saiss. Subs not used: Norris, Batth, Enobakhare, Vinagre.

Scorer: Jota 45+4', Saiss 56'

Booking: Cavaleiro, Saiss, Coady

Referee: Tim Robinson

Attendance: 13,121 (1,726)


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