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Match Reports

Impressive Lions bag Villa Park point

Our take on goalless draw...

9 December 2017

Aston Villa and Millwall played out a goalless draw at Villa Park in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday afternoon.

The Lions will perhaps feel that should have taken all three points from B6, but will take huge comfort from a point - and clean sheet - on the road.

Boss Neil Harris made two changes from last Saturday's 3-1 victory over Sheffield United, both enforced, with Jordan Archer (illness) and Shane Ferguson (injury) making way for David Martin - making his Lions debut 24 hours after signing a new contract - and Aiden O'Brien.

The opening 10 minutes saw the ball at both ends repeatedly without either side mustering a shot on goal, however, shortly after, Keinan Davis put the first effort of the game over the crossbar.

Steve Morison's delicate lob sent Lee Gregory into a footrace with Villa goalkeeper Sam Johnstone on 14 minutes, but the stopper just beat the striker to the ball. Albert Adomah then curled over for the home side.

The Lions were in the game as the midway point of the first half appraoached, but could not find the final ball that would bring the opening goal. On 24 minutes, they nearly found it after Aiden O'Brien's through-ball found Jed Wallace, but the winger's powerful attempt was well met by Johnstone.

Davis was sent through on goal with 28 minutes on the clock, but an outstanding tackle by Jake Cooper prevented the hosts taking the lead.

The chances kept coming as on 32 minutes Millwall broke away from an Aston Villa corner, but a combination of Wallace and Ryan Tunnicliffe could not turn the ball home. Six minutes from the break, another breakaway involving the same combination and O'Brien saw poor decision-making allow the ball to fizzle into the arms of Johnstone.

With Villa Park growing restless, the 2,100 Lions fans packed into one corner were getting behind their side and showing their appreciation for what was a sterling performance - Morison tested Johnstone on 43 minutes, but the goalkeeper reacted well to save. O'Brien curled into the arms of the stopper as the 45-minute mark struck.

Millwall started the second half the brighter, with O'Brien shooting just over on 48 minutes. Martin watched an effort sail over his crossbar, before Tunnicliffe tried his luck with 53 minutes played. Morison volleyed into the lower tier on the hour-mark.

It was The Lions making the most of the chances as the second half wore on, with O'Brien once more testing the palms of Johnstone before substitute Jack Grealish forced Martin into a save.

In what was becoming a frenetic encounter, Millwall once more attacked through the duo of Gregory and O'Brien, but neither could convert a bouncing ball on the edge of the six-yard box.

The frame of the goal was found for the first time with 15 minutes remaining as Gregory's shot skimmed off the crossbar. The number nine again found himself on the end of an attack following Cooper's flick-on from Saville's free-kick, but his header was saved. Just seconds later, the striker again latched on to a header through, but his shot was saved.

Late on, Shaun Williams made a welcome return to action after a three-month lay-off through injury. That was the last real action of an afternoon in which The Lions may feel that should have taken three points from, but will perhaps gladly accept a point - one that backs up last Saturday's home win.

Aston Villa: Johnstone, Taylor, Samba (Elphick 78'), Chester, Whelan, Snodgrass (Grealish 59'), Lansbury, Onomah, Hutton (Elmohamady 70'), Adomah, Davis. Subs not used: Steer, Hogan, Hourihane, Bjarnason.

Booking: Whelan

Millwall: Martin, Meredith, Hutchinson, Gregory, Romeo, Wallace, Tunnicliffe, Morison (Elliott 81'), O'Brien (Williams 87'), Saville, Cooper. Subs not used: King, McLaughlin, Craig, Thompson, Twardek.

Booking: Saville, Wallace, Cooper

Referee: Andy Davies

Attendance: 29,628


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