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Match Reports

Ewood stalemate as Lions pick up away point

Our report from a goalless encounter...

11 August 2018

Millwall started their away 2018/19 Sky Bet Championship campaign with a goalless draw at Ewood Park against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday afternoon.

On an afternoon where Jordan Archer was in inspired form, The Lions hit the post twice through George Saville and Steve Morison in a blistering opening spell in Lancashire.

Manager Neil Harris opted to stick with the starting XI that performed well against Middlesbrough on last weekend's opening day meeting, with one change coming on the substitutes' bench - Shane Ferguson coming in for Fred Onyedinma.

The Lions created early pressure for the Blackburn defence to contend with and nearly opened the scoring just three minutes in, but Jed Wallace skewed his volley wide of the post. Morison's flick-on then almost set Lee Gregory away but Rovers goalkeeper David Raya rushed out to claim the ball.

Wallace then capitalised on some slack defending by Charlie Mulgrew but a combination of the winger and Morison were unable to fashion a shot on goal.

The Lions were opening up the home sides' defence like a hot knife through butter but could not find the final percent to take the lead - Wallace had another attempt saved by Raya on 10 minutes. From there, Saville struck the post with a vicious attempt with Gregory unable to convert a rebound which came to him at pace.

Blackburn's first foray into the opposition penalty area came on 12 minutes, but Bradley Dack put an effort from Danny Graham's knockdown over the crossbar.

Kasey Palmer's trickery was beginning to cause Millwall's defence issues but no Rovers attempt troubled Jordan Archer. Wallace's cross was met by O'Brien with 24 minutes on the clock but the Irishman's looping header went wide.

Blackburn's goal was certainly leading a charmed life and that didn't change just before the half-hour mark as Morison's low shot hit the post and rolled along the goal-line before being knocked behind. From the resulting corner-kick, Jake Cooper forced a save from Raya.

On the stroke of half-time Rovers had their first shot on target as Dack's free-kick forced Archer to palm wide. Two corner-kicks followed, with the latter seeing a header from Darragh Lenihan hit the top of the crossbar.

Graham latched on to a through-ball on 51 minutes and eventually shook off the pursuit of Shaun Hutchinson, but Archer stood tall and pulled off a smart save. Mulgrew then curled a free-kick on to the roof of the net as the hour-mark approached.

In a case of history repeating itself Graham once more shrugged off Hutchinson but was again denied by a big save from Archer as the clock struck 60 minutes. Wallace's through-ball nearly found Gregory, whilst at the other end, Elliott Bennett shot wide.

Archer on to be on hand yet again on 69 minutes as the impressive Joe Rothwell shot from range - the stopper parrying the ball behind.

Both sides huffed and puffed in the remaining minutes but were unable to find that elusive goal, meaning the points were shared.

Blackburn Rovers: Raya, Nyambe, Smallwood (Armstrong 67'), Graham, Mulgrew, Bell, Dack, Lenihan, Evans, Bennett (Travis 80'), Palmer (Rothwell 64'). Subs not used: Leutwiler, Nuttall, Downing, Conway.

Millwall: Archer, Meredith, Hutchinson, Cooper, Williams, J. Wallace (Ferguson 89'), Gregory, Romeo, Morison, O'Brien (Skalak 71'), Saville. Subs not used: Amos, McLaughlin, Tunnicliffe, Elliott, M. Wallace.

Booking: Williams

Referee: Gavin Ward

Attendance: 13,239 (851)

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