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Match Reports

Lions claim vital point at Ashton Gate

Sunday afternoon at Bristol City...

2 December 2018

Shaun Williams was on the mark as Millwall gained a point at Bristol City on Sunday afternoon in the Sky Bet Championship.

Jake Cooper turned the ball into his own net shortly into the second-half to open the scoring, but Williams' sweet strike 12 minutes from time secured a share of the spoils.

The Ashton Gate meeting was seemingly costly to The Lions' injury list, however, as Aiden O'Brien, goalscorer Williams and Steve Morison all had to withdraw due to injury.

Neil Harris made two changes - both enforced - to his starting line-up as Ryan Tunnicliffe replaced the suspended Ryan Leonard in midfield, whilst O'Brien came in for the injured Lee Gregory up front. Lewis White took his place among the substitutes.

With four minutes of the afternoon elapsed, the first shot of the game went the way of the hosts, but Jordan Archer saved Niclas Eliasson's deflected effort. Jamie Paterson then struck well wide three minutes later.

Both sides then probed for an opening without too much joy - that was until the 13th minute, however, as Josh Brownhill's thumping attempt hit the roof of the net.

The Lions began to threaten around the 19-minute mark as Steve Morison looked to control Jed Wallace's spinning cross, but the striker's touch took the ball away from him, with it landing in the arms of Niki Maenpaa.

At the midway point of the first-half Lloyd Kelly fizzed a shot towards goal, but it hit Archer's side-netting. Slack passing a moment later led to O'Brien robbing City of possession, but a failure to look up and find an unmarked Morison on the edge of the penalty area meant the attack came to nothing.

On 27 minutes Bristol City came closest to opening the deadlock, as Famara Diedhiou's header cannoned back off the crossbar, before the rebound was cleared to safety. Eliasson then lifted a shot over on the half-hour mark as the home side continued to threaten.

Despite making no contact with Eliasson, Morison found himself in referee Darren England's book seven minutes before the half-time break, whilst the next action saw Jake Cooper turn a tricky Kelly cross behind his goal for a corner-kick, which was headed away from danger.

The Lions opened the second-half by registering their first shot on goal, but Maenpaa was equal to O'Brien's effort, with the stopper also tipping Jed Wallace's follow-up away.

Shane Ferguson's through-ball found the Irishman just minutes later, but his effort was saved. Bristol City then went straight down the other end and took the lead, as a Eliasson cross was sliced into his own net by Cooper.

With Tom Bradshaw and Tom Elliott already sidelined, Millwall also lost O'Brien just before the hour-mark as he tumbled to the floor before leaving on a stretcher - he was replaced by Jiri Skalak, with Jed Wallace moving into the vacant striker's slot.

Jed Wallace and Skalak played a neat one-two as The Lions gained a foothold in the game with 20 minutes remaining, but the former's control took the ball away from him. Wallace then forced a save from Maenpaa from a free-kick, before 12 minutes from time, Millwall's endeavour earned them an equaliser.

Cooper's long ball was nodded down by Morison and into the path of Williams, who struck a sweet effort past a helpless Maenpaa.

That was to be the Irishman's last action in the game, however, as The Lions' injury crisis deepened - an impact injury seemingly at the moment of striking the ball forced the midfielder off - Jem Karacan his replacement.

Morison's withdrawal - with what looked like cramp - meant The Lions had to play seven minutes of stoppage-time with no recognised striker on the pitch, but they held out to claim a valuable point.

Bristol City: Maenpaa, Pisano, Webster, Brownhill, Diedhiou (Watkins 83'), Weimann (Eisa 90'), Kelly, Eliasson, Paterson (O'Dowda 83'), Pack, Kalas. Subs not used: O'Leary, Baker, Morrell, Hunt.

Scorer: Cooper og 52'

Booking: Kalas, Pisano

Millwall: Archer, Meredith, Hutchinson, Cooper, Williams (Karacan 81'), J. Wallace, Ferguson, Romeo, Tunnicliffe, Morison (Webster 90+1'), O'Brien (Skalak 59'). Subs not used: Amos, McLaughlin, M. Wallace, White.

Scorer: Williams 78'

Booking: Morison, Ferguson, Archer

Referee: Darren England

Attendance: 18,814 (612)

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