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Match Reports

Televised tussle ends in stalemate

Our take on Friday night's clash...

9 February 2018

Millwall and Cardiff City played out a pulsating and entertaining 1-1 draw at The Den on Friday night in the Sky Bet Championship.

Junior Hoilett gave The Bluebirds an early lead, but Lee Gregory equalised shortly before half-time with his seventh goal of the campaign to secure a share of the spoils.

Neil Harris made three changes from The Lions' superb 2-0 win at Reading, with Mahlon Romeo, Ryan Tunnicliffe and Ben Marshall - for his Millwall debut - replacing Conor McLaughlin, Shaun Williams and Fred Onyedinma in the starting line-up.

Tim Cahill took his place on the substitutes' bench.

Just four minutes in, Cardiff took the lead as Hoilett pounced on a mistake by Romeo to fire home from just outside the penalty area.

The Bluebirds looked dangerous going forward and tried to fashion chances on goal as the midway point of the first-half approached, forcing four corner-kicks in a row, but The Lions' defence stood firm until Nathaniel Mendez-Laing blazed high, wide and not so handsome.

Millwall's first opportunity came on 23 minutes, but after Steve Morison controlled Marshall's cross, the striker's shot crashed off the crossbar.

Five minutes later, a crunching tackle from Shaun Hutchinson allowed George Saville to find Morison, but his effort fell into the arms of Neil Etheridge. Barely seconds later, The Lions dispossessed Cardiff, but Morison once more poked the ball to the stopper.

Firmly gaining a foothold in the match, Gregory's lay-off to Saville from Morison's knockdown nearly produced a shot, but a Bluebirds leg was stuck out just in time.

With 39 minutes on the clock, Gregory expertly created space for himself and unleashed a shot from around 25 yards out, but it crept just wide of the post. However, a minute later, the frontman got his reward for his endeavour as he smashed the ball home following Jed Wallace's low cross.

As the half-time whistle approached, Jake Cooper nodded a corner-kick towards goal, but the ball trickled into Etheridge's grasp. Romeo then bombed forward and cut the ball back across goal, but no Millwall man was there to finish.

Five minutes into the second-half Gregory and Morison combined once again, but the former's cross was cleared by Joe Bennett under pressure from Wallace.

Cardiff broke away up the other end on 52 minutes, but Joe Ralls fluffed his lines on the edge of the box, before Hutchinson brilliantly blocked Gary Madine's shot in typical fashion.

Debutant Marshall cut inside and looked for a goal on his first start on 56 minutes, but his deflected effort was turned behind by Etheridge. Millwall had started the second-half like they ended the first and with the Den faithful behind them they continued to push for the goal that would put them into the lead, but Gregory headed Wallace's cross wide.

Mendez-Laing and Marshall had half-chances at either end as the hour-mark came and went, whilst Wallace ensured Etheridge used his full reach to tip an effort wide before claiming it at the second attempt.

Cooper slid in to block a certain Cardiff shot on 82 minutes, before The Bluebirds turned the ball home from close range seconds later - however, referee Keith Stroud had already blown his whistle for an earlier infringement, meaning the strike was chalked off.

Callum Paterson headed towards goal with four minutes remaining, but Saville was handily-placed on the line to clear away from danger.

Cahill replaced the excellent Gregory as the 90-minute mark struck, but it was Cardiff who nearly stole victory at the end - however, Paterson fired wide after breaking through the Millwall defence.

Millwall: Archer, Meredith, Hutchinson, Gregory (Cahill 90'), Romeo, Wallace, Tunnicliffe, Morison, Saville, Cooper, Marshall (Onyedinma 79'). Subs not used: Martin, McLaughlin, Williams, Elliott, Shackell.

Booking: Romeo, Cooper

Scorer: Gregory 40'

Cardiff City: Etheridge, Bennett, Morrison, Manga, Ralls, Bamba, Paterson, Mendez-Laing (Damour 78'), Grujic (Halford 77'), Hoilett, Madine (Zohore 82'). Subs not used: Murphy, Peltier, Pilkington, Ward.

Scorer: Hoilett 4'

Referee: Keith Stroud

Attendance: 13,204 (877)

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