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Match Reports

Draw at The Den

Our take on Millwall v Bolton Wanderers...

24 November 2018

Jiri Skalak stepped off the bench to secure a 1-1 draw for Millwall against Bolton Wanderers at The Den in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday afternoon.

Former Lion Mark Beevers opened the scoring in the 12th minute, but Skalak fired home eight minutes from time to earn a share of the spoils on a bizarre afternoon in South London.

Neil Harris made two changes to his starting line-up, one enforced, as Jordan Archer replaced the unavailable Ben Amos between the sticks, whilst James Meredith returned to his usual left-back slot in place of Murray Wallace.

The first chance of the afternoon went the way of The Trotters, but after Shaun Hutchinson misjudged his header, Josh Magennis curled well wide.

A nervy moment took place with six minutes on the clock as William Buckley tumbled to the ground inside the penalty area, but referee Lee Swabey was unmoved and allowed play on. Seconds later, Archer showed his capabilities by firstly stopping Buckley's effort, before outstandingly getting back up to tip Jason Lowe's goal-bound effort over the crossbar.

Bolton were extremely dangerous on the attack and perhaps got their reward on 12 minutes as Beevers stooped low, unmarked, at the back post to head off the post and into the net, giving Archer no chance.

Millwall responded and worked an opening via Lee Gregory and Shane Ferguson, but the ball was blocked behind. From the resulting corner-kick, Hutchinson's header was blocked.

A bizarre moment halfway through the first-half saw referee Swabey - who originally replaced Tony Harrington before kick-off - become injured, so a further officiating substitution had to take place, with one of the assistants now becoming the man in the middle.

A further stoppage took place on 34 minutes as Tom Elliott had to be taken off injured - Aiden O'Brien was his replacement, moving up front alongside Gregory.

Patient build-up play nearly gave The Lions an equaliser three minutes before the break, but Ryan Leonard's lofted pass was caught in between Gregory's feet, stopping the attack dead on the edge of the six-yard box.

One minute into six of stoppage-time, The Lions somehow did not draw level. Gregory's incredible touch took him past his defender and after he crossed for Leonard, the midfielder's shot was well saved - but spilled - by Ben Alnwick. O'Brien's follow-up was also saved, before a header looped up and was cleared off the line and behind.

Bolton were cutting through the Millwall defence with ease as the second half begun and on 50 minutes it was nearly two, but Archer saved well from Lowe's effort.

A good spell of possession and build-up play shortly after the hour-mark carved out an opening, but Meredith's shot was blocked and Gregory's follow-up attempt was saved by Alnwick.

The Lions were now on top and with the Den crowd behind them they pushed for an equaliser, but had nothing to show for it. Clayton Donaldson found the away fans in the upper tier 20 minutes from time at the other end, whilst a bout of pinball in the Bolton box ended with the ball being cleared.

A cross-field run from Shane Ferguson got the crowd on their feet with nine minutes remaining, with The Lions finally breaking down the Bolton backline a minute later as substitute Skalak fired home from around 15 yards out into the bottom corner for his first goal for the club.

Gregory's header on 88 minutes whistled just past the post, whilst Skalak's ball across the box went wrong as the 90-minute mark struck, evading three players.

Bolton had a chance late on, but Craig Noone shot over.

Millwall: Archer, McLaughlin (Romeo 60'), Meredith (Skalak 77'), Hutchinson, Cooper, S. Williams, J. Wallace, Gregory, Ferguson, Elliott (O'Brien 37'), Leonard. Subs not used: Martin, Tunnicliffe, Karacan, M. Wallace.

Scorer: Skalak 82'

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Taylor, Lowe, Beevers, Ameobi, Buckley (noone 70'), Olkowski, Wilson, J. Williams, Magennis (Donaldson 46'), Wheater. Subs not used: Matthews, Vela, Doidge, Hobbs, Wildschut.

Booking: Lowe

Scorer: Beevers 12'

Referee: Lee Swabey (replaced Tony Harrington prior to kick-off)

Attendance: 12,554 (661)

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