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Match Reports

Bradshaw's first touch secures point for Millwall

Our take on the action from the Riverside...

24 August 2019

Tom Bradshaw scored with his first touch as Millwall drew 1-1 with Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday afternoon.

After dominating large spells of the game, The Lions fell behind after Paddy McNair scored with 20 minutes remaining, but Bradshaw stepped off the bench to net the equaliser from close range and gain a point on the road.

Neil Harris made two changes from Wednesday night's defeat at Fulham, as Matt Smith and Aiden O'Brien replaced Bradshaw and the injured Jiri Skalak.

The home side created the early pressure, but the first chance on goal went the way of Millwall - Connor Mahoney's free-kick, however, was drilled into the wall.

Then, just two minutes later, Mahoney's corner-kick was powered at goal by the head of Jake Cooper but cleared away, before indecision in the Boro defence meant goalkeeper Darren Randolph having to dribble past O'Brien and clear to safety.

Middlesbrough's first chance of the afternoon came on 11 minutes, but Bartosz Bialkowski comfortably gained Britt Assombalonga's header. Cooper was then robbed of possession by Ashley Fletcher, but the cross just evaded Assombalonga and nestled in the arms of Bialkowski.

A Boro breakaway then saw McNair given space, but his effort was blocked by Cooper. On 17 minutes, Mahoney's lay-off to Murray Wallace saw the left-back cross for Smith, but the striker's header at the back post crept wide. Ben Thompson then found himself with space around 20 yards out, but his goal-bound curler was expertly tipped over by Randolph.

From the resulting corner-kick, in a game that somehow remained goalless, Smith's header was then headed off the line and onto the crossbar by Adam Clayton before bouncing clear. As the clock struck the half-hour mark, Shaun Williams' ball was nodded down and into the path of Thompson by Smith, but the number eight blazed over on the half-volley.

The Lions were seeing much more of the ball now, and Romeo - charging forward at every opportunity - crossed for Thompson, but his diving header was blocked behind.

Mahoney was giving an ever-retreating Middlesbrough team the runaround, and his skill nearly set up an opening goal, but yet another shot was blocked behind for yet another corner - one which was headed wide by Alex Pearce.

There was a red card shortly before the half-time break, but not on the pitch - manager Harris was giving his marching orders for striking a member of the opposition coaching team.

The biggest chance of the game came just four minutes into the second-half, but after Randolph fluffed his lines and presented the ball straight to Smith, the attacker's shot was stopped by the goalkeeper.

McNair then danced into the box with 55 minutes played, but his cross whistled past everyone, before shouts for handball were turned down by referee John Brooks. The home side were having their best spell to date, and with 20 minutes remaining, they took the lead as McNair latched on to a through ball to guide a first-time shot past Bialkowski.

With 15 minutes remaining, The Lions went to a more attacking line-up as Williams made way for Bradshaw - and the striker was straight into the action, as he turned home Smith's header from Ryan Leonard's corner to equalise with his first touch.

The home side then attempted to turn the screw and apply late pressure, but the best they could muster was Jonny Howson's shot, which flew over the bar. A minute later, Mahoney's free-kick found Smith at the back post, but he nodded wide, before Jason McCarthy entered the fray for his Lions debut.

Bradshaw then powered past Ryan Shotton as The Lions looked to win the game late on, but the defender caught up with the frontman enough to execute a goal-saving challenge.

Millwall had to defend in five minutes of stoppage-time, but stood firm to claim a draw.

Middlesbrough: Randolph, Ayala, Shotton, Clayton (Wing 81'), Assombalonga, Browne (Johnson 46'), Fletcher, Howson, McNair, Saville, Bola. Subs not used: Fry, Tavernier, Gestede, Walker, Pears.

Scorer: McNair 70'

Millwall: Bialkowski, M. Wallace, Cooper, Williams (Bradshaw 75'), Thompson, Smith, Romeo, Pearce, Leonard, Mahoney, O'Brien (Ferguson 66'). Subs not used: Steele, McCarthy, Hutchinson, Molumby, Bodvarsson.

Scorer: Bradshaw 76'

Booking: O'Brien, Leonard

Referee: John Brooks

Attendance: 19,279 (375)


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