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Match Reports

Lions claim Boxing Day point at Cardiff

Our take from South Wales

26 December 2019

Two goals in four minutes ensured that the points were shared on Boxing Day as Cardiff City and Millwall drew 1-1 in the Sky Bet Championship.

Aden Flint took advantage of being unmarked to nudge The Bluebirds into the lead at the Cardiff City Stadium, but a fabulous free-kick from Jed Wallace levelled the scores in South Wales.

Gary Rowett made just one change to the starting XI which took on Barnsley last Saturday, with Alex Pearce returning from illness to take Jiri Skalak's place. The Czech dropped to a bench which also included Murray Wallace, who missed the meeting with The Tykes through ill health.

The first foray into either penalty area went the way of Millwall, but after Shane Ferguson laid the ball into the path of Jake Cooper, the defender's left-footed cross was directed into the hands of Neil Etheridge by Tom Bradshaw, despite the close attentions of Jon Dadi Bodvarsson.

At the other end, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing broke past Ferguson and delivered a cross into the box, but the ball evaded everyone, skimmed off the wet surface and went out for a goal-kick. Lee Tomlin then found the away fans behind the goal with an attempt on 11 minutes.

There were muted shouts for a penalty kick with 18 minutes on the clock as Cooper tumbled following a Jed Wallace free-kick, but referee Mr Webb instead elected to point for a corner-kick - one which came to nothing.

By the midway point of the first-half the game had become a midfield battle with both sides struggling to create an opening - that nearly changed shortly before the half-hour mark, though, but Bodvarsson was beaten to Jed Wallace's cross by goalkeeper Etheridge.

The winger then had a shot saved with ease by Etheridge, before both he and Bradshaw broke away in a two-on-two situation with three minutes of the half remaining; Jed looked to feed the striker, but he was closed down by Curtis Nelson at the vital moment.

In first-half stoppage-time Bartosz Bialkowski was made to work for the first time, but the Pole was equal to Robert Glatzel's powerful effort.

With the second-half a little over two minutes old, Bialkowski was called into action once more - and in stunning style - as he reached to tip Lee Tomlin's goal-bound, long-range half-volley behind for a corner. The 'keeper then had to palm away a Joe Bennett free-kick, before Millwall, in particular Bodvarsson, took big strides into the penalty area on 52 minutes, but the Icelander's final touch took the ball away from him. Jed Wallace's ball across the box then found Shaun Hutchinson at the back post but his shot was blocked.

On 59 minutes, however, The Lions fell behind after Flint was allowed to tap the ball home, unmarked, following a Bluebirds corner.

The Lions were behind for just four minutes, though, as The Lions' top scorer bagged his ninth goal of the season courtesy of a outstanding free-kick which nestled in the top corner.

Changes were afoot after the two goals, with Rowett throwing on Connor Mahoney and Murray Wallace in favour of fresh legs down the left-hand side. The latter than attempted a right-footed piledriver on 83 minutes, but the effort was gathered by Etheridge.

The Lions had two corner-kicks in four minutes of stoppage-time, but could not force the winning goal, instead settling for a point.

Cardiff City: Etheridge, Peltier (Richards 44'), Bennett, Flint, Bacuna, Glatzel (Ward 77'), Pack, Nelson, Tomlin, Mendez-Laing, Hoilett (Whyte 90+1'). Subs not used: Smithies, Vaulks, Paterson, Bamba.

Scorer: Flint 59'

Millwall: Bialkowski, Hutchinson, Cooper, Williams, J. Wallace, Bradshaw (Smith 83'), Ferguson (M. Wallace 73'), Romeo, Pearce, Molumby, Bodvarsson (Mahoney 73'). Subs not used: Steele, McCarthy, Skalak, Mitchell.

Scorer: J. Wallace 63'

Referee: D. Webb

Attendance: 23,583

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