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Match Reports

Derby at The Den ends in draw

Our take from SE16...

12 February 2020

Millwall and Fulham played out an entertaining 1-1 draw in the Sky Bet Championship at The Den on Wednesday night.

Both goals came in the first seven minutes of the match, as after Aleksandar Mitrovic scored his 21st goal of the season with just three minutes played, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson hit back four minutes later to restore parity.

The Lions had a chance to nudge themselves in front during an eventful first-half, but Jed Wallace struck a penalty-kick over the crossbar.

Gary Rowett opted to start three centre-halves against The Whites, with Shaun Hutchinson, Jake Cooper and Alex Pearce in the back-line, whilst Mahlon Romeo and Murray Wallace opted as wing-backs. Ryan Woods and Jayson Molumby made up The Lions' engine room, with Bodvarsson and Jed Wallace either side of Tom Bradshaw.

Just three minutes in, Fulham took the lead as a cross was swung in and allowed Mitrovic to spring the offside trap to poke into the net, unmarked.

The Lions responded, though, and forced a succession of corners shortly after, with an equaliser coming through Bodvarsson, who tapped the ball home at the back post despite suspicions of offside. Referee Andrew Madley consulted with his fellow official but the goal was allowed to stand, much to the anger of Fulham's players.

The game - in the way of goalmouth action - calmed down from that frenetic start, but Millwall were still pressing and probing for the next goal of the game. Molumby's direct pass was chested down by Bodvarsson and into the path of Bradshaw with 20 minutes played, but the Fulham defence were quick to smother any potential shot.

Two minutes later, The Lions were presented with the chance to take the lead after Joe Bryan brought down the onrushing Romeo in the box, leaving Madley with no choice but to point to the spot. Jed Wallace stepped up but blazed his kick high over the crossbar.

Millwall continued to drive forward, though, with Romeo particularly enjoying space down The Lions' right, but a misplaced pass by Bradshaw nearly let Mitrovic in - Woods, however, had to take one for the team and receive a booking for a foul.

Romeo's cross - which quickly turned into a shot - had Marek Rodak backpedalling shortly before the half-hour mark but the stopper managed to tip wide, before a Jed Wallace free-kick found the toe of Bodvarsson but the Icelander's effort went wide.

Bartosz Bialkowski, a relative bystander since Fulham's goal, started a move which ended with the ball at the feet of Murray Wallace on 32 minutes, but despite his through-ball reaching the onrushing namesake Jed, the winger's first touch took the ball away from his run and into the arms of Rodak; The Lions were cutting their opponents apart at the back, however.

As the clock struck the 45-minute mark Fulham had a free-kick, but after Bobby Decordova-Reid's effort hit the wall, Mitrovic's follow-up was drilled into the arms of Bialkowski to end a breathless first-half.

The second-half failed to begin at the same pace as the first, but that did not stop both sides continuing to look for the third goal of the evening - Josh Onomah's wild shot which went wide the closest Fulham came. At the other end, meanwhile, Jed Wallace struck but his effort was blocked.

Onomah then battled his way through the Millwall defence from deep and got a shot away with 62 minutes on the clock, but he dragged it wide of Bialkowski's far post. With 15 minutes remaining smart skill from the impressive Bodvarsson put Bradshaw in, but his attempt was saved by Rodak.

Ryan Leonard made his first appearance since the win over Leeds United in October as he came on for Bradshaw in the 77th minute, with Matt Smith and Jiri Skalak also entering the fray late on, but it was Fulham who came closest to snatching all three points at the end as substitute Neeskens Kebano hit the crossbar with a looping header.

Millwall: Bialkowski, M. Wallace, Hutchinson, Cooper, J. Wallace, Bradshaw (Leonard 77'), Romeo, Pearce (Smith 86'), Molumby, Woods (Skalak 86'), Bodvarsson. Subs not used: Steele, Ferguson, Mahoney, O'Brien.

Scorer: Bodvarsson 7'

Booking: Woods

Fulham: Rodak, Hector, Odoi, Mitrovic, Cairney, Ream, Decordova-Reid, Arter (Kebano 88'), Bryan, Onomah, Kamara (Cavaleiro 71'). Subs not used: Bettinelli, McDonald, Johansen, Christie, Sessegnon.

Scorer: Mitrovic 3'

Booking: Cairney, Arter

Referee: Andrew Madley

Attendance: 12,870 (1,919)

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