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Match Reports

Midweek stalemate in SE16

Televised action from The Den

26 February 2020

Millwall and Birmingham City played out a goalless draw at The Den on Wednesday evening.

In a frustrating night, The Lions largely dominated the second 45 minutes after a drab first-half, but were unable to break the Birmingham door down.

Gary Rowett made just one change from Saturday's defeat to Wigan Athletic, with Mason Bennett coming in for his home debut at the expense of Tom Bradshaw, who dropped to the bench.

The Lions nearly fell behind as early as the second minute, but fortunately Lukas Jutkiewicz's poke at goal rolled wide of Bartosz Bialkowski's far post.

Back came Millwall, however, with a deep Jed Wallace free-kick and subsequent knockdown from Jake Cooper almost finding Murray Wallace, but the ball was cleared behind by Jude Bellingham.

With 10 minutes on the clock The Lions fashioned a chance, but after good work from Bennett, who crossed the ball to the back post for Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, he nodded down into the path of Jed Wallace who saw his stab at goal just tipped wide by Lee Camp. Bennett and Bodvarsson then combined just a minute later, but the Icelander flicked an effort just wide.

It was Millwall who were making most of the attacking play as the midway point of the first-half arrived, but despite a succession of corners the score remained goalless. A sustained spell of pressure around the half-hour mark saw The Lions advance into dangerous territory, but Camp was untroubled.

The next chance of the evening came at the other end, but Ivan Sunjic drilled wide after Alex Pearce's clearance failed to muster any purchase on it. Pearce was then on hand to block a vicious Jutkiewicz strike with his midriff, before Jed Wallace's lengthy run saw the winger lay the ball into the path of the open Bennett, but the loanee's first touch let him down.

The ball was in the net four minutes into the second-half, but just before Kristian Pedersen blasted the ball home, referee David Webb judged there to have been a foul in the penalty area. A penalty shout followed just minutes later for handball, but Webb decided to point for a Millwall free-kick.

Defenders turned attackers shortly after as both Shaun Hutchinson and Murray Wallace swung crosses into the box, but no Millwall man was there to take advantage. Jed Wallace's ball across the face of goal was then just out of reach for Bodvarsson, before Jayson Molumby's deflected effort was palmed behind by Camp as The Lions began to gather momentum.

Jed Wallace then put the ball on a plate for Bodvarsson with 64 minutes played but his header was well saved by Camp, with a further Lions chance coming when the winger lifted the ball into the path of substitute Matt Smith, but the frontman could not reach the pass.

It was all Millwall as the second-half wore on, with The Blues near enough camped in their own half and passes going astray in the rare moments they ventured forward - Jed Wallace's through-ball allowed Mahlon Romeo to cross with 13 minutes remaining, but another substitute, this time Bradshaw, could not extend his body far enough to turn the ball home.

After Camp punched away a corner, Molumby's shot was blocked with seven minutes remaining; the stopper was then forced to tip over his own crossbar as the final moments of the game approached, with The Blues holding out for a point.

Millwall: Bialkowski, M. Wallace, Hutchinson, Cooper, J. Wallace, Romeo, Pearce (Smith 63'), Molumby, Woods, Bennett (Bradshaw 63'), Bodvarsson (Mahoney 80'). Subs not used: Steele, Ferguson, O'Brien, Mitchell.

Booking: Romeo

Birmingham City: Camp, Pedersen, Roberts, Colin, Jutkiewicz, Bela (Crowley 66'), Dean, Gardner, Bellingham (Kieftenbeld 71'), Sunjic, Hogan. Subs not used: Trueman, Harding, Clarke-Salter, Montero, Boyd-Munce.

Referee: David Webb

Attendance: 11,209 (1,077)

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