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Match Reports

Honours even in SE16

Remembrance Day at The Den...

6 November 2021

Millwall and Derby County drew 1-1 at The Den in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday afternoon.

Festy Ebosele opened the scoring at The Den for The Rams, but Scott Malone equalised just two minutes later to restore parity.

The visitors ended the fixture with 10 men after Nathan Byrne saw red for two bookable offences, but The Lions could not find a way past Wayne Rooney's side, having to settle for a draw.

Millwall boss Gary Rowett made three changes to the side which defeated Reading on Tuesday night - one enforced - as Malone, Mason Bennett and Daniel Ballard replaced Maikel Kieftenbeld, Matt Smith and the unwell Shaun Hutchinson.

After an excellent Remembrance ceremony led to referee Tim Robinson blow his whistle, the game got underway amongst a loud atmosphere inside The Den - and The Lions could have taken the lead inside a minute, but after Jed Wallace crossed, Benik Afobe took the ball away from the onrushing Ryan Leonard, who would have had a clear shot on goal.

At the other end, Jason Knight managed to fight his way past Ballard and cross for Festy Ebosele, but a combination of George Saville and Murray Wallace ensured that Bartosz Bialkowski's sheet remained clean.

Ebosele and Derby skipper Tom Lawrence were causing Millwall problems down their left-hand side in the early stages, but despite the latter swinging over a cross - and Malone doing so at the other end - neither side were able to test the goalkeepers early on.

Bialkowski was the first of the stoppers to be in action with 17 minutes on the clock, but the Pole was able to pounce on the ball after Sam Baldock's shot was blocked by Jake Cooper. The Rams were then presented with a good chance eight minutes later, but after Knight was sent through on goal, Ballard managed to get himself back into a position to block the attempt.

The next opportunity - on 28 minutes - fell at the feet of Malone, but after Jed Wallace's free-kick was nodded down as far as the left-back, his half-volley was skewed over the crossbar. Chances dried up as the half wore on from thre, but Bennett's effort was cleared off the line by Curtis Davies with five minutes to play until the break.

A Lawrence free-kick was comfortable for Bialkowski, but a minute from the whistle, Cooper's dallying on the ball allowed The Rams to score the opener, as the defender was robbed of possession before Ebosele scored at the far post.

However, that lead was to last just two minutes as, after Jed Wallace found Malone with a pass around 30 yards from goal, the left-back steadied himself before driving home an attempt from just outside the area to level the score against his old club.

Jed Wallace broke away from the Derby defence as the second-half got underway, but he found his effort blocked by the back-line, as was the follow-up from goalscorer Malone, before Lawrence was allowed acres of room to advance forward and feed Ebosele, who found his cross expertly headed away from danger by Ballard.

There was a golden chance for Millwall on the hour-mark, but after Bennett's superb turn and pass to Jed Wallace allowed the attacker to cut-back for an unmarked Saville, the midfielder's shot went agonisingly wide of Kelle Roos' far post.

Knight was then stopped by the legs of Bialkowski as The Lions once again left too much room at the back, but Derby were reduced to 10 men on 64 minutes as Byrne was shown a second yellow card by Robinson for bringing down Malone on the halfway line.

Straight after that, Millwall could have put themselves in the lead, but Jed Wallace's delightful cross was put wide by Afobe. Ebosele then ran half the length of the field as The Rams looked to hit The Lions on the break, but Mitchell was able to track and back and execute an inch-perfect challenge.

Sam Baldock stung the palms of Bialkowski as Derby looked to up the ante, with Bennett then rising high at the other end to head Ryan Leonard's cross over the bar. Baldock and Bialkowski continued their battle as the game continued to open up in the latter stages, before Afobe's acrobatic overhead-kick tested Roos with just over 10 minutes to play - the stopper tipping it wide.

Substitute Tom Bradshaw's flick-on from Malone's cross was then cleared from under his own crossbar by Davies as The Rams began to sit deep, before the goalscorer tried a fantastic dipping effort from around 30 yards out, which sailed inches over.

Smith - one of four substitutes owing to a concussion change for Ballard - headed a Jed Wallace cross over in six minutes of stoppage-time, but with no further goalmouth action, the game ended in a draw.

Millwall: Bialkowski, M. Wallace, Cooper, J. Wallace, Malone, Saville (Smith 81'), Leonard, Bennett (Bradshaw 75'), Afobe (Ojo 87'), B. Mitchell, Ballard (McNamara 74'). Subs not used: Long, Kieftenbeld, Pearce.

Scorer: Malone 45+1'

Booking: B. Mitchell, Cooper

Derby County: Roos, Byrne, Shinnie, Jagielka, Bird, Baldock (Sibley 87'), Lawrence (Aghatise 90+6'), Buchanan, Davies, Ebosele (Kazim-Richards 86'), Knight. Subs not used: Allsop, Forsyth, Jozwiak, Stearman.

Scorer: Ebosele 44'

Booking: Byrne

Sent Off: Byrne

Referee: Tim Robinson

Attendance: 14,372 (1,674)

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