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Match Reports

Honours even at The Den

Saturday on Cold Blow Lane...

18 September 2021

Millwall and Coventry City played out a 1-1 draw in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday afternoon at The Den.

Victor Gyokeres gave The Sky Blues an early lead in SE16, but George Saville equalised with 21 minutes played to restore parity.

Tom Bradshaw then had a fine header chalked off for a highly-controversial offside decision just moments before the half-time break.

Gary Rowett made two changes from Wednesday night's goalless draw at Swansea City, with Ryan Leonard and Matt Smith coming into the side at the expense of Billy Mitchell and Mason Bennett, who both dropped to the bench.

The game got underway in typically loud fashion inside The Den, with the first chance falling the way of The Lions on four minutes, but after Bradshaw controlled well and shaped to shoot, his effort was snuffed out by Sky Blues captain Kyle McFadzean. The number nine then struck wide as Millwall continued to attack from the off.

However, with nine minutes on the clock, Coventry took the lead after Gyokeres was allowed too much time to control and skip past the Millwall defence before firing across Bartosz Bialkowski and into the far corner of the net for the opening goal.

The Lions looked to respond to that early setback, with Jed Wallace's determination winning him the ball back and allowing him to cross with 13 minutes on the clock, but Scott Malone's header back across the box was cleared away. Smith was then slipped through on goal by George Saville four minutes later, but an outstanding challenge from Dominic Hyam kept Coventry's sheet clean.

With 21 minutes played, the equaliser came. A move that began with Jed Wallace and took in Smith, Leonard and Jed Wallace once again, saw the attacker cross for Saville, with his deflected effort sending Simon Moore the wrong way and nestling into the back of the net.

Both sides traded half-chances from corners from there in what was an entertaining half of football, with Jed Wallace and Leonard combining well down the right-hand side on the half-hour mark, enabling the latter to cross, but Maikel Kieftenbeld's shot was blocked.

Malone's vicious effort from the left-hand edge of the box forced Moore into a smart stop with seven minutes to play until the half-time break, before Todd Kane could have put The Sky Blues back in front just seconds later at the other end, but he was unable to make full contact with the ball inside the area.

With a little over 90 seconds left on the clock, Sky Blues' goalscorer Gyokeres could - and perhaps should - have had a second, but his effort from inside the box whistled wide of Bialkowski's far post. 

As the clock struck 45 minutes, however, The Lions had a goal disallowed in highly controversial circumstances as a cross was expertly headed home by Bradshaw at the back post - the linesman on the far side instantly put his flag up, but instant replays showed the striker to be onside when the cross was made.

Bialkowski then had to save from the lively Gyokeres as an eventful half came to a close.

Matty Godden had the first chance of the second-half as early as 90 seconds in, but Bialkowski reacted quickly to stop, before The Lions were able to muster a couple of half-chances themselves as time wore on, but the Coventry defence stood firm. Bradshaw then had a chance to right the wrongs of the dying embers of the first-half, but as his header made its way towards goal, Moore was able to scramble across to save.

In what was an end-to-end encounter, Gyokeres once more bounded towards goal with 59 minutes played, but a vital interception from Saville kept the score at 1-1, with the attacker shaping to shoot inside the penalty area. At the other end, Ben Sheaf and Callum O'Hare both had strikes at goal, but failed to trouble Bialkowski.

Sheaf and Murray Wallace then found the fans behind each goal with shots inside the last 20 minutes of the match, before Jed Wallace's burst of pace set up an attack, only for Saville to strike a tame effort which was easy for Moore to collect. 

A teasing cross from Sheaf was knocked into the Millwall box with under 10 minutes to play, but Murray Wallace was there to touch the ball behind with Gyokeres waiting to pounce at the back post. Substitute Tyler Walker was then unable to get a clean strike on goal as time ticked away, with The Lions then attacking with 88 minutes played, only for proceedings to end with Jed Wallace's cross proving just too high for all involved.

Millwall: Bialkowski, M. Wallace, Cooper, Kieftenbeld (Mahoney 81'), J. Wallace, Bradshaw (Bennett 81'), Smith (B. Mitchell 68'), Malone, Saville, Leonard, Ballard. Subs not used: Long, Hutchinson, Thompson, Pearce.

Scorer: Saville 21'

Booking: Saville, M. Wallace

Coventry City: Moore, Clarke-Salter (Rose 62'), McFadzean, O'Hare (Allen 82'), Sheaf, Hyam, Gyokeres, Maatsen, Kane, Godden (Walker 81'), Hamer. Subs not used: Wilson, Jones, Waghorn, Dacosta.

Scorer: Gyokeres 9'

Referee: Keith Stroud

Attendance: 12,516 (1,889)

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