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Match Reports

Lions earn point at The Hawthorns

Our report from West Bromwich Albion...

11 September 2021

Daniel Ballard headed home as Millwall claimed a 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday afternoon.

Bartosz Bialkowski saved Karlan Grant's penalty in the last kick of the first-half, but Kyle Bartley gave The Baggies a lead early in the second-half.

Ballard had other ideas, though, nodding home the equaliser shortly after to hand Millwall a well-deserved point.

Gary Rowett made one - enforced - change from the side which defeated Blackpool 2-1 in the final game before the international break, with debutant loanee Sheyi Ojo replacing the injured Benik Afobe.

The Baggies began the game on the front foot but were unable to penetrate a strong Lions defence - Millwall actually the first two half-chances of the afternoon, but neither Murray Wallace nor Billy Mitchell were able to trouble Sam Johnstone in the West Brom goal.

Grady Diangana then dragged an effort wide of Bialkowski's goal before striking over from the edge of the box as the home side turned the screw, with the long throws of Darnell Furlong providing a test for The Lions' back-line - something that they were able to deal with, however.

With seven mintes to play until the break, Jed Wallace pounced on indecision by Semi Ajayi and was able to nod towards goal but Johnstone was able to tip behind, with Scott Malone ballooning a volley over the crossbar from the resulting corner-kick.

In first-half injury-time, both Jake Cooper and Bialkowski had to be on guard to block and then tip a Jake Livermore effort over the crossbar, before a minute later, referee Andy Woolmer pointed to the spot as Diangana tumbled inside the area.

Bialkowski, however, was able to save Grant's spot-kick, ensuring that The Lions - in particular the goalkeeper - left the field to raptures of applause from the 1,262 travelling fans behind the goal.

Four minutes into the second-half, however, The Baggies took the lead as Bartley's looping header from a cross made its way over the dive of Bialkowski to nestle into the back of the net.

The response from The Lions was instant, though, and Murray Wallace should have brought the teams on level terms just two minutes later, but he struck wide from close range.

It didn't take much longer for Millwall to restore parity, however, as, after a Malone corner made its way to the back post, Jed Wallace's return cross was headed in by Ballard for his first goal in a Lions shirt.

As the hour-mark came and went, The Lions looked to hit their opponents on the break, first through Malone's cross, which agonisingly rolled past the onrushing Ojo and Jed Wallace, before another cross this time found Smith, but his acrobatic effort went wrong.

Ajayi's header hit the roof of Bialkowski's net before a big, big chance saw the defender's under-hit backpass find Ojo on goal, but his attempt was saved before Malone nodded over the follow-up.

Both sides traded attacks as the game came to a close, but neither side were able to find a winner, instead settling for a point.

West Bromwich Albion: Johnstone, Furlong, Townend, Bartley, Ajayi, Livermore, Phillips, Diangana (Hugill 46'), Grant (Robinson 59'), Kipre, Mowatt. Subs not used: Button, Molumby, Reach, Snodgrass, Taylor.

Scorer: Bartley 49'

Booking: Kipre

Millwall: Bialkowski, M. Wallace, Cooper, Kieftenbeld, J. Wallace, Smith, Malone, Ojo (Bennett 80'), Saville, B. Mitchell (Leonard 80'), Ballard. Subs not used: Long, Thompson, Bradshaw, Pearce, Mahoney.

Scorer: Ballard 55'

Booking: B. Mitchell, M. Wallace

Referee: Andy Woolmer

Attendance: 23,142 (1,262)

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