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Match Reports

Goalless at Ewood Park

Rearranged fixture at Blackburn Rovers.

8 March 2022

Millwall stretched their unbeaten run to six matches on Tuesday night with a hard-fought 0-0 draw at Blackburn Rovers in the Sky Bet Championship.

Gary Rowett named an unchanged starting XI for the visit to Ewood Park, with Daniel Ballard and Benik Afobe maintaining their places. The one change came on the bench, as Mason Bennett returned from injury to replace Tyrese Briscoe.

The home side were making most of the attacking in the early stages, with Ryan Giles and Joe Rothwell giving The Lions issues down their left-hand side. A neat interchange of passing gave Rovers the first opportunity to score with 16 minutes on the clock, but Joe Rankin-Costello dragged his shot wide of Bartosz Bialkowski's far post.

Three minutes later, Jan Paul van Hecke powerfully met a corner-kick with his head, but nodded wide.

The Lions were having to soak up pressure from Blackburn as the first-half wore on, with John Buckley's trickery allowing him to strike towards goal on 25 minutes, but the ball shaved the outside of the far post before going behind.

Millwall first broke forward shortly after that, but after Jed Wallace beat his man and crossed, a dummy from Afobe was read by the Rovers defence before Tyler Burey could receive the ball, unmarked, on the edge of the penalty area.

An important challenge from Jake Cooper prevented Buckley from getting an attempt in on goal around the half-hour mark, with Buckley - The Lions' tormentor in the first-half - swinging over a fantastic cross for Sam Gallagher just over five minutes from the break, but the attacker put the ball wide.

George Evans was brought on in place of Ballard at half-time, meaning a change of shape for The Lions - and the first opportunity of the second period went the way of Rovers, but Bialkowski pulled off a stunning stop to keep his sheet clean from Buckley's close-range effort. Gallagher then failed to convert from close range, before van Hecke's header from a corner went over the crossbar.

Both sides were becoming frustrated - as were Blackburn's supporters - in their attempts to register the opening goal of the evening, with Jed Wallace motoring forward on 70 minutes in an attempt to cross for Afobe, but his efforts were in vain as the Rovers defence cleared behind.

Bennett was thrown on with just over five minutes to play to give Millwall fresh legs up front, but the late chances fell the way of the hosts, most notably on 87 minutes as Rothwell's corner was met by the head of Rovers captain Darragh Lenihan, which Bialkowski had to tip over from under his crossbar.

Throughout injury-time, Rovers had The Lions on the backfoot, but the defence remained firm and a solid point was gained.

Blackburn Rovers: Kaminski, Pickering, Rothwell, Gallagher (Vale 84'), Rankin-Costello, Wharton, Buckley (Hedges 77'), van Hecke, Lenihan, Travis, Giles (Dolan 77'). Subs not used: Pears, Johnson, Davenport, Brown.

Booking: van Hecke

Millwall: Bialkowski, McNamara, M. Wallace, Cooper, J. Wallace, Malone, Saville, Afobe (Bennett 84'), B. Mitchell, Ballard (Evans 46'), Burey (Pearce 57'). Subs not used: Long, Mahoney, Muller, Lovelace.

Booking: Cooper, M. Wallace, Saville

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 12,874 (435)

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