Millwall fail to press home advantage in draw with Hull


Millwall were forced to share the spoils in the battle of the ‘big cats’ with Hull. The Lions missed multiple second-half chances to kill the game off, before the Tigers equalised to secure a 2-2 draw at The Den.

Neil Harris made two changes to the starting XI that drew with Bristol City last weekend with Lee Gregory and Ryan Leonard replacing Shane Ferguson and Shaun Williams, knowing that a win would lift his side out of the relegation places.

Nigel Adkins followed suit in making a pair of switches. Adkins was forced into changing two members of his winning defence at QPR as the injured Eric Lichaj and Reece Burke were replaced Jordy de Wijs and league debutant Brandon Fleming.

Much of the pre-game build-up centred around Millwall’s lack of striking options but Gregory and Steve Morison were both fit to start as the Lions looked to make the most of their aerial dominance.

Tigers look to tame Lions and gain advantage in relegation jungle

But the first chance and opening goal came for the visitors in the fifth minute. A delightful disguised pass from Jarrod Bowen found Kamil Grosicki who was on hand to power home at Jordan Archer’s near post. 

Millwall did begin to grow into the match utilising Morison’s ability in the air but were struggling to create clear-cut chances, whilst Hull still looked a threat on the counter with Frazier Campbell’s pace. 

The chance they were waiting for arrived on 21 minutes as Aiden O’Brien’s neat flick allowed James Meredith the space to cross. His floated delivery was misjudged by the despairing David Marshall as the ball arrived to Lee Gregory to head into an empty net and level proceedings.

Kamil Grosicki opened the scoring for Hull and was a constant threat throughout (Photo:Hull City)

The home side had chances to take the lead as they started to assert their dominance upon the game with Mahlon Romeo curling an effort safely into the arms of Marshall before half chances from set-pieces for Jake Cooper and Jed Wallace.

Hull refused to lie down and soak up pressure, continuing to push forward in this end-to-end affair. Bowen and Grosicki both squandered good chances for the Tigers. 

Hull had the last chance of the half when Fraizer Campbell sliced an effort well side of Archer’s goal as the sides went in at the break level at 1-1. 

Millwall were presented with a golden chance to take the the lead just moments into the second half after Gregory pulled the ball back to Wallace just inside the area, who saw his shot brilliantly blocked by Jordy De Wijs out for a corner.

The barrage on Hull’s goal continued as Wallace went out to take the resulting corner and found Shaun Hutchinson who had his header cleared off the line.

Millwall somehow failed to take the lead as a Gregory cross beat everyone before falling to strike partner Steve Morison, but the 35 year old could only slide the ball wide. 

The host’s fine start to the second half was rewarded with the third goal of the day as after determined work from Morison, the ball was fed wide to O’Brien who drove towards the area before firing low across Marshall into the far right corner. 

Aiden O’Brien put Millwall in front with a superb low finish (Photo: Millwall FC)

The away side were now firmly in the Lions’ den, with the Millwall faithful sensing an opportunity to drive home their advantage further.

Ryan Tunnicliffe and then Jake Cooper had the chance to do just that, but saw their efforts fall off target as the home side continued to press for another goal.

Adkins decided to throw on experienced target-man Chris Martin to play alongside Campbell as they looked for a way back into the game with 20 minutes left in Bermondsey.

The equalising goal did arrive on 72 minutes, when a rare Hull corner fell to an unmarked De Wijs, who proceeded to head back into the danger area for captain Markus Henriksen to guide in from close range. 

Neil Harris decided to make two changes of his own, hoping to replicate the effect his counterpart Adkins had with his sub, bringing on Tom Elliot and Shane Ferguson.

The game’s tempo slowed dramatically in the following ten minutes, with substitutions failing to allow either side to build momentum as the game approached the last five minutes. 

The Lions will rue the multiple chances they had towards the beginning of the second half as Harris’ side failed to secure what would have been a vital three points.

The result sees Millwall climb out the relegation zone to 21st whilst Hull remain in 19th.

Millwall: Archer (GK), Meredith, Hutchinson, Cooper, Wallace, Gregory, Romeo, Tunnicliffe, Morison (Elliot,78), O’Brien (Ferguson,78), Leonard

Subs: Amos (GK), McLaughlin, M.Wallace, Karacan, Skalák

Hull: Marshall (GK), De Wijs (Mazuch, 78), Grosicki (Stewart, 83), Irvine, Kane, Batty (Martin, 68), Bowen, Fleming, Henriksen (C), Campbell, Elphick

Subs: Long (GK), Dicko, Keane, Ritson


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