Lion’s play-off hopes clipped by Swans

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Millwall 1-1 Swansea City

Extending our ‘London Soccer Shorts’ coverage, this evening Yellow Sport will be at The Den, providing updates, as well as a report and reaction from Millwall’s Sky Bet Championship encounter with fellow play-off hopefuls, Swansea City.

A SECOND SUCCESSIVE stalemate has left Millwall’s fading play-off hopes hanging by a thread as Swansea City earned a share of the spoils from a scrappy but well-contested Sky Bet Championship encounter at The Den.

Momentum has been a rare commodity for both sides in their quest for a top-six spot. One point from six available on their return had seen Millwall’s aspirations flounder, leaving boss, Gary Rowett, concerned as to where the next three points would arrive from

“We need to win on Tuesday – if we don’t, then it is going to be difficult for us to get to where we want to be,” he explained.

“Saturday was a point and a performance in the right direction, but there were tinges of disappointment as well.”

Bartosz Bialkowski awkwardly fisted away Yan Dhanda’s fizzing dead-ball attempt, while Conor Gallagher’s strike was deflected behind by Ryan Woods as Swansea – a point and four places better off than the hosts – were first to threaten. Indeed, Rowett’s charges – neat and industrious – found clear-cut opportunities hard to come by during the opening stages.

Mahlon Romeo was off-target, while Murray Wallace was unable to divert after diving headlong, Buts signs of life were clear from the Lions, and with their next foray forward they snatched the lead.

Jed Wallace picked out Mason Bennett – the 23-year-old loanee making no mistake in beating Swansea stopper, Freddie Woodman, from six yards.

Ben Wilmot somehow diverted away from Rhian Brewster, then, immediately after the interval, Bialkowski palmed away from Gallagher as Swansea toiled unsuccessfully.

Andre Ayew’s intervention thwarted Tom Bradshaw’s attempts to double the lead from close range. But it was the Welshmen who were to strike back midway through the half. Brewster’s troublesome free-kick appeared to cannon in off Bialkowski via an upright, leaving the Lions ina state of Déjà vu as their play-off hopes received another dent.

Murray Wallace nodded a golden chance wide, then sent another against the foot of a post, while a late penalty appeal from leading marksman, Matt Smith, fell on deaf ears as Millwall, although left frustrated, looked the more likely in the closing stages.

Millwall returns to Sky Bet League One action on Friday, July 3 when they take on Charlton Athletic at The Valley (8:15pm).

Millwall: Bartosz Bialkowski, Murray Wallace, Shaun Hutchinson (Capt), Jake Cooper, Shaun Williams, Jed Wallace, Tom Bradshaw (Matt Smith 85’), Shane Ferguson, Mahlon Romeo, Ryan Woods, Mason Bennett (Connor Mahoney 46’) Subs not used: Luke Steel (GK), Ben Thompson, Alex Pearce, Jayson Molumby, Ryan Leonard, Jiri Skalak, Billy Mitchell

Booked: Shaun Hutchinson (foul), Murray Wallace (foul)
Goals: Mason Bennett 22’

Swansea City: Freddie Woodman, Matt Grimes (Capt), Rhian Brewster, Ben Wilmott (Marc Guehi 83’), Yan Dhanda (Bersant Celina 60’), Andre Ayew, Jake Bidwell, Kyle Naughton, George Byers, Conor Gallagher, Ben Cabango Subs not used: Erwin Mulder (GK), Jay Fulton, Nathan Dyer, Wayne Routledge, Aldo Kalulu, Connor Roberts, Liam Cullen

Booked: George Byers (foul)
Goals: Bartosz Bialkowski (own-goal) 66’

Referee: James Linington
Assistants: Darren Blunden and Lee Venamore
Fourth Official: Keith Stroud

Reaction to follow…

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]