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A point gained at Blackburn – Millwall achieve unwanted feat at Ewood Park – South London News

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If Millwall do reach the Championship play-offs then a fair bit of the achievement will be down to their grit and tenacity. And they had to show both in abundance at Ewood Park on Tuesday night to leave with a point that could be priceless come early May. This was definitely a point gained and not two dropped.

The last time that Millwall failed to have a shot on target before midweek was a stalemate at Sheffield Wednesday on November 7, 2020 – they managed at least an effort in the 17 fixtures after that they had failed to get on the scoresheet.

But the big difference at Blackburn was that the Lions didn’t have a shot – full stop. Not even one that was a speculative
40-yarder that sailed harmlessly into the stands.

Millwall had won five league matches in a row and were bidding to make it six for the first time since 1994.

But it was almost as if their sterling efforts in preceding weeks caught up with them in Lancashire. The Wall hit the wall, like a marathon runner suddenly sapped of energy.

The Lions rode their luck with at least one, if not two, penalty appeals not piquing the interest of referee Dean Whitestone. And the official only booked George Saville for a late and full-blooded scything of Lewis Travis with 18 minutes of normal time left to go.
Blackburn did fashion opportunities.

Blackburn Rovers’ Joseph Rankin-Costello rues a missed chance during the Sky Bet Championship match at Ewood Park, Blackburn. Picture date: Tuesday March 8, 2022.

Joe Rankin-Costello looked set to score after a neat one-two sent him in behind Murray Wallace but his effort flashed past the far upright while Sam Gallagher’s finish failed to match the quality of John Buckley’s inswinging cross.

Millwall’s ability to rotate their squad had already been heavily restricted by injuries and they suffered another as Daniel Ballard failed to re-emerge for the second period due to a groin problem.

Lions boss Gary Rowett  introduced George Evans and switched to 4-3-3 but Blackburn’s dominance saw another change as Alex Pearce replaced Tyler Burey.

There was some booing at that call from the Millwall fans who had made the trip for the second time – following a late postponement last month – but the former AFC Wimbledon attacker had only managed 10 touches and completed seven passes. Burey had been a virtual spectator, with no proper supply chain provided to Millwall’s front three.

It had become a night for digging  in and toughing it out. And that’s exactly what the South Londoners did to make it six clean sheets in their last nine matches.

And there were not loads of truly frantic moments although Bialkowski, now on 11 shutouts in the campaign, did need to be razor sharp to keep out John Buckley from one heart-in-mouth goalmouth scramble.

Only Fulham (40) and Middlesbrough (38) have taken more points at home than Blackburn (37) – and Mowbray’s side are joint second-highest scorers on their own patch.

Millwall moved top of a table after Tuesday’s round of results – the form one for the last six matches. Home matches against Boro and Huddersfield represent a chance to nobble promotion rivals.

STAR MAN
Jake Cooper. Rock solid.

BEST MOMENT
Bialkowski’s reaction save from John Buckley. Not like there was an attacking moment to select from.

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