BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Millwall were unable to open up a bigger gap over the Championship bottom three after a largely dour stalemate at The Den.
After the high of that FA Cup elimination of Premier League opposition last weekend, it always felt that a clash of two sides at the wrong end of the table could be an anti-climatic follow-up – and that’s exactly what we got.
The match was every bit as scrappy as you would expect with so much at stake.
But Millwall had the chances to be in front, their threat predictably coming from corners.
Both Jake Cooper and Ben Marshall both headed Shaun Williams’ deliveries over from close-range.
The Lions were guilty of not making the most out of three or four quality balls into the box.
In open play, it was slim pickings in terms of chances.
Mahlon Romeo’s speculative strike from 25 yards was straight at Marek Rodak in the 39th minute and represented the first time either keeper had been forced to save a shot.
Marshall had clipped the top of the bar with 81 seconds on the clock with a curling effort from the edge of the box. But Millwall struggled to fashion clear shooting opportunities.
But the second half was poor from the hosts and it was no surprise that Steve Morison came on as they laboured.
Jordan Archer acrobatically pushed away a Michael Smith after a bouncing punt forward had caused hesitation in the Millwall back ranks.
And moments later it needed Marshall to clear off his own line from Smith. Archer dropped on the ball but was then clipped late by a Rotherham player – predictably seeing players from both sides getting stuck into each other. Once calm was restored the only caution was for Millers captain Richard Wood.
The 4-3-3 system had looked disjointed and once Morison joined the fray it saw the hosts get a measure of traction in the opposition’s half.
Finally Millwall fashioned a chance or two.
Clark Robertson was lucky that his clearing header from a low Marshall cross flew narrowly past the left upright on 81 minutes. Then the on-loan Norwich man saw a header from Jed Wallace’s right wing cross float across the face of goal.
Wood seemed hugely lucky not to get a second yellow for again catching Archer late as he caught the ball. Referee Andrew Madley showing no punishment to the centre-back.
Millwall had a chance to win it in the final seconds of the match. Jed Wallace won a 50-50 in the Rotherham half and sent over a low cross to the back post but Lee Gregory – under pressure from Semi Ajayi – could only turn the ball wide of the target.
IMAGE BY BRIAN TONKS
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