Millwall 1-1 Bournemouth: Lions hold high-flying Cherries


Dominic Solanke fired in Bournemouth’s opener for his 15th of the season

Benik Afobe struck a second-half equaliser against his former club to earn Millwall a much-deserved point against Championship high-fliers Bournemouth at The Den.

The on-loan Stoke City forward barrelled into the box and crashed a low drive wide of Mark Travers to level up after Dominic Solanke had poked the Cherries into the lead just before half-time.

Gary Rowett’s Millwall were out of the blocks from the start, unsettling Bournemouth’s usually rhythmic passing system with a persistent and harrying pressing style, and on the back of that had chances.

Murray Wallace headed over from a Jed Wallace cross, while when the visitors did get away from the Lions’ midfield pressure, neither Jamal Lowe nor Jack Stacey could find the final pass.

The hosts thought Solanke had committed a foul in the build-up to the goal as he launched himself at the ball into the box, and that sense of injustice seemed to give the home side added impetus after the break.

However, it took a brave block from Wallace to deny Solanke a second early on, but after Afobe was denied by a last-ditch tackle in the box, he followed up on his next attack with a calm finish.

They might have even won it late on when Billy Mitchell fired a shot over the bar, while only the toe of Bournemouth’s Jefferson Lerma denied a trio of waiting forwards an easy chance in the final moments.

With Fulham drawing at home to Derby, this would have been an ideal opportunity for Scott Parker’s side to wrest top spot away from his old club, but this draw keeps them a point behind in the Championship table.

Parker was looking for a response after Sunday’s frustrating loss to Derby, but only saw his side toil against the dogged determination of the hosts.

They showed flashes of their attacking threat when they got the ball to Ryan Christie and Lerma in good areas, but Rowett’s game plan was such that those opportunities were at a premium.

Mitchell was busy alongside George Saville in midfield to break up attacks, while the Lions back three swamped Solanke for large periods and denied the Cherries their usual link-up play.

This result keeps Millwall in the play-off picture, particularly in such a congested mid-table, with only four points separating them from the top six.

Bournemouth boss Scott Parker told BBC Radio Solent:

“I think it’s a good point in the end, I’m disappointed because we go one up, and they get back in the game with a long ball which was poor on our behalf.

“But it’s a tough place to come and I think in the end overall it’s a good point. Of course we’ve come here wanting three points but have not managed that today.

“We didn’t lose the game, they put some big pressure on us towards the end of the game and we struggled to get a foothold second-half but that’s the way it is. They go from front to back, they load the top line, we struggled with the ball in behind and we gave away silly free-kicks.

“I felt after the last two games we need to be better with the ball to come out of pressure.”

Line-ups

Millwall

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 33Bialkowski
  • 26Ballard
  • 4Hutchinson
  • 3M Wallace
  • 2McNamara
  • 17Saville
  • 24MitchellBooked at 83mins
  • 11MaloneSubstituted forOjoat 66′minutes
  • 7J Wallace
  • 20BennettSubstituted forBradshawat 65′minutes
  • 23Afobe

Substitutes

  • 1Long
  • 6Kieftenbeld
  • 9Bradshaw
  • 10Smith
  • 14Ojo
  • 15Pearce
  • 28Evans

Bournemouth

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 42Travers
  • 17Stacey
  • 24Cahill
  • 6Mepham
  • 20Davis
  • 8Lerma
  • 26KilkennyBooked at 24minsSubstituted forL Cookat 63′minutesBooked at 80mins
  • 18LoweSubstituted forMarcondesat 79′minutes
  • 10Christie
  • 32AnthonySubstituted forRogersat 90+1′minutes
  • 9Solanke

Substitutes

  • 1Nyland
  • 3S Cook
  • 4L Cook
  • 11Marcondes
  • 27Rogers
  • 35Rossi
  • 39Moriah-Welsh

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