Millwall 1-1 Bournemouth: Lions hold cherries

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

Benik Afobe scored a second-half draw against his former side to earn Millwall a much deserved point against Bournemouth at The Den.

The Stoke City loan striker entered the box and slammed a low drive to the side of Mark Travers to level up after Dominic Solanke put the Cherries ahead just before half-time.

Gary Rowett’s Millwall was off the hook from the start, upsetting Bournemouth’s usually rhythmic passing system with a persistent and nagging style of pressing, and behind that there were opportunities.

Murray Wallace headed from Jed Wallace’s cross, while when the visitors pulled away from the pressure of the Lions midfield, neither Jamal Lowe nor Jack Stacey managed to find the final pass.

The hosts thought Solanke had committed a foul during the preparation phase while throwing himself on the ball into the box, and that sense of injustice seemed to give the home team further momentum after half-time.

However, it took a brave wall from Wallace to deny Solanke a second at the start, but after Afobe was denied by a desperate tackle in the box, he followed up his next attack with a calm finish.

They may also have won it late when Billy Mitchell fired a shot over the crossbar, while only the tip of Bournemouth’s Jefferson Lerma denied a trio of waiting forwards an easy chance in the closing moments.

With Fulham drawing at home to Derby, this would have been an ideal opportunity for Scott Parker’s side to wrest first place from their old club, but this draw keeps them one point behind in the league standings.

Parker was looking for an answer later Sunday’s frustrating defeat against Derby, but he saw only his side struggling against the stubborn determination of the hosts.

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

Mitchell was busy alongside George Saville in midfield to break the bouts, while the Lions flooded Solanke for extended periods and denied the Cherries their usual connecting game.

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

Bournemouth boss Scott Parker told BBC Radio Solent:

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“I think it’s a good point in the end, I’m sorry because we take a step forward and they get back into the game with a long pass that was poor for us.

“But it’s a difficult place to reach and I think it’s a good point overall. Obviously we came here with the desire of three points, but today we did not succeed.

“We didn’t lose the game, they put a lot of pressure on us towards the end of the game and we struggled to get a foothold in the second half, but that’s it. They go from start to finish, they charge the top line, we have struggled with the ball in the back and gave stupid free kicks.

“I felt that after the last two games we had to be better with the ball to get out of the pressure.”

Formations

Millwall

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 33Bialkowski
  • 26Ballard
  • 4Hutchinson
  • 3M Wallace
  • 2McNamara
  • 17Saville
  • 24MitchellBooked at 83 minutes
  • 11MaloneReplaced forEyeto 66 ‘minutes
  • 7J Wallace
  • 20BennettReplaced forBradshawto 65 ‘minutes
  • 23Hell

substitutes

  • 1Long
  • 6Kieftenbeld
  • 9Bradshaw
  • 10blacksmith
  • 14Eye
  • 15Pearce
  • 28Evans

Bournemouth

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 42Through
  • 17Stacey
  • 24Cahill
  • 6Mepham
  • 20Davis
  • 8Lerma
  • 26KilkennyBooked in 24 minutesReplaced forL Cookto 63 ‘minutesBooked at 80 minutes
  • 18LoweReplaced forMarcondeto 79 ‘minutes
  • 10Christie
  • 32AntonioReplaced forRogersto 90 + 1 ‘minutes
  • 9Solanke

substitutes

  • 1Uusimaa
  • 3S cook
  • 4L Cook
  • 11Marconde
  • 27Rogers
  • 35Rossi
  • 39Moriah-Welsh

Live text

  1. Match ends, Millwall 1, Bournemouth 1.

  2. Second Half ends, Millwall 1, Bournemouth 1.

  3. Foul by Morgan Rogers (Bournemouth).

  4. Danny Ballard (Millwall) wins a free kick in his own half.

  5. Failed attempt. George Saville (Millwall) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Benik Afobe.

  6. Substitution, Bournemouth. Morgan Rogers replaces Jaidon Anthony.

  7. Foul by Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth).

  8. Danny Ballard (Millwall) wins a free kick in his own half.

  9. Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in his own half.

  10. Foul by Shaun Hutchinson (Millwall).

  11. Failed attempt. Murray Wallace (Millwall) header from the center of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Sheyi Ojo with a cross.

  12. Corner, Millwall. Granted by Jefferson Lerma.

  13. Corner, Millwall. Granted by Jefferson Lerma.

  14. Jack Stacey (Bournemouth) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  15. Foul by Jed Wallace (Millwall).

  16. Attempt blocked. Emiliano Marcondes (Bournemouth) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Lewis Cook.

  17. Yellow card for Billy Mitchell (Millwall) for a bad foul.

  18. Emiliano Marcondes (Bournemouth) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  19. Foul by Billy Mitchell (Millwall).

  20. Attempt saved. Jack Stacey (Bournemouth) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

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