Millwall 1-1 Swansea: Play-off hopes fade after draw

Millwall 1-1 Swansea: Play-off hopes fade after draw

Millwall had drawn and lost their previous Championship games after the campaign restarted, while Swansea had won one and lost one

Millwall and Swansea City’s play-off aspirations both took a knock in a 1-1 draw that does neither side much good.

The Lions looked set for a first win since the season resumed thanks to Mason Bennett’s first half goal.

But Rhian Brewster’s freekick that went in via goalkeeper Bartosz Białkowski earned a point for the Welsh side.

Millwall missed two excellent late chances to win the match with Murray Wallace heading just wide and then against the post in the final minutes.

This contest felt pivotal for two sides with promotion aspirations; especially as they were both beaten last time out and the draw probably leaves both sides with too much work to do to make the top six.

Back-to-back defeats in a race for sixth-place in the Championship featuring as many as seven different teams, is definitely not advisable with the finishing line in sight.

Swansea’s cause was not helped by the absence of Wales defender Joe Rodon, who could miss the remainder of the season with an ankle injury sustained in training.

The visitors dominated possession of the ball from the first whistle and for long periods, with Yan Dhanda having a firm freekick saved by Bartosz Białkowski after Shaun Hutchinson tripped Rhian Brewster.

However, possession does not win football matches and it became evident early that Millwall would be a huge threat to the Welsh side on the counter-attack

Jed Wallace’s shot was easily saved by Freddie Woodman on 11 minutes, but it the home side were beginning to find gaps in the Swansea defence.

The visitors did come close on 16 minutes when Conor Gallagher’s shot deflected off Ryan Woods just crept past the post with Białkowski totally wrong-footed.

Mahlon Romeo then fired wide and Murray Wallace was off target with a header, before the hosts took the lead with a rapid counter-attack.

There were some famous faces in the crowd

The Lions dispossessed midfield Matt Grimes and took advantage of a four-on-three situation as Wallace found Bennett at the second attempt with the striker able to sweep the ball home from close range.

Grimes almost made amends as the Swans spurned a great chance from his freekick on 28 minutes when Ben Wilmot headed the ball across goal and Rhian Brewster stabbed the ball into the ground, but Jake Cooper was able to make the clearance from almost under his own crossbar.

Swansea kept looking for the equaliser, but the Lions kept asking questions on the break and might have doubled their lead before half time when the impressive Jed Wallace was sent clear and rounded Woodman, but Wilmot was able to block his cross.

The Welsh side had the first chance of the second period but Białkowski smothered Gallagher’s shot before some brilliant defensive play by Andre Ayew denied Tom Bradshaw from close range.

Both Swansea’s George Byers and Millwall’s Shane Ferguson dragged shots wide before the Swans finally struck back thanks to Brewster’s wonderful freekick from just outside the penalty box that crashed in off the crossbar and the back of Białkowski after Hutchinson had fouled Gallagher.

Murray Wallace then missed a huge chance to put the hosts in front when he headed wide, unmarked, with 15 minutes remaining after the hosts had a good penalty shout waved away.

The Swans’ injury worries at the back increased when Ben Wilmot went off with a knee injury in the final stages and it was the hosts who looked the likeliest winner, but defender Murray Wallace headed against the post after Jed Wallace’s precise corner.

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