Millwall 0 Stoke City 0 – Point for Lions leaves Rotherham needing to win at West Brom

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Millwall were unable to get the win to put the Championship drop issue to bed midway through Saturday afternoon – but did put another point on the board to leave Rotherham United needing a victory at West Brom.

The Lions were improved in the second period after a nervy opening 45 minutes in which Stoke – with nothing to play for but pride – could easily have been in front.

But the goal would not come for Millwall after the break as they huffed and puffed before recording their fourth draw in their last five league matches.

The Millers are a 3pm kick-off at The Hawthorns and have to record a victory to keep alive their hopes of climbing out of the bottom three.

Otherwise they will need a 15-goal swing as well as winning on the final day. And Millwall could still put the issue beyond them if they got the right result against Bristol City in midweek.

Millwall struggled to escape Stoke’s aggressive press when they were in possession during the first half.

And the Lions had two scares inside the opening 15 minutes.

A Stoke counter-attack saw Moritz Bauer’s scuffed shot turn into a close-range chance for Benik Afobe but the big striker was denied bravely by David Martin.

City took advantage of hesitation in the Millwall box on 14 minutes, James McClean’s rising strike came down off the crossbar with Shaun Williams blocking a follow-up attempt from Joe Allen at the cost of a corner.

Jake Cooper needed to make a last-ditch challenge on Sam Clucas to prevent him from breaking into the box.

Millwall’s first attempt of note came on 34 minutes. Ben Marshall nudged Bauer off the ball on the left flank and his curling ball in was met with a flick by Ryan Leonard, but it lacked the change of direction needed as it dropped harmlessly wide of the right upright.

It took until the 51st minute for the Lions to have a shot on target. Danny Batth’s slip invited Jed Wallace to shoot after the winger’s excellent run down the left wing but the angle was tight and Jack Butland made the save.

Mahlon Romeo’s right-footed volley was always arrowing wide while Shane Ferguson could only drive comfortably past the left post when Ryan Tunnicliffe’s cross was headed out by a City defender to him.

Millwall had a chance late on. Wallace’s cross saw Tunnicliffe denied on the line and the midfielder’s first-time low ball back in was put wide of the target by Lee Gregory.

PICTURE BY BRIAN TONKS

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