- English Football League - Championship
- Sunday, December 2nd 2018
- Ashton Gate
James Crawley reports from Ashton Gate
Report: Bristol City 1-1 Millwall
Sunday, December 2nd 2018
City kicked off December with a share the spoils in a strong home performance against Millwall.
Famara Diédhiou rattled the crossbar in a dominant first half, before Jake Cooper turned a Niclas Eliasson cross into his own net to gift City the lead after the break.
Shaun Williams would smash in the equaliser for the Lions but it had been a decent display from the Robins at Ashton Gate, as they looked to build on their midweek win at Ipswich Town just four days earlier.
Lee Johnson made two changes to the side which started in Suffolk, with Liam Walsh and Hakeeb Adelakun replaced by Diédhiou and Josh Brownhill, the latter back in the side after serving his one-game ban.
Their midweek win at Portman Road seemed to have given the side a boost in confidence with City on the front foot almost immediately, with the visiting Lions offering little in attack.
Millwall keeper Jordan Archer did well to dive and keep out Niclas Eliasson’s effort, before Brownhill set his eyes on the target, with a fierce strike which sailed just inches over the bar, rippling the top of the net.
Next to go close was Lloyd Kelly as the England youth international tried to pick out the bottom corner after a strong run, only to see his drilled shot hit the side netting this time.
But there was no doubting Johnson’s side were on top; the crowd were witnessing an encouraging first-half display with only the quality of pass, at times, needing improvement.
Diédhiou goes closest
And the woodwork would be the closest they came to what would have been a deserved first-half lead, with midweek match winner Diédhiou going close. Eros Pisano’s cross was guided into the path of Diédhiou via Weimann and the Senegal striker’s header had Archer rooted to the spot, who watched the ball crash back off the crossbar, with Millwall surviving the aftermath.
Cooper was then well position to block a Kelly cross but in doing so almost inadvertently turned the ball into his own net. However, the away side survived the scare with City leaving the field at half-time in good spirits - only a goal deserting them so far.
After all that hard work, the Lions looked to threaten early after the restart and within minutes forced Niki Mäenpää into a good save. It came after Jed Wallace’s squared pass found Aiden O’Brien, whose shot towards the near post was pushed away by the City keeper.
However, the hosts got the deserved breakthrough in the 53rd minute, courtesy of an own goal from Cooper. It was a good run and cross from Eliasson down the City lefthand side. The ball alluded Jamie Paterson initially, however Cooper was in the right place at the right time, from the home side’s point of view, to flick the ball beyond his own goalkeeper.
A length stoppage in play would follow moments later when O’Brien was forced off the field on a stretcher, Jiri Skalak would be his replacement.
Millwall slowly fight back
As the drizzle from the Bristol skies turned heavier, Millwall looked to Cooper to rectify his earlier error only his threatening downward header from a Shaun Hutchinson free kick was comfortable for Mäenpää to deal with.
And the City shotstopper looked comfortable again as he watched Jed Wallace’s free kick all the way before beating the strike away
But there was little he could do when Williams blasted the ball past him to equalise, with a little more than ten minutes remaining. A cross-field pass from the left was cushioned into his path via the head of Lions captain Steve Morison and Williams was on hand to volley in the equaliser in front of the travelling supporters.
It was time for fresh legs in attack with Callum O’Dowda and Marley Watkins introduced for Paterson and Diédhiou, respectively, after Weimann skewed an effort after a delightful through ball from Marlon Pack.
Mo Eisa would go on to replace Weimann as City pushed for a late winner. They even had loud cries for a handball from Karacan turned down and Pisano headed narrowly over as the game entered its final embers, but they couldn’t force a decisive goal.
The draw keeps City 14th in the Sky Bet Championship, ahead of the trip to Birmingham City next Saturday (December 8th, 3pm KO).
- Andreas Weimann, Jamie Paterson, Famara Diedhiou
- Cooper (52' og) , Williams (78')
- Shaun Williams, Aiden O'Brien, Steve Morison