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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 15 Mar 14 at 17:07 PM

Millwall 0 Charlton 0

Olly Groome reports from The Den

Charlton and Millwall played out an entertaining goalless draw at The Den on Saturday as the Addicks lifted themselves off the bottom of the table.

In a tense South-London derby full of half-chances, a point apiece was probably a fair result as José Riga's side earned a second consecutive clean-sheet to remain unbeaten since the Belgian took charge. 

Riga made one change to his midweek side which drew at The Valley against Huddersfield Town, with Bradley Pritchard coming in to make his first league start since December in place of Reza Ghoochannejhad.

And the Addicks made first headway in the encounter which kicked off in a heated derby atmosphere which was nothing but expected between the fans from the two pockets of South London. 

Marvin Sordell forced an early corner which Johnnie Jackson delivered deep and dangerously but the Lions hacked the ball away from a packed box. 

But down the other end, the hosts came close to opening the scoring in the eighth minute. 

Young Lions debutant Fred Onyedinma had a chance to send a free header goalbound from Simeon Jackson's cross but, thankfully, could only divert his effort wide. 

The Addicks responded with a fantastic breakaway chance when Callum Harriott intercepted a loose Millwall pass. 

Racing towards goal, Charlton were, at one stage, three-on-two as they bore down on goal, but with better options at Harriott's disposal to his left, the winger opted to go alone, shooting tamely and settling for a corner. 

And from that corner-kick, the ball fell again to Harriott who struck a half-volley wildly over. 

The game was finely poised, if not scrappy, as possession changed hands and Jackson was next up to try his luck for Millwall, shooting straight at Ben Hamer from 25 yards while Sordell blasted a free-kick wide from similar distance for the Addicks. 

Indeed, both sides were resorting to shots from range as Shaun Williams rode Diego Poyet's challenge before firing harmlessly wide. 

The half-chances were coming thick and fast and Harriott forced a corner at the half-hour mark as he shaped up to bend a shot towards David Forde's goal from just inside the box. And from the resulting corner a chance fell to Jackson who directed a powerful standing header from 12 yards which was smothered by the Irishman on the line. 

Moments later, Millwall were presented with the clearest chance up to that point when Alan Dunne sent a raking, diagonal pass over the top which Steve Morison controlled well, bringing the ball down before firing inches past Hamer's right-hand upright. 

There was very little to separate the two teams as the half drew to a close, but there was still time for Ed Upson to try yet another long-range effort which this time almost had Hamer bamboozled. 

Bouncing just in front of the stopper, he was forced to tip the ball up whilst on the floor, and out for a corner. 

The break brought about one change for the Addicks as Astrit Ajdarević made way for Jordan Cousins to enter the fray. 

And just as they did in the first half, both sides continued to feel each other out as the second period got under way. It was a clear case of either team waiting to see who would blink first. 

Fifty minutes in, Rhoys Wiggins found space on the left to deliver a sumptuous cross to the back-post as Harriott hared towards the six-yard box to reach it. 

But the 20-year-old could only put his connection wide, stretching out his leg to get anything on it. 

The game hotted up as the action moved from end to end. 

Onyedinma did well to get down the left and into Charlton's box before passing for a dangerously-placed Morison, but with the ball just behind the Wales international it allowed Dorian Dervite to clear the lines. 

Riga's side began to show some neat passing passages of play as they went about trying to break down Ian Holloway's resolute defence. 

Balls were getting into the box as the Addicks put the hosts under pressure but they just could not carve out anything clear-cut. 

With 69 minutes played, Ghoochannejhad found an opening when played in by Bradley Pritchard just inside the box. But the Iranian's shot had it's sting taken away by a deflection as Forde collected. 

Millwall grew into the half and their best chance came via giant 6 -foot-eight substitute Stefan Maierhofer who, unsprisingly, rose highest to head a corner over from six yards. 

With 14 minutes remaining Harriott showed great skill to beat one defender and then  another as he carved the Lions open adjacent to the box. 

And as he made his way towards goal he brushed aside yet another defender, working hard and showing great strength before the referee blew up. It seemed extremely harsh and extinguished a superb opening for the visitors. 

Charlton began to look superior as the game entered its final ten minutes, but the Lions' rearguard continued to stand firm to keep the Addicks at bay in the final third. 

But against the run of play, Millwall came close. Ryan Fredricks bombed down the right wing to deliver a bouncing cross with Morison on hand. And with Maierhofer lurking, Charlton got the lucky bounce which allowed them to clear. 

That would be the last chance of this cagey affair with neither side managing to break the deadlock which remained closed firmly shut. 

Ultimately, it was a good draw for the Addicks and another deposit in the points bank towards the ongoing fight for survival knowing that a win on Tuesday night against AFC Bournemouth at The Valley will bring them out of the bottom three. 


Charlton: Hamer; Wilson, Wiggins, Dervite, Morrison; Pritchard (Church 77), Harriott, Poyet, Jackson, Ajdarević (Cousins 45); Sordell (Ghoochannejhad 65).

Subs (not used): Thuram-Ulien, Green, Wood, Nego.

Booked: Jackson  25 (foul on Upson), Pritchard 36 (foul on Dunne), Sordell 54 (diving)

Millwall: Forde; Dunne (Fredericks 72), Robinson, Lowry, Williams; Upson (Maierhofer 51), Garvan, Jackson (McDonald 56), Onyedinma, Woolford; Morison.

Subs (not used): Bywater, Malone, Beevers, Marquis.

Booked: Williams 43 (foul on Harriott), Dunne 64 (foul on Pritchard), Lowry 80 (foul on Ghoochannejhad)

Referee: P Dowd

Att: 16,102 (2,431)

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