West Brom and Millwall share points in Hawthorns stalemate
West Brom were frustrated by an organised Millwall as the two Championship play-off hopefuls played out a goalless draw at The Hawthorns.
The Baggies had won nine of their previous 10 home matches prior to this fixture, keeping as many clean sheets in that period and having scored in every game, but they found sixth-placed Millwall a tough nut to crack.
The opening stages were cagey, which was perhaps to be expected between two sides with still plenty to play for and much to lose.
Millwall striker Tom Bradshaw could not keep his header down when he met a delivery from the right, while Lions captain Jake Cooper nodded over the bar and George Saville almost lost the attentions of Semi Ajayi right before half-time, but the more clear-cut openings came at the other end, and with the hosts.
Adam Reach was unable to connect cleanly with a low cross from the left after a clever spin by Brandon Thomas-Asante, but he did catch a rebound sweetly, after Jed Wallace’s initial shot had been blocked, and his effort whistled past the woodwork.
Conor Townsend was denied too when he met Wallace’s cross with a header which was deflected behind for a corner.
Although Thomas-Asante flashed a shot just wide from distance having been fed by John Swift for Albion, Millwall certainly began the second period the stronger of the two sides.
Young Baggies keeper Josh Griffiths, after a quiet opening 45 minutes, was forced into action when he beat away Bradshaw’s near-post header.
Griffiths, who made his England Under-21s debut during the international break, was then asked another question when he parried over Zian Flemming’s stinging drive as Millwall continued to be the more prominent outfit.
Gary Rowett introduced former West Brom winger Oliver Burke, while Carlos Corberan responded when he summoned USA centre forward Daryl Dike, who joined Thomas-Asante in attack. The latter slammed a low shot goalwards from inside the six-yard box as the home side sought to respond, but he found a red shirt in his way.
Dike was the subject of furious penalty appeals when he appeared to be cleaned out by Millwall keeper George Long, but the offside flag had been raised – replays suggested, though, that the final ball into Dike came off a Millwall boot.