Match Report: Millwall 1 v 1 Bolton Wanderers

Scott Heavey

The points were split at the Den on Saturday, and Liam has all of the horrid details.

Bolton Wanderers headed to The New Den starring a relegation battle right in the face after a horrendous sequence of results was compounded by a disappointing defeat to local rivals Burnley.

The game against fellow strugglers Millwall was of huge importance and that prompted manager Dougie Freedman to make changes in an attempt to solidify the team with defensive strength in midfield.

Bolton began the game under pressure as Millwall looked to expose the clear frailty of the Wanderers defence. Jermaine Easter fired just wide for the hosts early on.

Despite their relatively shaky start, it would be Bolton who took the lead as an excellent Chris Eagles cross from deep was converted wonderfully by Lukas Jutkiewicz through a diving header across Millwall and Ireland international goalkeeper David Forde, who was left with no chance.

The goal was another vital contribution from the on-loan striker, who has impressed Whites fans since his signing.

Millwall quickly dusted themselves off and set about getting back into the game, former Norwich Striker Steve Morison had a header saved from Adam Bogdan and Millwall continued to pressure with good block work denying Jermaine Easter and Edward Upson.

Wanderers also managed to successfully negotiate Lions' set pieces, with former defender Danny Shittu looking an ominous threat.

This trend of Millwall pressure continued until half time with Bolton's only memorable contribution being successive blocked efforts from influential midfielder Mark Davies.

All things considered, Bolton could be reasonably happy with how things had gone in the first half, even if it did frustrate opposition manager Ian Holloway who is fresh from his latest failure at Crystal Palace.

The second-half began in much more equal fashion as Millwall lost much of the momentum they had gathered in the first period. Millwall striker Steve Morison would head well over for Millwall whilst Bolton's Chris Eagles would agonisingly hit the inside of the post from a free-kick of considerable distance in a moment of real quality from the forward.

Sensing the game my escape his side, Ian Holloway made a triple substitution introducing Simeon Jackson. Scott McDonald and DJ Campbell (who is not even a real DJ) to give a fresh attacking impetus to his side and it was not long before it started to effect the game, swinging the pendulum of momentum back in Millwall's favour.

McDonald and Campbell both came close with efforts on Adam Bogdan's goal and Steve Morison also headed over the bar.

With all his managerial guile, Dougie Freedman sensed Bolton were under pressure and introduced the industrious Neil Danns for Chris Eagles although the Millwall chances kept on coming.

With the pressure on the Bolton goal becoming unbearable, The Wanderers were handed a lifeline from former-Wanderer Danny Shittu's careless handball in the Millwall penalty area.

Looking uncomfortable from the moment he put the ball down, Lukas Jutkiewicz tamely rolled the ball into the body of Millwall Keeper Forde and Wanderers had wasted the chance to settle the game.

With crisis looming, Freedman introduced Zat Knight in a curious move which numbers have suggested has been quite successful for Bolton but this did nothing to allay the fears of Bolton fans who sensed the Millwall equaliser was now inevitable.

It took only four minutes for those fears to be realised as Martyn Woolford guided the ball home after Adam Bogdan parried out a Simeon Jackson close range effort.

With limited attacking options available on the pitch, Bolton simply had to see out the draw whilst Millwall were looking likely to claim the win, Martyn Woolford and Shaun Williams both had chances to win the game whilst a late effort from Jutkiewicz was wide after late sub Chung-Yong Lee found the big forward.

As the sides shook hands on a draw, the questions remained about manager Dougie Freedman's future, what could be seen as a useful point given the circumstances is overshadowed with another negative and disappointing performance, this was a lucky result against a struggling side.

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