Match Report: Millwall 0 Doncaster Rovers 0

Millwall vs Doncaster Rovers FC - David Cotterill takes on Carlos edwards and Lee Martin
Millwall vs Doncaster Rovers FC - David Cotterill takes on Carlos edwards and Lee Martin
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A win may have brought a welcome calming of nerves but ten man Rovers’ single point from Millwall will definitely go down as one gained.

The somewhat harsh sending off of Abdoulaye Meite for a foul on Stefan Maierhofer just before the break left Rovers with a mountain to climb in their bid to take something against their fellow strugglers.

But the mountain was climbed with a great deal of defensive heart and resolve, ending the run of four consecutive defeats.

For the umpteenth time since his arrival, Rovers were indebted to Sam Johnstone for keeping the opposition out with several superb saves.

But there was a plenty of backs-against-the-wall battling from those ahead of him.

Prior to the dismissal, such heart and desire had been lacking as Rovers turned in a lacklustre performance.

It appeared the safety-first option had been taken, allowing Millwall to come at them for the majority of the half.

Rovers defended well in the final third but their approach to the game made it incredibly difficult for them to find the edge elsewhere on the field.

The central pairing of Paul Keegan and Dean Furman gave added resilience but damaged creativity as both were drawn deep to defend, leaving the forward players isolate

Millwall certainly had the edge when it came to energy and desire, penning Rovers in.

But fortunately for Rovers, quality from the hosts was largely lacking, along with the confidence to go for broke in the final third.

They regularly pondered in possession rather than taking the shots that appeared to be on.

Rovers’ first sniff of goal did not come until the 24th minute and it was a half chance with Enda Stevens’ cross flying just above Chris Brown.

For all the work he would have to do later on, Johnstone had a comfortable first half.

But he needed to be alert as half time approached. Rovers were almost caught napping when Williams charged in to meet a Martin corner with his header needing a strong hand from Johnstone.

The incline of the uphill task got more severe just before the break when Meite was sent off.

Meite certainly appeared to catch Maierhofer with a high boot as the two contested the ball.

The offence did not look much more than a yellow card but referee Frederick Graham wasted no time in pulling out the red, with Maiefhofer’s reaction not aiding Meite’s cause.

Millwall came out as expected, sensing the kill and pushing hard. But that drew out a much better performance from Rovers who rose to the increased challenge that faced them.

Johnstone began his own personal battle with Millwall, denying a strong long-range effort from Williams before producing a stunning one-handed stop to keep out a volley from substitute Steve Morison.

Morison should have scored from six yards with a powerful header but sent it over the bar.

Millwall’s profiligacy would continue, despite throwing more and more bodies forward.

But Rovers had to work to keep them out, with a last ditch tackle from Paul Quinn to prevent a Mark Beevers shot the perfect example while Gabriel Tamas got in ahead of Simeon Jackson with the substitute ready to pounce on a low cross.

Rovers would see out the final few seconds in relative comfort with the ball in the corner.

How comfortable the next two games will be remains under question.