Goals: Junior Hoilett (4’), Lee Gregory (40’)
Cardiff City were forced to settle for a point in a heated battle with Millwall at The Den on Friday evening.
This one was set up to be a fiery encounter between two of the league’s most physical teams and it didn’t disappoint.
Cardiff raced out of the blocks to grab a goal within three minutes with Junior Hoilett finding the near corner with a sweet strike from outside the box.
However, the Bluebirds faded as quickly as they started and Millwall gained control of the game with their usual traditional physical approach.
And it paid off. Cardiff found themselves pinned back with Sol Bamba and Joe Bennett struggling to contain their opposite numbers down the left and that’s how the goal arrived.
A low ball into the area and Lee Gregory reacted quickly to lose his marker and fire into the top corner of Neil Etheridge’s net.
Millwall continued their control of the clash but the tides would eventually change when the home side failed to make it count.
Cardiff sparked to life with 15 minutes remaining and they almost found a winner in the dying embers.
Sol Bamba fired the ball into Jordan Archer’s net with a fine acrobatic effort, only for Keith Stroud to award a free-kick to Cardiff on the edge of the box.
A decision that left many inside the ground as those watching on television baffled.
Neil Warnock described the decision as a ‘disgrace’ after the game and he wasn’t too pleased with the next one either.
Stroud rejected claims for a handball in the final minute of stoppage time and at that point, Cardiff really did know it wasn’t their day.
A strong end to the clash from the Bluebirds but they had to settle for a point, ensuring they take four points from two away trips on the bounce – three points from Leeds and one from Millwall.
Cardiff move to within two points of second placed Derby County with a game, though when the rest of the promotion-chasers play tomorrow, the Bluebirds will have a game in-hand.
Warnock’s men are next in action on Tuesday evening when they take on Bolton Wanderers at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Man of the Match – Joe Ralls
Cardiff largely did well to stand up to the physical challenges of their opponents and Joe Ralls lead by example in the middle of the park.
Full of energy from minute one too minute 90, he gave Cardiff a spark they needed in front of a back four that didn’t deliver their best evening of the season.
Having said that, Sean Morrison again did well. Junior Hoilett out wide was also a contender for Man of the Match, a player in red-hot form.
Many of Cardiff’s promotion rivals have come to The Den and left with little, so this is a good point for Cardiff, especially with this being the second away game in succession.
The Bluebirds were also robbed of a clear goal and Neil Warnock’s outburst after the game certainly was understandable on this occasion.
Those kinds of decisions cost you points and it certainly cost Cardiff this evening. Though, on the balance of play, you would have to say a draw was a fair result, with that decision aside.
It still leaves Cardiff in a good position with that game in hand to play, and they certainly won’t be the last team in the top six to leave The Den with a point or less this season.