"This town ain't big enough for the two of us..."
Stomping their boots on our hard floor with the low thud echoing around our saloon, Hull City threw open the swinging doors and dug their spurs into the bar stool as they silently announced their intent. The Tigers had arrived in South Bermondsey and were eager to leave with the three points and the bragging rights before the two clubs halt for the international break. Neil Harris' side walked in shortly after, locked eyes with their opponents and without blinking slowly walked out onto the hallowed turf of The Den.
Millwall started the game brightly and their early and relentless pressure resulted in a penalty being awarded in the opening ten minutes. Matt Smith was brought down after getting the better of his man and Jed Wallace made no mistake in drilling the ball in the back of the net from 12 yards. The elation on the winger's face was clear for all to see and our fans roared with delight as our sheriff seemed to have defeated the outlaw who came to our town.
The Lions continued to be the better team, however a long range free kick from Grosicki in the 18th minute caught Bialkowski in the Millwall goal off guard and his bullet from distance was a critical blow to the Lions winning the game and nestled neatly into the bottom corner.
The shot from Hull had taken the wind out of Millwall's sails and the Lions never really recovered for the rest of the game. It looked as if the Yorkshire side would take the lead in the 25th minute when a lovely through ball from Bowen played through the City front line, but a wonderfully timed slide tackle from Alex Pearce on the edge of the penalty area denied what seemed to be a certain goal.
It was in the 39th minute when the Lions' managed to get out of their western jail when somehow Stewart failed to hit the target when a defenseless Millwall were down the sights of his Colt revolver. Bialkowski managed to keep out the curling shot from Bowen, but he only managed to push it into the path of the attacking Stewart. The Hull attacker, however, somehow managed to put his shot wide from only two yards out when a goal seemed guaranteed. A huge sigh of relief rang around Zampa Road and we had lived to fight another day.
The second half of the game for Millwall unfortunately could not match the opening quarter of the first and there was very little goal mouth action in the second 45 minutes of the match. The Lions would make their way into the final third well and Jed Wallace has flashes where he looked dangerous on the left hand side, but unfortunately the end product and killer blow was severely lacking in SE16. The fans in the home stands urged their team on well and were full of passion, but this could not be transferred onto the pitch.
Millwall's last real chance came in the 81st minute when Ryan Leonard connected to a ball that was headed back across to him in the six yard box, but the Lions' record singing could not control the barrel and his bullet header went wide of the target.
After sustaining an injury after using all of their substitutes and having a man sent off, Hull finished the game with nine men, but the Lions could not make this advantage count and the final whistle was met with a chorus of disappointment as the game ended 1-1. The home fans and Millwall were unhappy with just the point, but the outlaw left the town and returned back up north with a valuable draw.
Millwall: Bialkowski, M. Wallace (O'Brien 87'), Cooper, J. Wallace, Thompson, Bradshaw (Bodvarsson 67'), Smith, Romeo, Pearce, Leonard, Mahoney (Ferguson 75').
Subs not used: Steele, Hutchinson, Williams, Molumby.
Hull City: Long, Lichaj, de Wijs, Burke (Tafazolli 60'), Stewart, Grosicki, Honeyman (Toral 73'), Bowen, Pennington (da Silva Lopes 17'), Magennis, Irvine.
Subs not used: Ingram, Eaves, McKenzie, Bowler.