REPORT: Millwall 1-1 Sunderland - Southwark News (2024)

MILLWALL played out a 1-1 draw against Sunderland in front of a sold-out Den.

The Lions were the stronger side in the first half, pushing forward throughout the early stages while failing to test Anthony Patterson in the visitors’ net. Their best chance came when George Honeyman poked the ball into the back of the net on the half-hour mark before it was ruled out for offside.

A horrific injury to Mason Bennett dampened the mood at the break, but Millwall reignited the atmosphere with a strong performance after the break. The pressure finally paid off on the hour-mark when Jake Cooper flicked the ball off the crossbar and into the net from a corner.

The goal woke up the Black Cats, who started playing with more confidence and energy as the half wore on. They found their equaliser with nine minutes when Alex Pritchard’s free-kick was met by the head of Dennis Cirkin, allowing the defender to flick the ball into the net off the post.

Both sides had chances to win it late on, with Millwall coming the closest, but neither managed to find a winner to take the points in South London.

Match details

Millwall were incredibly unlucky not to lead in the third minute of the game after Tom Bradshaw picked up a long ball and spun past his man. He was brought down in the box by Aji Alese, but the referee waved play on.

Just a minute later, George Honeyman found space down the right and set up Mason Bennett in the middle, but his weak effort bobbled past the post.

The Lions suddenly lost their momentum and Sunderland gained some control. The home crowd started to become frustrated as the visitors’ wide men exploited huge gaps and continued to threaten as the half wore on.


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Millwall’s biggest threat came from set pieces, but they failed to really test goalkeeper Anthony Patterson. However, just before the half-hour mark, Gary Rowett’s men did find the back of the net when George Honeyman fired the rebound from a parried Zian Flemming shot into the goal. The Den erupted before referee Thomas Bramall consulted with the linesman, who decided to rule the goal out for offside.

The half ended with a furious home crowd as the referee continued to give decisions in favour of the visitors, damaging the flow of the game. The Lions continued to create the better chances, although Charlie Cresswell’s miss from point-blank range just before the half-time whistle should have given them the lead.

In the final seconds of the half, Bennett went down grabbing his right leg. The referee was determined to play on until both sets of players had to call attention to the situation. The half-time whistle was subsequently blown, allowing medical staff to treat the forward on the pitch during the break before stretchering him off.

Rowett brought Duncan Watmore on as his replacement, allowing the new signing to make his debut against his former club. He was in the action immediately when he was played into the box down the left flank, but Patterson rushed out to push the ball away. Fans were desperate for a penalty, but the referee said no once again.

The Lions injury woes looked to worsen in the 52nd minute when Honeyman was wiped out while challenging for a ball. A clash of heads saw the Sunderland academy graduate requiring treatment before returning to the pitch, with Murray Wallace clipping the crossbar from the resulting corner.

Millwall piled on the pressure. Honeyman tested Patterson with a wicked shot from the edge of the area, forcing an incredible save from the goalkeeper. He couldn’t save the Lions’ corner that came just before the hour-mark, however, as Jake Cooper smashed the ball into the back of the net off the crossbar to finally give Rowett’s men the lead.

Sunderland threatened without really piling pressure onto George Long, but they found their equaliser with 81 minutes on clock. Alex Pritchard’s free-kick was whipped into the box for Dennis Cirkin, allowing the substitute to flick his header into the net off the post.

Millwall looked the more likely to score as the clocked ticked into stoppage time, but they were unable retake the lead as Sunderland held out for a draw.

Millwall: 4-2-3-1:Long; McNamara, Cresswell, Cooper, Wallace; Mitchell, Saville; Honeyman, Flemming, Bennett; Bradshaw

Sunderland: 4-2-3-1:Patterson; Hume, Ballard, Batth, Alese; Neil, Michut; Roberts, Amad, Clarke; Gelhardt


Coops gets his second

Jake Cooper has been one of Millwall’s biggest goal threats this season, but he only scored once before today’s clash with Sunderland.

His second goal of the season came from a set piece, of course, where he flicked the ball up and over Anthony Patterson to give his side the lead.

Gary Rowett will be hoping he can do that a bit more often in the weeks to come.

A nightmare for Benno

Mason Bennett has had a really rough ride with injuries in recent years, but he seemed to be on a bit of a role after playing consistently all season.

That run was ended in a horrible fashion when he was stretchered off the pitch just before the half-time break after injuring his leg.

It remains to be seen what damage has been done, but it doesn’t look good for the forward.

One point gained or two points dropped?

At a sold-out Den, it felt like the latter.

Millwall’s home record is exceptional, and they need to be beating their play-off rivals in these games if they are to secure a top-six finish.

It’s far from the end of the world, however.

Photo: Millwall FC

REPORT: Millwall 1-1 Sunderland - Southwark News (2024)


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