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Bournemouth miss chance to return to the top at Millwall

Millwall v Bournemouth – Sky Bet Championship – The Den
(Image credit: John Walton)

Bournemouth missed the chance to go back top of the Sky Bet Championship as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Millwall.

It looked like Dominic Solanke’s 15th league goal late in the first half would be enough for the Cherries to return to winning ways and leapfrog Fulham back into first place.

But Benik Afobe’s smart finish midway through the second half against his former club earned the hosts a third straight draw which left them four points off a play-off place.

Scott Parker’s Bournemouth were looking for a response to their surprise 3-2 defeat to Derby but they struggled to create chances in a closely fought first half at the Den.

That changed in the 44th minute when Solanke finished from close range after his initial header from a Jack Stacey cross was blocked, although Millwall felt there was a foul in the build up.

Bournemouth came flying out of the blocks in the second half, with chances coming thick and fast as they searched for a second.

Solanke went close to a second before Ryan Christie was denied by home goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski.

But Millwall survived and gradually earned a foothold in the game.

And they were rewarded by an equaliser in the 67th minute through Afobe’s fourth goal of the season.

The former Cherries striker latched on to a ball played over the top from substitute Tom Bradshaw and had too much pace for Gary Cahill, before slotting coolly past a helpless Mark Travers.

The Lions went searching for a winner, dominating the last 20 minutes with Bournemouth struggling to cope with the relentless press.

That winner very nearly came with five minutes of normal time remaining when Jefferson Lerma made a superb clearance from an Afobe ball in.

A minute later the hosts went close again, this time seeing a header from Murray Wallace sail narrowly wide.

George Saville had the last chance for the Lions but he saw his effort drift a long way wide of goal from distance as the game ended all square.

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