Millwall 1-1 Bolton: Filipe Morais free-kick earns a point for Trotters
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 12/08/17 7:21pm
Substitute Filipe Morais scored a sublime free-kick to earn Bolton a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Millwall.
The Trotters have won on their last two visits to the Den but looked set to try and contain their hosts in a timid first half in South London.
George Saville made his loan move to Millwall permanent over the summer and got his first goal for the club early in the second half. But Morais, on as a second-half substitute, secured the point with a pinpoint free-kick that stunned the home fans.
In a battle between two of the Championship's promoted sides, Reece Burke made his presence felt early on as he clattered into ex-Newcastle man Shane Ferguson to earn the first booking of the afternoon.
Ferguson then created the first sign of danger as he found space to whip in a cross from the left, but Jed Wallace failed to make a solid connection with his head.
Neil Harris' men started to control the game and threatened again from the wing, this time with Wallace cutting in only for Josh Cullen to deny his shot at the crucial moment.
The visitors seemed happy to contain Millwall but gave away another free-kick on the edge of their box with Burke again clumsily charging through the back of Lee Gregory - the free-kick then being wasted by the Lions.
Perhaps frustrated by a lack of first-half opportunities, Millwall came out firing after the break and got the opener with 49 minutes on the clock.
Lions talisman Steve Morison held up the ball on the edge of the area and flicked a pass to Saville, who played a neat one-two before prodding home from six yards.
Phil Parkinson's response was to send on Morais, and he almost had an instant impact when he sent in a cross from the right only for Adam Le Fondre to misdirect the header.
The home side almost doubled their advantage minutes later, but Morison's improvised hook shot was cleared off the line by Mark Beevers.
The Trotters equalised though in the 62nd minute, Morais lined up a free-kick from 20 yards and expertly stroked it into the top corner, with Jordan Archer unable to get within touching distance.
The home side pushed for a winner, with Bolton determined to slow down the pace, but Howard saved a late Shaun Williams effort in the last real chance of the game.
Neil Harris: "I thought we were the better team. I thought we had the most chances, got our noses in front. No complaints on the goal, unfortunate one, Hutch (Shaun Hutchinson) slipped to give the foul away. If he doesn't slip then he heads it clear and the ball doesn't go in our net, but what a great free-kick.
"I thought we controlled large parts of the game. We've not always been threatening in and around the six-yard-box. (Bolton defender Mark) Beevers heads one off the line then blocks one on the line, both from (Steve) Morison, the keeper (Mark Howard) makes a couple of really good saves. I thought we looked a lot more dangerous."
Phil Parkinson: "We've tried to get players in the building who've got a real point to prove and Fil (Morais) kind of typifies that. He wants to show everyone he can play at this level and I'm sure he can because he's got real hunger to show everybody.
"Fil's missed the whole of pre-season, he hasn't done any pre-season at all and he's a key player for us. He came in January last year and had an outstanding last part of the season."