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11:58 13th December 2010

Swans held at home by Millwall

The Swans missed out on the chance to climb into second spot as they were held at home by Millwall.

Angel Rangel gave the home side the perfect start when he headed home the opener after 18 minutes, but that lead didn't last long as Tamika Mkandawire levelled.

The home defence failed to clear their lines as the Lions defender popped up with the strike that found the bottom corner.

Both sides had their chances in the second period but neither were able to find that clinical strike.

Garry Monk was back in the side after missing the last three games with a calf injury.

It's the only change to the team that won at Ipswich with Neil Taylor dropping back down to the bench in place of the skipper.

Recent loan recruit, Jermaine Easter, was named on the bench after overcoming a thigh problem.

Swans: Dorus de Vries; Angel Rangel, Ashley Williams, Garry Monk (C), Alan Tate; Mark Gower (Darren Pratley, 69'), Joe Allen, Andrea Orlandi (Stephen Dobbie, 83'); Nathan Dyer, Scott Sinclair, Craig Beattie (Jermaine Easter, 56').

Not Used: Yves Makabu-Makalambay (GK), Neil Taylor, Kemy Agustien, David Cotterill.

Millwall: David Forde, Tamika Mkandawire, Danny Shittu, Scott Barron, Paul Robinson (Darren Ward, 8'), Jason Puncheon, James Henry, Jimmy Abdou, Josh McQuoid (Danny Schofield, 74'), Steve Morison.

Subs: Steve Mildenhall (GK), Neil Harris, Chris Hackett, Tony Craig, Calvin Andrew.

Attendance: 13,853 Away: 298

Referee: D Whitestone (Northampton)

The Swans were all set to write themselves into the history books when Millwall last came to town in 2008.

Kenny Jackett brought his side to the Liberty with the home side one game away from matching the record of 19 consecutive games without loss - but the former Swans boss spoiled that party as they left south west Wales that night with maximum points.

There was payback on the horizon and a win against the Lions would propel the hosts into the top two for the first time since the glory days of the early 1980s, so there was massive incentive to get a result.

Millwall, however, had other ideas early on as they looked to pile on the pressure from the start, but neither Dorus de Vries or his defence were troubled by their early attempts.

It took some time for the hosts to get going but top-scorer Scott Sinclair twice came close to opening, his second attempt dipping inches over the top of David Forde's goal from just inside the area.

But the hosts did make their mark with just 18 minutes gone by taking the lead from a set-piece - Sinclair won the corner, Andrea Orlandi delivered from the left and Angel Rangel was left unmarked as he charged into the area, connecting with his head to send the ball flying past Forde.

Sinclair almost added a second minutes later when Forde got down to hold another dipping shot, but Millwall battled back to level 25 minutes in; Jason Puncheon was the architect as he skipped a series of challenges to get into the area, the defence failed to clear and when it came to Tamika Mkandawire he let fly and picked out the bottom corner.

A sublime cross-field pass from Mark Gower picked out Dyer but his low cross was cut out by Forde, as Beattie and Sinclair were waiting in the middle, and the Swans continued to battle to reclaim the lead as Sinclair curled a free-kick over the goal shortly before the break.

And Nathan Dyer had a great chance to make it 2-1 in first-half stoppage time but he blazed over from close-range after Orlandi's cross was missed by Beattie.

Half-Time: Swans 1 Millwall 1

Millwall made a strong start to the second-half and after James Henry shot wide on 50 minutes the midfielder turned provider moments later.

His free-kick from 20-yards was met by the head of Josh McQuoid who deflected the ball towards goal but Dorus de Vries sprung into action to palm it acrobatically away to safety. Henry also came close again when shot across the face of the Dutchman but, fortunately, his shot was off target.

There was a change in personnel up-front when Jermaine Easter was introduced in place of Craig Beattie, the on loan MK Dons forward making his debut against the club he played for briefly in 2008.

The Swans pressed for a second but the closest they came was when Mark Gower curled a corner onto the roof of the net while an Andrea Orlandi free-kick was smashed across the wall and past the post.

Darren Pratley was also sent into action and with just under 20 minutes left he picked out Rangel with a sweet pass lifted over the defence, the goalscorer crossed from the byline and Orlandi connected only for Mkandawire to get a slight touch to help it wide for a corner.

Sinclair also shot wide before de Vries came to the rescue once again on 76 minutes when he palmed away another Henry effort as Millwall looked to go in front from the counter attack.

And in a bid to boost the threat in attack Stephen Dobbie was added to fray to partner Easter with five minutes left of this match. But the Swans were handed two massive let offs in the closing stages when Wales international Steve Morison firstly fired wide from the angle before de Vries was called into action again to deny the same player who was gifted possession by Alan Tate.
    Data provided by Press Association