Gary Rowett refuses to take credit for Millwall sub Matt Smith’s equaliser

Posted Wednesday, January 13, 2021 by PA

Gary Rowett refuses to take credit for Millwall sub Matt Smith’s equaliser

Millwall manager Gary Rowett refused to take the credit after Matt Smith came off the bench to score a precious equaliser and earn the Lions a 1-1 draw at high-flying Bournemouth.

Smith netted with his first touch 11 minutes from time to cancel out Dominic Solanke’s first-half goal and deny Bournemouth the chance to go second in the Championship table.

Rowett said: “I did not think the substitution would work within one touch so I am not going to claim that as a genius decision.

“But Smudge looked a handful when he came on.

“We had far better chances and more than twice the number of shots of Bournemouth.

“We had a one-on-one with the goalkeeper, had one shot cleared off the line, hit the post and had numerous other chances.

“To concede so late in the first half after playing so well was a real slap in the face.

“They are a good side, a Premier League team playing in the Championship, but our shape was tremendous.

“That is Norwich away, a point, and Bournemouth away, a point. You have to look at those as good points.”

Millwall could have taken the lead in the 24th minute but Asmir Begovic saved superbly from Jed Wallace in a one-on-one situation.

Wallace’s misery was compounded when Solanke slotted home from a tight angle in first-half stoppage time.

West Brom loanee Kenneth Zohore came close to scoring an equaliser when his powerful low free-kick rebounded off a post with 15 minutes to play.

The Cherries were left crestfallen when Smith latched on to Jake Cooper’s knockdown before hooking his shot beyond Begovic to make it 1-1.

Substitute Joshua King had the chance to put the home side back in front late on but fired into the side-netting.

Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall clearly felt his team had thrown away two points as they stay third, one point behind second-placed Swansea.

Tindall said: “We did well to get our noses in front against a team who made it very difficult for us but one goal should have been enough to win the game.

“They were waiting to score from a set play and I am disappointed with the way we defended it because we knew that was the type of chance we would be faced with.

“We know that is the team they are and what they play for.

“They did against Norwich and got a draw there and beat Bristol City away in the same kind of manner.

“They look to frustrate you and get the big boys on the end of set-pieces.

“Once we scored, I thought we would be OK and create another moment to win the game but unfortunately we made a defensive mistake and that cost us.”


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