Millwall and local rivals West Ham United battled to a goalless draw in the Championship’s early kick-off at The Den.

Contested in front of the expected cauldron-like atmosphere of 16,000-plus supporters in SE16, the Lions and the Irons each had a host of chances to take the lead and potentially three points.

But despite the hosts having the edge in the first and the visitors in the second, the draw was the only fair result as Kenny Jackett’s side have now failed to score in four straight league games.

There was almost a peculiar start to the game when Millwall lost possession immediately after kicking off, with keeper David Forde still setting up in goal after the two teams switched sides.

Henri Lansbury attempted to catch him off guard with a cheeky drive from distance but saw it bobble wide as the furious Lions protested referee Lee Mason’s whistle to kick off before Forde was ready.

Nonetheless, it was the hosts who had all of the attacking vigour in the early stages, with Hameur Bouazza’s fierce crack at goal just after ten minutes played forcing an unconvincing save from Robert Green at the expense of a corner.

Tamika Mkandawire took a nasty bump to the head moments later, but returned to action before too long sporting one of the game’s favourite fashion statements: the heavy head bandaging.

The visitors showed gradual signs of fighting their way into the match after quarter of an hour played, with Julien Faubert and Matthew Taylor working hard to feed target man Carlton Cole.

But defensive complacency from James Tomkins on 18 minutes allowed Liam Trotter to power his way through on goal only for his shot to lack such force required to beat Green.

Neat interplay between Faubert, Taylor and Kevin Nolan should have led to the skipper feeding Cole with a low cross, but the forward was on the floor claiming a foul which Mr. Mason had no intention of giving.

Cole stayed on his feet to receive a short ball into the danger zone halfway through the first period, but struggled to turn his marker or find a viable team-mate to tee up until his ball for George McCartney resulted in a Row Z effort from the left-back.

A knock picked up earlier in the game by Tomkins proved too much for the defender and he was replaced on the half hour by Winston Reid.

Moments later, Jimmy Abdou and Joey O’Brien had to be separated from a disagreement following the right-back’s physical tussle for possession with John Marquis.

As the atmosphere reached fever pitch, persistent play from McCartney led to a cross which granted Lansbury two cracks at goal, the latter rattling the crossbar in the closest chance of the half.

Keeping their momentum going, the Hammers attacked again with Cole battling to get through on Forde only to be cut out by superb defending from Darren Ward.

An excellent run from Faubert with five to go got the better of the home back line, but from a right angle on the right he was only able to flash an effort across goal and over the far angle with the outside of his boot.

A dangerous early cross from Jordan Stewart really should have been buried by Trotter on the stroke of half time, but at a stretching backwards he was only able to get enough of a touch to put it over.

Though West Ham began the second half more comfortably than their rivals, the Lions took advantage of hesitation from Reid to surge forward only for Bouazza to wastefully shoot off target with plenty of time and space out on the left.

The introduction of David Bentley for Taylor boosted a game that was threatening to slip into scrappy territory, and partly thanks to the fresh legs and creative ideas of the on-loan midfielder, the Irons continued to have the better of the second period.

But Millwall burst away from defending a set piece and found their recent double substitution contingent of Jay Simpson and James Henry two-on-two at the other end, only for the former’s heavy touch to allow O’Brien to remove the danger.

With twenty minutes remaining the visitors embarked on a break of their own following a Millwall corner thanks to good play from the hard-working Faubert.

His ball down the right found Lansbury with plenty of space to pick out Nolan at the far post with his sweeping cross, but the attempt lacked power and direction allowing Forde to gobble it up.

Another strong delivery from deep on the left by McCartney gave Cole another shot on target in the game, though once again one well seen by Forde, before Marquis provoked a catch from Green at the other end almost immediately.

West Ham had three big opportunities in succession to break the deadlock on 75 minutes; first, Faubert’s central ball put Cole in sight of goal in the area only for the striker’s first touch to let him down.

However, Cole kept the move going by taking the ball to the right flank and cutting Faubert inside, and when the Frenchman’s far-post drive was well parried by Forde, Bentley somehow put the rebound wide.

And at the other end with a shade under ten to go, Trotter’s low centre from the right was almost backheeled on target by Henry in audacious fashion.

The away side had strength in numbers launching one more attack with four minutes remaining, but Bentley’s pull-back to Cole after good work from sub Sam Baldock wasn’t accurate enough allowing the back line to take care of it.

In the final seconds of the 90, Baldock’s flick-on put Faubert clean through but the offside flag was up before the winger had slotted the ball home.

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Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Robinson, Ward, Stewart, Feeney (Henry 64), Mkandawire (N’Guessan 87), Abdou, Bouazza (Simpson 64), Trotter, Marquis. Subs not used: Mildenhall, Smith. Att: 16,078