Millwall dig deep at Den for point
10-men Millwall grabbed a much-deserved point in a feisty affair, coming from two goals down to get a 2-2 draw at home to Blackburn Rovers.
Shane Duffy gave the visitors the lead on the approach to half-time as he poked in from close range.
Andy Wilkinson was given a straight red early in the second half for a late tackle which sparked the Millwall faithful into life – but soon after that, Blackburn’s Rudy Gestede extended their lead with a header from a free-kick.
Lee Martin got The Lions back into the game with a close-range strike and Shaun Williams got the all-important equaliser two minutes from time with a great shot from 20 yards.
The away side should have scored 23 minutes in as Ben Marshall’s cross was met by Jordan Rhodes, with David Forde in no man’s land, but went wide.
On the half-hour mark Williams hit a shot from 25 yards which caused Jason Steele to be at full stretch as he tipped it for a corner.
Blackburn gained the lead nine minutes before half time as Marshall’s free-kick was not dealt with by the defence as the ball ricocheted to Duffy to stab it home.
In added time of the first half Tom Cairney had a shot on the edge of the box which nearly doubled Blackburn’s lead, as it bent away from goal and went narrowly wide after bad defending from Millwall.
Martin almost equalised early in the second half as Fuller laid it off to him but for a great last-ditch block from the goalscorer Duffy.
The match sparked into life after Wilkinson was given a straight red for a challenge on Marshall, which angered manager Ian Holloway, who later noted: “I’ve seen it, it’s a good tackle.”
In the aftermath, tempers flared between both dugouts, as Millwall’s Mark Bircham was sent to the stands.
Substitute Alan Dunne gave away a needless free-kick seconds after he came on, which gave Blackburn their second goal from the set piece which was headed goalwards by Gestede which found its way into the bottom corner.
Millwall got back into the game despite being down to 10-men as Fuller’s great work at the by-line to cut it back to Martin to slot it past Steele 72 minutes in.
Holloway himself was sent to the stands 78 minutes in, although he admitted after the game that he found it a struggle to find his seat and ended up just heading to his own office instead: “I’ve never been sent off here before in my life and I didn’t know where I was going.”
The Lions equalised with two minutes of normal time remaining as Williams’s strike from 20 yards swerved into the bottom left corner, causing The Den to erupt.
“I put the telly on and watched the scores coming up and jumped up and nearly hit my head on the ceiling because my boys have been fantastic,” said Holloway.
Millwall held on for the remaining seven minutes of injury time to hold on for a hard-fought point.
Millwall: 1 David Forde, 3 Danny Shittu ©, 6 Shaun Williams, 14 Matthew Briggs, 29 Andy Wilkinson, 15 Ed Upson (60), 7 Lee Martin, 11 Martyn Woolford, 27 Scott Mcdonald (64), 19 Richardo Fuller (74)
Substitutes: 41 Tom King, 2 Alan Dunne (64), 9 Lee Gregory (60), 17 Byron Webster, 18 Maguge Gueye (74), 21 Mathias Raneigie, 30 Richard Chaplow
Blackburn Rovers: 30 Jason Steele, 5 Grant Hanley ©, 10 Tom Cairney, 12 Ben Marshall (81), 14 Markus Olsson, 15 Alex Baptiste, 22 Shane Duffy, 25 Ryan Tunnicliffe, 29 Corry Evans, 39 Rudy Gestede, 11 Jordan Rhodes (86)
Substitutes: 13 Simon Eastwood, 2 Adam Hanley, 4 Matthew Killgallon, 8 David Dunn, 16 Luke Varney (86), 19 Chris Taylor, 32 Craig Conway (81)