GREEN’S FIN­GERS GIVE LIONS HOPE

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Andrew Brook To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

SCOTT Malone snatched a po­ten­tially cru­cial late point for Mill­wall but boss Ian Hol­loway in­sists his goal should have sealed three – not one.

The Lions fell be­hind to Char­lie Austin’s penalty, the award­ing of which in­fu­ri­ated Hol­loway.

And he said:“I don’t think any­body in the ground ac­tu­ally both­ered to ap­peal. Was it in the box? Was it de­lib­er­ate? I’ve seen it four times over and I can’t be­lieve what I’ve seen.

“My team played re­ally well. We cre­ated some good chances against a very good side. It just felt like it might be one of those days.

“It was great spirit to keep go­ing, but I feel com­pletely robbed. I just can’t be­lieve he’s given it.

“That might be the big­gest point this club has ever got. Seven games ago we’d have taken it be­ing in our hands on the fi­nal day.

“I wanted to make a big dif­fer­ence here. I hadn’t but I can see it com­ing now. That looks like my team and we’re do­ing it at the tough­est time we’ll ever have to. If fate goes against us, I can’t ask for any more.

“It will prob­a­bly be the big­gest achieve­ment of my ca­reer if I keep us up.”

The 78th-minute penalty was awarded af­ter Simeon Jack­son han­dled Ju­nior Hoi­lett’s cross near the back cor­ner of the box un­der pres­sure from Ravel Mor­ri­son and Austin sent David Forde the wrong way.

But in the last minute Mill­wall re­sponded with the ‘strangest, weird­est goal’ Hol­loway said he had ever seen.

Steve Mori­son won the ini­tial header in the box, launch­ing a se­ries of er­rors from both sides.

Joey Bar­ton sliced his clear­ance into Malone’s path, who also sliced his shot goal­wards.

It was a sim­ple save for Rob Green but, in­stead of palm­ing the ball over, he did so into his net re­call­ing his ca­reer’s dark­est mo­ments.

The draw ex­tended Mill­wall’s un­beaten run to seven games and means vic­tory over Bournemouth in their fi­nal game will con­firm a fifth con­sec­u­tive sea­son in the Cham­pi­onship.

They more than matched QPR, who now know they will start their play-off semi-fi­nal away from home against Read­ing, Wi­gan or Brighton.

Ste­fan Maier­hofer scuffed a header wide in­side two min­utes and Mar­tyn Wool­ford bob­bled an­other great first-half chance wide. And af­ter Austin’s goal, Shaun Wil­liams dinked a free-kick against the cross­bar.

QPR’s pow­er­ful cen­tre-back pair­ing, Richard Dunne and Ne­dum On­uoha, were un­usu­ally fee­ble against Maier­hofer’s enor- mity but Wool­ford cre­ated his chance by also out­muscling Dunne.

Mor­ri­son came close for Rangers with a div­ing header and they cre­ated sev­eral chances for Austin. How­ever, the 17-goal front­man was un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally waste­ful as he eases back into fit­ness.

And Rangers boss Harry Red­knapp said:“When you’re 1-0 up in the last minute, you ex­pect to see the game out. It was a poor goal.

“Maybe we had too many play­ers who are good on the ball, but not so good with­out the ball. We didn’t close them down as well as I would have liked. But it is about find­ing the bal­ance – that’s what we have to do in the next week or two.We fin­ished be­low Wi­gan and Read­ing last year. We’ve got ex­pe­ri­ence but so have they. Who­ever we play will be very tough.

“Wi­gan have the nu­cleus of a team that won the FA Cup last year and pos­si­bly the strong­est squad in the league.

“I haven’t seen the penalty again and I didn’t see it when it hap­pened. I was look­ing some­where else.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

CHAR­LIE’S AN­GEL: Char­lie Austin finds the net with QPR’s penalty, which en­raged Lions boss Ian Hol­loway

BAILED: Nicky Bai­ley, right, cel­e­brates the late equaliser

STAR MAN SCOTT MALON

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