Bees sting in tail to shock Lions
MILLWALL interim manager Neil Harris admitted he was struggling for words after his side threw away a two-goal lead to draw at Brentford.
The Lions, who now haven’t won in nine games, appeared to be on course for a surprise victory following goals from Lee Gregory and Aiden O’Brien.
However, the promotion-chasing hosts scored twice in the final five minutes through Alex Pritchard and Moses Odubajo to earn a point, something that Harris found hard to accept.
“I’m gutted for the players, I thought they were outstanding again,” said Harris, who now has drawn two and lost one in his time in charge.
“At 2-0 up, you’d expect to see the game out. But I think that’s where we’re at as a club.
“What can you say to the boys? I feel for them. But we can learn, we’ll study the goals, we’ll talk it through as a group.
“We’re getting closer and closer to a victory, and I’m sure as soon as we get one, we’ll get a second and third quickly after.”
The visitors began confidently as Ed Upson and Martyn Woolford forced Brentford keeper David Button into good saves within the opening six minutes.
Brentford seemed surprised by the confidence with which the visitors were playing, even after Jota hit the bar with a header from Pritchard’s cross.
On 28 minutes, the Lions took the lead. Button came out to collect Upson’s long ball, but was beaten to it by Gregory, who rounded him and coolly finished for his sixth of the season.
“I’m delighted with his goal,” added Harris. “The movement and the through ball were excellent. In the way we’re playing, Lee will score lots of goals like that.”
Only an Odubajo block denied O’Brien from making it two on 55 minutes.
But the striker couldn’t miss with his head after Woolford picked him out at the back post shortly after the hour mark. It was his first goal for the south London club.
The home side’s response looked uninspired until Pritchard scored a penalty on 85 minutes, following Woolford’s foul on Alan Judge.
Then after Sid Nelson could only partially clear Pritchard’s cross, Odubajo fired low to earn his side a precious point.
Nonetheless, Millwall could have won it in the fourth minute of stoppage time, but substitute Gary Taylor-Fletcher fired just wide after running through the home defence.
“It could be a valuable point come May 2nd,” said Brentford manager Mark Warbuton. “The players’ character was evident, but we have to realise that we were considerably off our best here and that it wasn’t good enough.
“We know what Millwall are about, they’re scrapping hard, and it was always going to be a tough test. However, we started off scrappily, didn’t get the ball moving and were putting in too many aimless crosses.
“In the second half we took more care with the ball in the final third, but we were still too sloppy at the back.
“The players know that’s not the level we’re after. There was no fatigue in the players, there are no excuses; as a group we were below-par.”
With Ipswich winning at Watford, the Bees are now outside the play-off places, while Millwall remain second bottom.
SPOT ON: Brentford’s Alex Pritchard scores their first goal with a penalty
for Millwall O JOY! Aiden O’Brien nets