By Jake Sanders
Brentford scored three goals in the final six minutes, including a last-gasp winner, as Millwall let a two-goal lead slip to lose 3-2 on their last ever Championship visit to Griffin Park.
Tom Bradshaw’s fifth goal of the season and a second-half Jed Wallace penalty put the Lions on course to continue their 100 percent record under caretaker boss Adam Barrett, but the Bees rallied in the closing stages through Josh Dasilva and Bryan Mbeumo’s deflected effort before Ollie Watkins – who had earlier missed from the spot himself – completed the turnaround with the last kick of the game.
The result sees Millwall slip to 17th in the Championship standings as they remain in search of their first league victory on the road since they won at Birmingham City back in March.
Brentford applied all of the early pressure and Millwall were thankful for Bartosz Bialkowski, who made a sharp 4th minute save to deny Mathias Jensen’s poked effort after he was wonderfully picked out by Said Benrahma, although the Pole hardly know much about it.
Less than ten minutes later, Jensen turned provider, shaping to shoot before cutely picking out Nikos Karelis to his left, but his arrowed effort smashed the inside of the post – with Bialkowski beaten.
Midway through the first-half, the Bees were handed an ever better opportunity to break the deadlock as Shaun Hutchinson was penalised for pulling Henrik Dalsgaard and conceded a penalty. But Watkins was unable to beat the impressive Bialkowski from 12-yards as the Millwall goalkeeper made a wonderful one-handed save from his well-struck spot-kick.
But that didn’t stop Brentford in their tracks and Bialkowski was forced to come to the Lions’ rescue again on 31 minutes – this time beating Dalsgaard’s strike away from danger after he cut inside from the right and drilled towards the far corner.
Millwall had offered virtually nothing in the opening period, but remarkably, went in front on the stroke of half-time with their first meaningful attack of the afternoon. A loose ball fell to Jayson Molumby, whose hammered shot was saved by David Raya, but only as far as Bradshaw, who was on hand to tap home his third goal in as many games and fifth of the campaign.
Brentford, as they did in the opening period, made a lightning start to the half and thought they’d levelled on 50 minutes. However, Watkins’ miserable afternoon continued as he headed home from close-range following a goal-mouth scramble, but was adjudged to have been in an offside position.
Less than two minutes and once more totally against the run of play, the visitors doubled their advantage. In an almost carbon copy of the first-half incident, Watkins wrestled Hutchinson to the ground and Wallace, as he did against Leeds United a fortnight ago, showed nerves of steel to thump home home the resulting penalty into the bottom left-hand corner.
Watkins came close to reducing the deficit 20 minutes from time, but fluffed his lines before Dasilva tucked home from the edge of the box in the 84th minutes to ensure a nervy finish for Millwall. And those nerves soon became a reality, as firstly, Mbeumo’s effort deflected off Murray Wallace and looped over Bialkowski and into the top corner to equalise before Watkins made up for his penalty miss by converting from close-range in the 94th minute to make it 3-2.
IMAGES BY BRIAN TONKS