MILLWALL 1 BRENTFORD 1

Stewart Purvis sees ten Brentford men earn a point at an angry Den.

A goal down after 15 minutes, a man down after 35, Brentford's equaliser was one of their goals of the season and they hung on to earn a point and could, maybe even should, have won the game.

For the second week running the Bees were at a club that urgently needed points to pull away from the relegation zone of the Championship.With Julian Jeanvier ill, Henrik Dalsgaard moved to the right side of the back three and wore the captain’s armband as Romaine Sawyers was rested on the bench before the game against Leeds on Monday. Sergi Canos took Dalsgaard’s place at right wing back and Emiliano Marcondes got a rare start with Said Benrahma injured.

It was clear from the start that Millwall would rely on long balls over the top and Brentford would play patient and more creative football. In recent away games that has been coupled with an early setback for the Bees and it came on cue at 15 minutes. A Millwall corner, which TV coverage showed was taken well outside the required area, fell to Lee Gregory who spun and put it past Luke Daniels.

Brentford equalised only five minutes later. Last week we reported from Reading that Josh Dasilva ‘always threatens to put a thunderbolt away’ and today he duly did exactly that. Those who were at the B team game against Malmo may remember how 25 yards out his left foot sent the ball crashing against the crossbar. Against Millwall it was to be the same place on the pitch, the same foot, only this time it went round Millwall keeper David Martin and into the net.

The goal encouraged Brentford to launch more attacks with Canos prominent but after one of them broke down Millwall launched a customary punt down field. Ben Thompson had half a yard start on Henrik Dalsgaard on the run in to goal. On the edge of the box the Danish defender leaned into the striker, sending him crashing to the ground. The referee went straight for his red card.

As Brentford reorganised, Daniels took the captain’s armband from Dalsgaard and Canos looked towards his Head Coach for instructions. Thomas Frank signalled back with four fingers triggering a return to a back four with Canos at right back. This didn’t stop Sergi making his runs and hitting the crossbar. At the end of the half Frank could be seen talking firmly with him.

A quarter of an hour of more Sergi surges at the start of the second half in which the right back looked the most  dangerous of Brentford’s attackers came to an end when Frank substituted him. Sergi looked shocked and there was minimal eye contact between the two men as he came off.

Frank explained after the game that there had been too many Millwall crosses coming in from Canos’s side. He moved B teamer Luka Racic into the centre of the defence with Mads Bech Sorensen switching to the left. From then on the defence looked stronger.

There then followed an episode which brought back the lines from ‘Ring a Ring O’ Roses’. It was truly ‘atishoo, atishoo, all fall down’ as at least four players ended up lying on the ground with Marcondes’ fall  to earth by far the most spectacular. He and Tom Elliott of Millwall were booked.

After the game Millwall manager, Neil Harris said he’d been ‘appalled’ by the Brentford players, Thomas Frank didn’t want to talk about it. 13,000 Millwall fans were well ignited, and 1,148 Bees and were warmed up too in the sunshine.

Mokotjo got the ball in the net but was offside, for Millwall Jed Wallace hit the top of the crossbar.Then came the chance that could have given Brentford all the points. In the 86th minute Chiedozie Ogbene, who’s had precious few match minutes since returning from a loan spell at Exeter, was brought on for Watkins. Dasilva somehow squeezed round the back of the Millwall define and crossed it to Ogbene plum in front of goal. He misfired sending it well wide.

For the six minutes of added on time it was mostly Millwall but Ezri Konsa was in command in defence and alongside him Racic was calm on his debut in the Championship.

After the match Thomas Frank said he was proud of his players who'd not only fought but had created chances. Apparently sensitive to comments that Brentford had nothing left to play for this season he said that every time his team played for Brentford they played for everything. Nobody doubts that will be true against Leeds at Griffin Park on Monday.

Millwall: Martin; Romeo, Cooper, Pearce, Meredith (Marshall); Tunnicliffe, Leonard; Wallace, Thompson (Elliott), Ferguson; Gregory

Brentford: Daniels; Dalsgaard, Konsa, Sørensen; Canós (Racic), Mokotjo, Dasilva, Odubajo; Marcondes (Sawyers), Maupay, Watkins (Ogbene)