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FULL-TIME: Millwall 2 Blackburn Rovers 2
FOR the second game running Rovers scored an injury-time equaliser to rescue a point at struggling Millwall.
Substitute Josh King netted his second goal of the season in the 92nd minute to earn Gary Bowyer’s side, who played most of the second half with 10 men after captain Grant Hanley was controversially sent off in the 56th minute, a hard-earned draw.
The Lions opened the scoring a minute after Hanley received his second red card of the campaign as Shaun Williams converted the resulting penalty.
Rovers levelled in the 65th minute when Michael Keane headed in his first goal for the club since signing on loan from Manchester United.
But they fell behind for the second time in the 88th minute after Keane gave away another penalty which Simeon Jackson fired past Paul Robinson.
Millwall’s midweek loss to relegation rivals Birmingham City stretched their winless home run to six matches and ensured they slumped to the bottom of the table.
But any thoughts that Rovers, who came into the game on the back of a three-match unbeaten run, were in for a comfortable afternoon were dispelled inside the first five minutes.
Twice Robinson was called into action as the former England goalkeeper tipped over a Scott McDonald header before he gathered on his line after Steve Morison stooped low to meet an Owen Garvan corner.
Morison, who felt he was fouled, should have scored.
But so should Luke Varney two minutes later.
The on-loan Leeds United forward, back in the Rovers team after Rudy Gestede pulled out with a groin injury, raced on to a fine David Dunn pass threaded behind the Lions defence to go clean through on David Forde.
But he could only shoot straight at the Republic of Ireland international with the loose ball being cleared away from danger.
Varney had another opening to go one-on-one with Forde later in the half after Tommy Spurr crossed. However his touch let him down.
Recalled Rovers captain Hanley had earlier missed an even better opportunity, heading inches over from a Craig Conway corner when he should have hit the target.
But it was Ian Holloway’s side who went closest to scoring in a first half low on quality but high on chances when Garvan smacked a left-footed free kick from the side of the area against the far post.
From the resulting breakaway Jordan Rhodes cut inside and saw a low 20-yard shot comfortably saved by Forde, who looked highly suspect from back passes and balls into the boxes, at one stage missing a long Spurr throw completely.
Robinson then got down low to his left to deny McDonald after he cut inside on to his right foot and let fly from 20 yards before Corry Evans blazed over from the edge of the area after Rhodes chested the ball into his path.
Rovers, while not playing particularly badly, were lacking sharpness, although they were not helped by the poor state of the pitch.
But matters did not improve immediately after the restart and they fell behind in the 57th minute after Hanley was adjudged to have bundled Morison over in the box.
And salt was rubbed into the wounds when the Scotland international was given his marching orders despite the fact that his impressive centre-back Matt Kilgallon was back to cover.
But Williams showed no mercy, sending Robinson the wrong way from the spot with the inside of his left foot.
Millwall suddenly had their tails up and Garvan and McDonald were not far away with speculative strikes from distance.
But Rovers, with Lions old boy Chris Taylor on for Dunn, equalised 25 minutes from time.
A Conway corner swung deep to the back post was missed by the hapless Forde and there was Keane to head home.
But Forde redeemed himself in the 78th minute to deny Keane his second goal as he brilliantly palmed away the defender's looping header from a teasing Conway free kick.
Rovers were finishing the stronger so it came as a hammer blow when Keane fouled Jackson in the area.
The Lions sub did the rest from the spot.
And Jackson should have scored again a minute later after fellow sub Stefan Maierhofer set him clear.
Robinson, however, saved with his legs.
It proved a crucial moment.
As two minutes into injury-time the ball was played back into the box and King, who moments earlier had brought a superb stop out of Forde, did well to nudge it into the side of the net to the delight of the travelling supporters behind the goal.
Millwall: Forde, Fredericks, Lowry, Beevers, Williams (Malone 82), Edwards (Maierhofer 83), Abdou, Garvan, Onyedinma (Jackson 59), McDonald, Morison. Subs not used: Bywater, Robinson, Upson, Woolford.
Goals: Williams 57pen, Jackson 88pen.
Rovers: Robinson, Keane, Hanley, Kilgallon, Spurr, Evans, Williamson, Conway, Dunn (Taylor 59), Varney, Rhodes (King 76). Subs not used: Eastwood, Kane, Olsson, Dabo, Cairney.
Sent off: Hanley 56.
Goals: Keane 65, King 90.
Referee: James Linnington.
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