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Match Reports

Super-sub O'Brien rescues Lions point against Forest

Our report from The Den

6 December 2019

Aiden O'Brien scored a stoppage-time equaliser as Millwall drew 2-2 with Nottingham Forest on a dramatic Friday night at The Den.

Shaun Williams headed home Jed Wallace's corner-kick on 15 minutes to open the scoring, but Lewis Grabban stepped off the bench to score with his first touch just after the hour-mark, before netting again just two minutes from time, to put Forest into the lead.

Millwall were not done there, though, as O'Brien notched an equaliser two minutes in second-half stoppage-time.

Gary Rowett named an unchanged side for the visit of The Tricky Trees, with one change coming on the bench as Shaun Hutchinson returned from injury to replace Billy Mitchell.

After an even opening, the first opportunity of the game came with five minutes on the clock, but Ben Thompson nodded Mahlon Romeo's cross over the bar.

Goalmouth action was quiet in the early stages, but it was The Lions making the chances - and on 15 minutes, they took the lead. Jed Wallace's corner-kick found the head of Williams, who, on his 250th appearance, nodded into the net for his second goal in as many games.

The lack of real action in front of goal continued after that, but the next attempt again went the way of Millwall, however, Brice Samba was equal to Romeo's effort shortly before the half-hour mark.

Confident in possession, The Lions were still attempting to double their lead as the final 10 minutes of the first-half approached - suitably aided by a Nottingham Forest side extremely wasteful on the ball - but the final pass went begging.

Just a minute into the second-half Millwall had another shot at goal, but Romeo found the side-netting, before Bartosz Bialkowski was made to work for the first time with 49 minutes on the clock, saving low from Sammy Ameobi.

For the first time Forest were making waves in front of goal, and although Alfa Semedo's shot flashed well wide of goal on 53 minutes, the game was much more even - Semedo again firing an effort across goal as The Tricky Trees looked for the equaliser.

At the other end, Romeo shot just wide before Jed Wallace's effort was blocked by Ben Watson, with Ameobi's deflected attempt bouncing into the arms of Bialkowski as the evening began to hot up.

Forest manager Labri Samouchi brought Grabban on with 62 minutes played, and with his first touch the scores were level, as a deep free-kick was nodded across goal and into the path of the striker, who made no mistake from a couple of yards out.

The tide had now fully turned, with Forest's tails up and Millwall's backs to the wall, but The Lions broke away up the other end on 67 minutes with substitute Tom Bradshaw feeding Jayson Molumby, however Joe Worrall rushed to the Irishman's side to execute a potentially goal-saving challenge.

Jake Cooper could - and perhaps should - have scored his first goal of the campaign with 20 minutes remaining, but after Thompson hooked the ball back into the six-yard box, the defender's header was superbly saved by Samba. Cooper then had a header cleared off the line by Ameobi, with three sides of The Den then appealing for a penalty as Bradshaw was brought down - referee John Brooks was unmoved, though.

Ameobi denied Cooper on the line once again as the atmosphere inside the stadium upped a few notches, and with six minutes to go it looked as though Millwall would find the elusive second, but after Jed Wallace's cross beat the grasp of Samba, Molumby was just unable to reach the ball with his head for a certain goal.

Forest found a way through The Lions' defence on 87 minutes but eventually hit the side-netting through substitute Albert Adomah, but with two minutes left of the 90, Grabban poked home from a few yards out to put the visitors in front.

However, Millwall were not done, as in five minutes of stoppage-time, Williams' shot was parried by Samba and straight into the path of sub O'Brien, who scored a dramatic equaliser.

Connor Mahoney then set his sights on goal as the match reached a climax, but the sub found the side-netting after beating two Forest men.

Millwall: Bialkowski, M. Wallace, Cooper, Williams, J. Wallace, Thompson (Mahoney 83'), Smith (Bradshaw 61'), Romeo, Pearce, Molumby, Skalak (O'Brien 78'). Subs not used: Sandford, Hutchinson, Brown, Bodvarsson.

Scorer: Williams 15', O'Brien 90+2'

Booking: Thompson

Nottingham Forest: Samba, Figueiredo (Lolley 57'), Worrall, Watson, Cash, Mir (Grabban 62'), Semedo (Adomah 80'), Robinson, Ameobi, Dawson, Silva. Subs not used: Muric, Carvalho, Bostock, Rodriguez.

Scorer: Grabban 63' 88'

Booking: Cash, Silva

Referee: John Brooks

Attendance: 12,976 (1,267)

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