MILLWALL had to be happy with a point at Glanford Park against Scunthorpe – who were left ruing Paddyadden’s late penalty miss.
The Scunthorpe striker blasted his spot-kick over the bar after Mark Beevers had felled Gary McSheffrey.
The Lions were also relieved when Madden’s header approaching 90 minutes was diverted on to the crossbar by Jordan Archer and Byron Webster was able to clear.
In a dramatic last few minutes Millwall countered and Steve Morison’s shot from an angle slammed off Joe Anyon’s near post and went wide.
Archer was making his full league debut after Neil Harris decided to drop David Forde, and he was a key figure in securing Millwall a point.
He justified his selection just a few minutes in when he brilliantly tipped Madden’s low shot around the post for a corner.
He was lucky in the second half, though, when he parried a shot straight to the striker who headed in, but the goal was ruled out for offside.
Shaun Williams wasted Millwall’s best chance in the first half when he shot straight at Anyon from eight yards, but Millwall were also lucky at the other end that Kevin van Veen’s effort from 25 yards came back off the bar.
Scunthorpe too rode their luck in the second period, and Millwall should have been awarded a penalty when Williams’ shot came off Charlie Goode’s hands.
The home side also scrambled the ball off the line after Webster headed towards goal, but should have claimed all the points in the last minute when Madden was thwarted by Archer, the ball coming down off the crossbar before being hacked clear.
Harris shows his ruthless side.
Harris made a big call by demoting Forde to the bench and handing Archer his league debut.
And it took just five minutes for Archer to show his ability when he threw himself low to his left after Madden was put through and looked certain to finish one-on-one.
Archer showed that ability against Barnet when he prevented an even worse defeat in the first round of the League Cup and it’s difficult to imagine Forde would have kept Madden’s effort out.
The former Tottenham keeper is more agile and quicker than Forde, and he also showed maturity to punch away a half-volley from Scott Laird midway through the half rather than try and catch the ball.
He could do little, though, about van Veen’s shot that smashed off the bar shortly before half-time, but have we witnessed a change of the guard in goal?
Did Harris get a reaction from the players after three consecutive defeats?
Yes, but with the rider that Millwall looked more relaxed, at least initially, away from home.
Harris switched to 4-3-3 with Morison on the left of Lee Gregory and Fred Onyedinma on the right. Those three inter-changed a number of times in the first half, though generally Scunthorpe’s three-man defence dealt well with the ploy.
The system also seemed to suit Williams much more. He has been over-run at times in a 4-4-2 and it will be interesting now to see if Harris sticks to the system for the visit of Chesterfield next Saturday.
Ben Thompson made his full league debut for the Lions, and he is a player Harris has huge respect for.
Nelson is proving his worth.
Until he went off in the second half Sid Nelson looked a really assured presence beside Mark Beevers.
He got in a number of important blocks and swept well behind his defence when the home side threatened.
He is becoming one of those leaders that Onyedinma called for after the defeat to Barnsley on Tuesday night.
He was also an important figure in tightening things up when Scunthorpe had set-pieces, and so was Beevers, in truth, before he put a black mark beside his name when he fouled McSheffrey in the box.
Harris will hope that Nelson’s injury isn't too serious, and he could become a key player, as well as a folk hero, for the Lions this season.