MILLWALL were unlucky not to leave Griffin Park with at least a point as they lost 1-0 to Brentford in controversial circumstances.
Romaine Sawyers scored the only goal of the game on 46 minutes before Lee Gregory saw a late penalty saved after initially scoring in the build-up.
Referee Lee Probert blew up for the penalty prior to seeing if the attack would be to Millwall's advantage.
Shaun Hutchinson was made captain in the absence of Steve Morison. Shaun Williams and Byron Webster were also out.
Jake Cooper came in to partner Hutchinson in central defence with Shane Ferguson going to the left of midfield, allowing Aiden O’Brien to move up top to partner Gregory in attack.
Tom Elliott was back on the bench after recovering from injury.
The game started in a fashion you’d expect with the Lions’ opposition having the majoirty of possession.
Brentford under Dean Smith are known for getting the ball down and pass it around, but they had little impact in the opening 20 minutes with both sides failing to turn any possession into clear-cut chances.
That was until the 21st minute when a mistake in the Bees back-line allowed Gregory to advance 30 yards before he saw his effort from a tight angle nudged wide of the post and out for a corner.
From the resulting George Saville corner, the ball was floated over to an unmarked Cooper at the back post but his goal-bound header was saved by the feet of Dan Bentley in the host’s goal.
After that, the game simmered into life with Brentford going close through Sawyers, whose effort from outside the area was tipped over the crossbar by Jordan Archer.
Minutes later, Neal Maupay had the ball at his feet 12 yards out but he managed to only hike it over the bar.
The Bees were now putting pressure on the visitors, but Millwall had a decent chance, against the run of play, to open the scoring on 36 minutes. Ferguson was fouled 25 yards out and Jed Wallace stepped up to take the free-kick but Bentley palmed his effort away for a corner.
From that, the ball found its way to Wallace again but his low drive was smothered by the Bees’ stopper as the half came to an end.
The second period was barely two minutes old when the deadlock was broken, the ball falling invitingly for Sawyers on the edge of the box and he let rip to arrow a low driven effort past Archer to give the hosts the lead.
Millwall responded and ramped up their efforts as they searched for an equaliser.
First, Wallace got on the end of a Gregory through-ball but it was to no avail as the wide man couldn’t complete his cross into the box.
Then the post came to the aid of Bentley after Conor McLaughlin turned his man to fizz in a low centred ball that hit the goalkeeper and then the post before it was gathered at the second attempt.
Elliott’s introduction gave Millwall a much-needed target up top as they upped their efforts to restore parity.
Wallace, who created the majority of the chances for the Lions, saw another effort palmed away for a corner after he had met Ferguson’s lay-off with a thunderous right-footed strike.
As Millwall looked for a goal they left themselves open at the back, and Brentford substitute Lasse Vibe tested Archer before shooting wide.
Bentley was in inspired form once again with 13 minutes left when he pushed away Gregory’s goal-bound strike.
Millwall were awarded a penalty ten minutes from time after Wallace was fouled, but the whistle sounded after Gregory had put the ball in the back of the net.
Gregory stepped up but saw his spot-kick saved by Bentley, who was putting in a man-of-the-match display.
The Lions could have legitimate complaint with Probert's refereeing.
As Millwall pushed on, Brentford found gaps.
Vibe again went close before Ollie Watkins blazed a close-range effort inches over the bar.
The game was stretched with Millwall looking to earn a point and Brentford looking to extend their lead, but neither side could find the back of the net as the Bees held on to deny Millwall a point on the road.
Image: Millwall FC