JED Wallace scored on his return from a three-match ban but Millwall could only draw 1-1 with a Hull side that ended the game with nine men at The Den on Saturday.
Wallace fired home his second goal of the season from the penalty spot in the 10th minute after Matt Smith had been fouled by Jordy De Wijs, who was booked.
Hull were level eight minutes later when Kamil Grosicki’s free-kick from 30 yards out, but near the left touchline, went over Bart Bialkowski and into the top corner.
The visitors should have gone in front when Bialkowski saved Jarrod Bowen’s shot and the ball landed at the feet of Kevin Stewart a few yards out. It really was harder to miss but Stewart somehow found a way to drag his shot wide of the left post.
Millwall were the better side after the break and peppered the visitors’ box with crosses.
Nine minutes from time substitutes Shane Ferguson and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson combined, the latter nodding back across goal but Ryan Leonard couldn’t direct his header on target from six yards.
Millwall can’t take advantage as Hull finish with nine men
It was a real chance for Millwall to end August in the top six against a side that had lost their last two games and looked defensively suspect.
The Lions could have found themselves behind at the break but Stewart let them off the hook.
Harris sent for one of his most reliable substitutes, Ferguson, who scored twice here in the last 10 minutes to turn around the FA Cup third-round tie between the sides in January after coming off the bench.
He almost provided the platform for the winner when Jake Cooper headed his corner back across goal in added-time but the ball deflected wide.
Hull had been down to 10 men for 10 minutes at that point, and were reduced to nine for the last minute when Josh Magennis was sent off for a second booking. Hull’s third sub, Jon Toral, had gone off injured.
It was a frustrating afternoon at The Den. Millwall had lots of possession but didn’t get the ball into the box quickly enough.
It was summed up in the 95th minute when the Lions passed and passed, with a host of players waiting in the penalty area. Leonard passed backwards when he might have turned to face forward, Ben Thompson played the ball out wide and referee John Langford blew the final whistle to a smattering of boos.
That reflected the shape of the game in the second half.
Eventful start for Wallace
It was Wallace who set up Smith to get to the ball in front of De Wijs, and the home players felt the Hull defender should have been red-carded as the striker would have been through in the box.
Wallace smashed his penalty past George Long but then gave away the free-kick that Grosicki, who had been the one fouled fouled, scored from.
Millwall were losing the ball too often in their own half. From Cooper’s mis-placed pass Hull quickly transferred the ball towards Grosicki and Alex Pearce had to be precise in his tackle. He was, just when it looked like Grosicki could get through.
After Wallace lost the ball on the right Hull worked play across the box and Stewart’s effort from 20 yards slammed off Cooper. Bialkowski then saved Magennis’ header before Stewart’s horror miss.
Wallace saw a shot deflect just wide early in the second half after he had beaten Leonard Da Silva Lopes and cut inside from the left.
Wallace was Millwall’s most consistent attacking threat, but the hosts lacked quality in the opponents’ box.
Still, there's plenty of reason for optimism after the first month of the season. It was an intense August and the Lions lost just once in six league games as they head into the two-week international break in 12th place in the Championship.
Ben Thompson shows his versatility again
The midfielder played in more of a holding role, intercepting passes, receiving the ball off his defence and using it carefully. He shielded well in front of the back four.
The problem for Millwall for much of the game was that they missed a player to link the play between midfield and attack, which Thompson has done in away games.
Man of the match
Jed Wallace tried hard to engineer a win, but his efforts just fell short.
Team news – two changes from Boro
Wallace made an almost instant impact on his return, while Tom Bradshaw made his first home start since his move from Barnsley in August 2018.
Millwall: 4-4-2: Bialkowski; Romeo, Pearce, Cooper, M Wallace (O’Brien, 87); J Wallace, Thompson, Leonard, Mahoney (Ferguson, 75); Bradshaw (Bodvarsson, 68), Smith.
Subs: Steele, Hutchinson, Williams, Molumby.
Image: Millwall FC