MILLWALL let a two-goal lead slip in the last seven minutes as Ollie Watkins’ injury-time goal earned Brentford a 3-2 win at Griffin Park on Saturday.
Tom Bradshaw gave the Lions the lead with a close-range finish before Jed Wallace doubled the advantage from the penalty spot.
But Brentford hit back through Josh Dasilva in the 83rd minute before Bryan Mbeumo’s shot looped off Murray Wallace’s boot and over Bart Bialkowski with two minutes left.
Watkins, who had earlier missed a penalty and then gave away one, completed the Bees’ comeback.
Earlier, Bialkowski had saved point-blank from Mathias Jensen and Nikos Karelis hit the post as Brentford dominated the opening stages of the game.
In the 23rd minute Bialkowski superbly saved Watkins’ spot-kick given after referee Stuart Atwell judged Shaun Hutchinson to have fouled Henrik Dalsgaard.
Bialkowski was much the busier goalkeeper and kept out Dalsgaard’s fierce shot from the right side of the box.
Millwall went ahead in first-half injury-time when Bradshaw tapped home after David Raya had saved Jayson Molumby’s low shot.
Brentford thought they were level five minutes into the second half when Watkins finished from close range, but after Atwell consulted his linesman the goal was ruled out for handball.
Atwell was involved again as Millwall went two goals up. From Shaun Williams’ corner Hutchinson was fouled by Watkins, and Wallace fired his penalty low into Raya’s bottom right corner.
Millwall looked like they would go on to win, before that late collapse.
Barrett denied perfect audition
Millwall were minutes away from consecutive league wins for the first time since last December before it all went horribly wrong.
In truth, they had been fortunate to be ahead after Watkins’ missed penalty and Brentford's consistency in creating goal-scoring opportunities.
The Lions rode their luck, but couldn’t hold out.
Millwall could make a decision on their next permanent manager tomorrow, and with seven minutes left Barrett would surely have been in pole position.
Instead, that habit of conceding late goals that they just can’t seem to shake came back to haunt them again.
It was tough on Bialkowski, who as well as the penalty made several other outstanding saves.
It looked like the goalkeeper’s performance would be enough, but Brentford kept attacking and eventually got their reward.
Lions get double penalty break
Atwell was certainly looking for off-the-ball infringements at set-pieces. He warned players before one Millwall corner in the first half, before blowing for a foul on Hutchinson.
That was after Bialkowski had brilliantly kept out Watkins’ fiercely-struck spot-kick.
Watkins had an eventful afternoon. After he saw that goal ruled out he fouled Hutchinson and the home players didn’t appear to have much complaint.
Wallace confidently fired home his second goal in two games and fourth of the season.
Millwall felt hard-done-by earlier in the season at not getting penalty decisions, but have two in their last two games.
They were in the driving seat here, but instead of celebrating there will be an inquiry into why they couldn’t see the game out.
Bradshaw back at scene of season-ending injury
For the second time in three games an opposition goalkeeper looked up after making a save to find arch-poacher Bradshaw gobbling up the chance.
The striker spoke this week of former manager Neil Harris’ emphasis on movement and having that hunger to score goals. It was Bradshaw’s third goal in three games and he is halfway to double figures for the season.
In this fixture last year Bradshaw tore his cruciate ligament and missed the rest of the campaign.
He now looks fully back to his best.
Brentford front three cause problems
Millwall were fortunate to go into the half-time break level.
The Bees’ front three of Karelis, Said Benrahma and Watkins had the elusiveness of eels as Millwall were faced with waves of home attacks.
Benrahma cut in a delicious early through-ball in the tightest of spaces to take out the away defence and put Jensen in one-on-one with Bialkowski, who made an excellent block.
Karelis found the foot of the post after Molumby had been dispossessed deep in his own half. Hutchinson’s superb tackle halted Benrahma, before Jensen found Karelis who was denied by the woodwork.
There was a double blow for Brentford before half-time when Karelis was stretchered off and then Bradshaw put his side ahead.
Mbeumo came on for Karelis and had a huge hand in his side’s comeback, before Watkins turned his afternoon from miserable to match-winning.
Shaun Williams replaced the injured Ryan Leonard in midfield in the only change from the side that defeated Leeds two weeks ago.
Luke Steele returned to the bench for Ryan Sandford, and Jason McCarthy for Leonard.
Millwall: 4-4-1-1: Bialkowski; Romeo, Hutchinson, Cooper, M Wallace; J Wallace, Molumby (Bodvarsson, 73), Williams, Ferguson; Thompson; Bradshaw.
Subs: Steele, McCarthy, Smith, O’Brien, Pearce, Mahoney.
Image: Milwall FC