Millwall started 2021 in wretched fashion as they lost 2-1 to Coventry City.
The Lions were lucky not to be further behind than two goals at the interval.
And the home side were indebted to Bartosz Bialkowski keeping them in the contest – with the goalkeeper making some key saves in the second period.
Coventry had lucky breaks with both of their goals but it was nothing less than they deserved for a thoroughly dominant opening period.
Jordan Shipley’s shot came back off the right upright with Jake Cooper’s attempted clearance going into his own goal with 20 minutes on the clock.
The Lions centre-back also deflected the ball past Bialkowski after Gustavo Hamer’s original free-kick came back to the Sky Blues number 38 – Ryan Woods blocking the initial strike.
Millwall halved the deficit with 16 minutes remaining as Dom Hyam’s attempted slide tackle sent Troy Parrott to the turf. Jed Wallace drove his penalty into the bottom right corner.
Murray Wallace was dismissed in the third minute of stoppage time for a second bookable offence to cap off a miserable afternoon.
Kenneth Zohore’s introduction in the 68th minute definitely roused the home side, who have only won once at home in the Championship all season.
But the fact remains that Coventry should have had the match sewn up before then. Cooper headed a Hamer cross against his own crossbar while Biakowski saved from the same City attacker.
Shipley also saw a 47th-minute strike came back off the upright with Bialkowski also backpeddling to claw away a Ryan Giles cross which was going to sneak under his bar.
The Millwall number one also pushed another Giles effort around his left post before producing a vital touch with his right foot to prevent the excellent Callum O’Hare from adding a killer third goal.
It ended a four-game winless spell for the visitors, who had also not scored in that period.
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