Millwall cruelly denied opening day victory at the death by two scrappy Boro goals

Millwall 2 Boro 2
By Toby Porter
Millwall were robbed of a morale boosting start to the season when they conceded two scrappy goals in the last five minutes to hand multi-millionaires Middlesbrough a 2-2 draw.
Neil Harris’ Lions had totally dominated until the closing stages and seemed to be cruising as the manager used all his subs to wind down the clock.
But two goals in the last few minutes – the equaliser from former Den loanee George Friend – handed Tony Pulis’ side a point they had barely deserved for a listless and unimaginative display.
The hosts looked the more cultured side, with last season’s play-off losers hardly having a chance until the last quarter.
Martin Braithwaite fired horrible freekick well over in the fourth minute and a low scuffed shot in the 10th minute which did not trouble Archer.
Ryan Shotton had to head over Steve Morison’s dangerous cross in sixth minute with Aiden O’Brien looming. George Saville could not get quite enough on the resulting corner.
Millwall took the lead in the 12th minute when Lee Gregory gathered a long ball over the top and cut back smartly for O’Brien who smashed home from 12 yards.
Jake Cooper hit the side netting from a corner in the 18th minute.
Britt Assombalonga and James Meredith both got a talking to in the 26th minute – you would suspect because the Boro striker’s frustration as he had not had a single sniff of the ball.
A disasterous headed backpass in the 40th minute by £7million Aden Flint dropped short and Gregory was through, if stretching. His toe-poke hit Darren Randolph but the ball evaded the keeper and Gregory was able to roll into an empty net to double the lead.
Boro should have come out all guns blazing but it was actually the hosts who had the best of the exchanges after the break, with O’Brien’s glancing header bobbling wide.
Gregory was released in the52nd minute and crossed beyond Randolph but Morison could not get anything on the delivery with the net gaping.
Millwall were in total control, with an inviting Morison cross just evading the head of O’Brien on the hour.
Ex-England star Stewart Downing did well down the left but then scooped a left-footed prod straight at Archer.
Shotton headed a free-kick the wrong side of the post and Aden Flint hoofed over the bar from 12 yards when it looked easier to hit target. Boro were definitely back in it.
Then in the88thminute, Romeo dwelt too long on the ball and was robbed by Lee Tavernier who squared for Martin Braithwaite to poke home
Sub Tom Elliott controlled Meredith clearance brilliantly but then fired over with justthe keeper tobeat inadded time.
The defending became panicky towards the end though the hosts should have held on.
It was not to be, though, and a throw-in was headed clear to debutant Lewis Wing who scuffed his shot. It trickled through to Friend, though, and he poked home from two yards, with the last kick of the game, to relieved celebrations from the visitors.

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