"I don't know where I'm going, but I sure know where I've been."
After a long week at work, most look forward to Friday nights to unwind, let their hair down and enjoy the weekend.
The game started in lively fashion for Millwall and Jed Wallace was looking dangerous from the opening minutes on the right wing. A low cross was put in to Matt Smith in the penalty area, but unfortunately the cross was cut out before the Millwall striker could get on the end of it.
The first 15 minutes were all Millwall and although the home side huffed and puffed at goal with a number of crosses from the impressive Wallace, the Nottingham Forest was rarely threatened. It wasn’t until the 15th minute itself when a corner from the right-hand side came in and club captain, Alex Pearce climbed highest to connect and head the ball into the back of the Forest net. The home fans were in jubilation as the Lions had taken the lead, and although recent Tuesdays had been grey and Wednesdays too, we were winning at home on Friday and in love.
Along with Jed Wallace, it was the Czech international on the other wing, Jiri Skalak, who was showing why Gary Rowett had put his faith back into him. Throwing himself to block a free-kick from the away side in the 25th minute and chasing down every ball in the first half showed the fans that Skalak was giving his all for the club and although not fully fit and confident, Skalak was showing he was made for us and we were made for him.
Aside from some more high tempo running from Jed Wallace and a number of crosses, there was very goal mouth action from Millwall and nothing at all from Forest, but unfortunately for the Lions, this Friday had gone from being like The Cure classic and more like White Snake’s ‘Here I Go Again.’
The Tricky Trees must have had the sternest dressing down in the away dressing room, as the displayed more determination in the first five minutes of the second half than they did for the whole opening 45. In the 49th minute, Sammy Ameobi got on the end of some nice link up play and tested Bartosz Bialkowski from close range, but the Polish ‘keeper did excellently to keep the ball out.
Forest kept Millwall under pressure and Semedo had an effort from distance in the 53rd minute after Jake Cooper accidentally played a ball into his path, but luckily the defender’s blushes were spared as he put his effort wide.
Millwall had their own chances and after both sides were being aerial pinball wizards in the 58th minute, the ball dropped to Mahlon Romeo, but his effort could only hit the side netting of Samba’s goal.
It was the time for the Christmas panto villain as former striker Lewis Grabban entered the pitch just after the hour mark and in the 63rd minute it was Grabban who headed the ball into the back of the Millwall net from close range to equalise.
The action was picking up and Jake Cooper had a wonderful chance to put the home side back in front in the 70th minute, but his header from practically the goal line was somehow kept out and pushed wide for a corner.
The Lions came close again in the 76th minute when a corner in front of the Cold Blow Lane stand was headed towards goal by Jake Cooper, but again, this effort was cleared off the goal line as Forest did well to keep the Lions at bay.
With three minutes to go, Millwall were handed a huge get out of jail card when some quick passing in Bialkowski’s penalty area saw the ball land at Adomah's feet, but the Forest man could only put his effort wide of the post.
In the 88th minute of the game, Grabban thought he had secured the win and had the away fans rock and rolling all night when his short-range effort beat Bialkowski and put Forest 2-1 up. The away fans were roaring with ecstasy as they thought they had the three points that would put them back towards the automatic places, but substitute Aiden O’Brien had other ideas.
In 90th minute stoppage time, Shaun Williams saw half a chance and fired a bullet towards Samba in the Forest goal. Samba could only spill the chance into the path of O’Brien and the Millwall attacker drilled it past the away ‘keeper in front of the home fans.
Another substitute, Connor Mahoney, had the chance to snatch the win for Millwall, but his effort - like those earlier - only rippled the side netting of the near post from inside the six-yard box.
The final whistle sounded around The Den and the points were shared. There was an air of disappointment after an impressive first half, but the Lions can be happy they are now at a level under their new manager that they can host a team in the top six and be disheartened they didn’t get the win.
Millwall: Bialkowski, M. Wallace, Cooper, Williams, J. Wallace, Thompson (Mahoney 83'), Smith (Bradshaw 61'), Romeo, Pearce, Molumby, Skalak (O'Brien 78').
Subs not used: Sandford, Hutchinson, Brown, Bodvarsson.
Nottingham Forest: Samba, Figueiredo (Lolley 57'), Worrall, Watson, Cash, Mir (Grabban 62'), Semedo (Adomah 80'), Robinson, Ameobi, Dawson, Silva.
Subs not used: Muric, Carvalho, Bostock, Rodriguez.