Late Skalak goal rescues a draw for Millwall in relegation ‘six-pointer’

Second half substitute Jiri Skalak saved Millwall’s blushes as they battled back to record a 1-1 draw with fellow strugglers Bolton Wanderers at The New Den.

Former Millwall defender Mark Beevers opened the scoring for the visitors in the first half before substitute Skalak levelled for the hosts late in the second period.

The visitors started brightly and Josh Magennis fired an effort just wide from the edge of the box before Will Buckley had strong claims for a penalty kick when he hit the deck in the area.

Stand-in Millwall keeper Jordan Archer then blocked Buckley’s effort when one-on-one with the Bolton Wanderers man before he did superbly well to direct Jason Lowe’s flicked attempt over the bar when the defender looked certain to score.

Phil Parkinson’s men continued to threaten and they took the lead in the 12th minute with their first goal in more than a month. Joe Williams chipped a ball into the box and former Millwall defender Beevers headed in via the far post.

A couple of injuries, including one to stand-in referee Lee Swabey, disrupted the flow of the remainder of the half as the home side struggled to get going. Millwall did come close to levelling matters in first half injury time but Wanderers keeper Ben Alnwick did well to save Ryan Leonard’s shot before the visitors somehow bundled Aiden O’Brien’s effort from the rebound over the bar as they took their one-goal advantage into the interval.

Wanderers were unlucky not to double their lead early in the second half when Archer managed to push Buckley’s strike to safety.

The introduction of Mahlon Romeo just before the hour had the potential to inject a little bit more energy into the Millwall side and James Meredith and Lee Gregory were soon denied by Alnwick as The Lions searched for a leveller.

Millwall continued to push forward and substitute Skalak rifled an 83rd minute effort into the net to set up an exciting finale. The goal could be one for the ‘Dubious Goals Panel’ with Jake Cooper possibly getting the final touch.

The home side were the only side likely to score again in the final few minutes. Gregory glanced a header just wide before the same player had the ball in the net in injury time only to see his effort disallowed for offside as both sides collected an unwanted point in their battle against the drop.

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