By Tim Hodges from the Amex
Brighton & Hove Albion 2 Millwall 2
The Albion rescued a point against a determined and relegation-threatened Millwall this evening with Kazenga LuaLua netting an 88th minute equaliser.
Lewis Dunk and Craig Mackail-Smith returned to the starting line up.
Toby Agdestein returned to the bench seemingly at the expense of Vicente Rodriguez.
Albion started in their usual adventurous fashion, knocking the ball about and gradually moving up the pitch.
Initially it looked like a three-pronged attack. But Barnes moved back into a midfield position as the game progressed.
Jara Reyes who normally plays as a full back was also occupying a position in the midfield and showed some nice touches early on.
Joe Mattock was having to deal with the highly effective Feeney. But the loanee was not only getting the better of the winger, he was also able to set Albion going forward on more than one occasion.
Millwall were beginning to gain confidence and won a succession of corners.
Feeney put a couple in right in the heart of the box. These in-swingers did appear to worry Gordon Greer and co.
Just after this, Vokes was just wide with a low shot and Reyes delighted the West Stand as he nutmegged Keogh on the halfway line. The Millwall player extracted his revenge a few minutes later though.
Another corner from Feeney was tamely punched away by Brezovan and as the ball was whipped back in to the box. Keogh reacted first to put the Lions 1-0 in front.
Millwall kept threatening. Trotter was getting more involved. And Brezovan and Greer had a few words with each other.
Before half time Calderon found himself in lots of space in the penalty area but shot wide with keeper Forde sprawling on the floor.
After a Valentines Day marriage proposal at half time, Albion looked eager to get themselves level.
Reyes then lost possession inside his own half but Brezovan spared his blushes, collecting the ball from the feet of Trotter.
Albion kept pressing but not for the first time this season, just could not get the ball to Mackail- Smith.
Keogh then missed a sitter for Millwall, shooting wide of Brezovans far post.
Almost immediately as the Seagulls countered, the ball fell kindly to Vokes, who stabbed home his first Brighton goal to make it 1-1.
Reyes and Mackail-Smith were replaced by Noone and Agdestien as it looked likely that Albion would go on to win.
However, Barron showed great tenacity, rescuing a ball that appeared to be going out of play and guiding it past a stranded Brezovan, into the path of Feeney, who made it 2-1 to the Lions.
The Albion were up against it now. Barnes headed wide when well placed. And the North Stand howled for a penalty as the ball struck Lowry’s hand. The replacement referee was unimpressed.
The Millwall fans in the South Stand managed to get hold of a match ball and were throwing it around, much to the annoyance of the stewards.
With six minutes left LuaLua replaced Bridcutt. And with two minutes left the Congolese midfield fired an exquisite free kick into the bottom corner, with a little help from Forde. To put the Seagulls back level at 2-2.
LuaLua delighted the Amex faithful with his trademark somersault celebration, just as he told us he would last month.
The Albion pull a point out of a game they should have lost. This is how promotions are won, isn’t it?
Albion: Brezovan; Calderon, Greer, Dunk, Mattock; Bridcutt, Navarro, Jara Reyes; Barnes, Vokes, Mackail-Smith. Subs: Ankergren, El-Abd, Noone, LuaLua, Agdestein.
Millwall: Forde; Dunne, Robinson, Lowry, Barron; Smith; Feeney, Trotter, Mason, Keogh; Henderson. Subs: Mildenhall, Henry, N’Guessan, Kane, Wright.
Referee: Anthony Taylor
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