FULL-TIME: Bristol City 1, Millwall 1
Bristol City's midas touch in front of goal deserted them as Millwall were allowed to escape Ashton Gate with a draw last night.
Prolific in front of their own fans this season, the Robins looked set to take all three points when Steven Davies put them ahead with a remarkable headed goal from all of 30 yards midway through the first half.
But City, without a clean sheet to their name this season, were unable to maintain their slender advantage and Darius Henderson equalised with a powerful header shortly before half time.
Determined to return to winning ways at home after losing their last two Championship games in BS3, the Robins piled forward after the break to force the Lions onto the back foot.
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Despite dominating possession for long periods and creating a plethora of chances, Derek McInnes's hitherto free-scoring team was unable to force a winner.
The best of the second-half chances fell to flying winger Albert Adomah and Davies, who both shot off-target from close-in with only Millwall keeper David Forde to beat.
City had scored 13 goals in four previous home games in the Championship this season and made their intentions clear from the outset, almost going ahead after three minutes. Sam Baldock's low centre was only half cleared by Lions skipper Danny Shittu and Stephen Pearson, invited to try his luck from the edge of the penalty area, steered his shot inches wide.
Making his first start since signing from Derby County, Davies was narrowly off target with an in-swinging free kick and then had a snap shot saved by keeper Forde as City continued to pour forward.
But for all their attacking prowess, the Robins remain fallible at the other end of the pitch and Millwall should have been in front when Scott Malone fed the ebullient Henderson, who out-muscled Mark Wilson only to shoot wide with the goal at his mercy.
A focal point in the final third, Davies continued to be at the heart of City's best moments and he displayed a refreshing willingness to shoot on sight, curling another left-footed effort just over Forde's bar.
When opportunity next came knocking, the Liverpudlian made no mistake to give the home side the lead in bizarre circumstances.
When Baldock was put clean through in the 28th minute, Lions keeper Forde took evasive action, rushing from his line to execute a headed clearance on the edge of the 18 yard box. But he had not bargained on Davies meeting his header with one of his own and, hopelessly out of his ground, the keeper looked on in consternation as the ball sailed back over his head and into an unprotected net.
But the lead proved short-lived, City's defensive weaknesses resurfacing to hand the Londoners an equaliser six minutes before the break. While there was no doubting the quality of James Henry's delivery from the right flank, Robins centre-backs Liam Fontaine and Lewin Nyatanga could have done more to prevent the towering Henderson from beating Tom Heaton with a free header from six yards out.
City should have been level seven minutes into the second half, Davies heading Neil Kilkenny's teasing cross into the path of Adomah, who somehow contrived to send his shot over the bar from close range.
Davies was next to squander a clear-cut chance, bursting through on goal following incisive approach play from Pearson and Skuse, only to guide his shot wide when hitting the target represented the minimum requirement.
McInnes sent on Martyn Woolford and Ryan Taylor in a bid to force a late winner, but Millwall held out comfortably in the end and might even have won the game at the death.
Certainly, City hearts were in mouths when Henderson burst between Foster and Nyatanga to unleash a shot that flew agonisingly wide.
City (4-4-2): Heaton; M Wilson, Fontaine, Nyatanga, Foster; Adomah, Skuse, Kilkenny (Woolford 70), Pearson; Davies (Taylor 70), Baldock (pITMAN 84). Subs: Woolford, Taylor, J Wilson, Pitman, Carey, Morris, Gerken (gk).
Millwall (4-4-2): Forde; Dunne, Shittu, Lowry, Smith; Malone (C Taylor 84), Trotter, Abdou, Henry; Henderson, Wood (Keogh 68).
Referee: Andy Woolmer (Northants)