Barnsley picked up their third consecutive point with a hard-fought draw at Millwall on Saturday afternoon.
Alex Mowatt’s thunderous strike was cancelled out by Jake Cooper’s header, but the Reds had Jack Walton to thank as he made a number of fine saves late in the second half to keep the Lions at bay.
Before a ball had even been kicked, interim Head Coach, Adam Murray, was forced into two changes after both Jordan Williams and Cauley Woodrow limped out of the warm-up.
They were replaced by Clarke Oduor and Conor Chaplin, the latter of whom bagged the opening goal on our last visit to the Den, and it was the visitors who made a brighter start when Callum Brittain saw his shot deflect behind for a corner.
Dominik Frieser then broke down the right flank and fired a dangerous ball towards the back post, but Alex Pearce was able to hook it away from an onrushing Elliot Simoes.
Barnsley continued to carve out half-chances and, when the ball fell to Chaplin from Mowatt’s free-kick, the diminutive forward could only screw his right-foot shot wide of the target.
The hosts struggled to carve out any real openings and were limited to long range efforts, with Shaun Williams dragging a strike well wide 10 minutes before the interval.
As time ticked away, the Reds launched an attack and, when the ball was only half-cleared as far as Mowatt, our skipper unleashed a ferocious half-volley that rasped into the top corner from 25-yards.
A definite Goal of the Season contender.
It appeared as though that would be enough to see Barnsley head into the dressing room in front, but when the Lions won a late corner, Cooper rose highest to nod home at the far post to level the scores.
HALF-TIME: Millwall 1-1 Barnsley
Millwall were livelier after the restart and Walton had to be alert to tip Jed Wallace’s deep free-kick over the bar before thwarting Mason Bennett from close range with a fine save that he tipped onto the post.
The hosts continued to look dangerous and, midway through the half, came close to taking the lead when Scott Malone’s glancing header flicked the top of the crossbar before Michał Helik blocked Mahlon Romeo’s rebound.
After Luke Thomas won a free-kick 30-yards from goal, fellow substitute Herbie Kane took aim and forced Bartosz Białkowski into action as the Pole clawed it behind for a corner.
Walton showed his qualities again as we entered the last five minutes when he produced a fabulous reflex save to deny Ben Thompson from point blank range.
The Reds’ stopper was at it again moment later as Kenneth Zohore diverted a header towards goal, but Walton thrust out a strong right hand to palm it over the bar, ensuring Barnsley left south-east London with a share of the spoils.
FULL-TIME: Millwall 1-1 Barnsley
Walton, Brittain, Sollbauer, Helik, Andersen, Oduor, James (Thomas), Mowatt (c) (Palmer), Simoes (Kane), Frieser, Chaplin.
Unused: Collins, Schmidt.