|Davies 28||Venue: Ashton Gate
DARIUS Henderson’s 39th-minute equaliser earned Millwall their second away draw in four days in a breathless encounter at Ashton Gate.
Henderson, who stepped off the bench to secure the Lions a last-gasp point at Burnley on Saturday, headed in James Henry’s cross to cancel out Stephen Davies’ opener.
Manager Kenny Jackett made two changes to the side that started against Burnley at the weekend, drafting in Jack Smith to replace injured skipper Paul Robinson and selecting Henderson ahead of Andy Keogh up front.
Smith slotted in at left-back with Shane Lowry moving to centre-back alongside Danny Shittu, who was named captain for the evening ahead of Liam Trotter, Robinson’s regular stand-in.
The Robins had a chance to take the lead in just the fifth minute when Sam Baldock’s half-cleared cross fell to Stephen Pearson on the edge of the area, but the midfielder dragged his shot inches wide of the far post with keeper David Forde rooted to the spot.
Millwall spurned an early opportunity of their own moments later when Scott Malone’s pass put Henderson through on goal, but the striker stumbled as he raced into the penalty area and fired into the side netting off-balance.
Forde then had to be alert to palm away Davies’ long-range drive as the sides exchanged chances in the opening stages.
Davies, who made a £300,000-move to Ashton Gate from Derby County over the summer, tried his luck from distance again in the 26th minute but his shot whistled narrowly over the bar.
But it was a case of third time lucky for the 24-year-old who finally made the breakthrough two minutes later – in bizarre fashion.
Pressure from Baldock forced Forde to race out of his area and head a long ball clear, but Davies was waiting 30 yards out to send a looping header back over the keeper’s head and into the empty net.
The Lions, who had arguably been the better side up until the opening goal, were not perturbed by going behind and nearly leveled when Henry’s deflected drive trickled wide of the far post.
Henry had been one of the visitors’ brighter sparks in the first-half and it was little surprise that he was heavily involved in the equalising goal in the 39th minute.
The winger found himself with time and space on the edge of the area and arrowed an inch-perfect cross beyond City’s backline and onto the head of Henderson, who could hardly miss from six yards out.
And Millwall could have taken the lead on the stroke of half-time when Chris Wood connected with Malone’s hanging cross, but he planted his header straight at the feet of Tom Heaton from close range.
Another opening fell Wood’s way early in the second period – though the West Brom loanee knew little about it. Heaton’s clearance cannoned off the striker as he closed the keeper down and the ball dropped barely a yard wide.
But Bristol City should have regained the lead in the 52nd minute when Neil Kilkenny’s cross was knocked down by Davies into the path of Albert Adomah, who contrived to fire over from inside the six-yard box.
Davies then drove a free-kick narrowly wide from the edge of the area before blasting into the side netting after being put through by Cole Skuse as the home side looked to build up a head of steam.
Jackett introduced Keogh from the bench in the 67th minute at the expense of Wood and the Republic of Ireland international nearly made an immediate impact, stretching to glance Henry’s delivery just wide after a swift counter attack.
The pair combined to good effect again in the dying stages – Henry’s hanging cross picking out the striker unmarked, but the end result was the same and the ball drifted agonisingly wide of the far corner with Heaton beaten.
As the game entered four minutes of injury time, Millwall pushed for a dramatic winner and nearly got one when Henderson raced clear only to shoot into the side netting, before Keogh’s goal-bound effort was deflected behind for a corner.
Bristol City: Heaton, Foster, Wilson, Fontaine, Nyatanga, Baldock (Pitman, 83mins), Kilkenny (Woolford, 69mins), Skuse, Pearson, Davies (Taylor, 69mins), Adomah. Subs not used: Gerken, Carey, Wilson, Morris.
Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Smith, Abdou, Lowry, Shittu, Malone (C.Taylor, 83mins), Trotter, Henderson, Wood (Keogh, 67mins), Henry. Subs not used: M.Taylor, Batt, Wright, Mkandawire, Goodman.