Saints secured a 1-1 draw at Millwall but so nearly took all three points as both sides scored in injury time.

After a tough battle for 90 minutes Saints thought they had nicked the win when Rickie Lambert’s deflected free kick gave them the lead a minute into added time at the end of the match.

But Millwall hit back just a minute later through Liam Trotter to see the game finish level.

Rickie Lambert thought he was going to have a golden opportunity to give Saints the lead after just two minutes when good interplay on the left saw Lee Holmes feed the ball to Adam Lallana.

He in turn put a low cross into the six-yard box but as Lambert went to pull the trigger Millwall keeper David Forde dived forward and grabbed the ball at his feet.

Paul Robinson was the first man in the book after just 11 minutes for scything down Lallana just outside the area on the left.

Lambert whipped in the free kick but Lloyd James could quite stretch far enough to make a diving header to turn it home at the far post.

Pardew’s new back four were managing to restrict Millwall from creating chances but were getting a very early test as the Lions didn’t give them a second to settle.

In particular Dan Seaborne was having to win a tough aerial battle with Steve Morison.

The game was in truth a bit of a scrap with both sides making plenty of errors in possession and no real fluency to either side’s play on a pitch that was cutting up.

Saints did manage to create an opening on 27 minutes direct from a set piece.

James lofted in a right-wing corner that found Dean Hammond unmarked but from ten yards out he couldn’t generate much power in his header and it was a comfortable save for Forde.

Lallana also managed to get in a header some seven minutes later, this time from Holmes’ cross form the left, but it took a deflection and looped up into the arms of Forde.

Saints had the brilliance of Kelvin Davis to thank for keeping them level on 36 minutes as he produced an excellent double stop.

First he got down sharply to his left to save a thunderous effort from 30 yards out from Alan Dunne one-handed and then picked himself up off the floor to block the close-range follow up from Lewis Grabban.

Pardew was forced into his first change moments later as Dean Hammond hobbled off injured to be replaced by Paul Wotton.

Seaborne should have done better at the other end on 40 minutes as he was found unmarked in the centre of the area by James’ right-wing free kick but he flicked his header well wide.

Morison had the last chance of the half as he also put a header wide but when the whistle blew a very scrappy game was rightly goalless at the break.

Millwall had a golden opportunity to break the deadlock just three minutes after the restart when Danny Schofield threaded the ball through to Grabban.

He had beaten the offside trap coming in slightly from the left and was one-on-one with Davis but he slid his right-footed shot low past the Saints keeper but also past the far post.

James decided to try his luck from 25 yards out but blasted well over the bar before Morison did the same at the other end.

The game finally started to open up a little as the second half moved on.

Though it was still a really battling sort of game on a heavy pitch that was continuing to cut up both teams were showing the desire to try and win the match.

Davis had to be alert on 60 minutes as Jimmy Abdou’s shot cannoned off the head of Liam Trotter and changed direction as it headed towards goal but thankfully it looped up high enough to give the Saints keeper time to adjust and claim it.

Millwall had strong penalty appeals waved away a minute later when Schofield went down in the area under pressure from Jose Fonte.

Schofield was the next to challenge Davis with a strong, curling shot from 20 yards but the keeper got down quickly to his left to turn it wide.

Grabban was guilty of another bad miss moments later as Morison headed a deep corner back across goal but with bodies in front of him the Millwall man side footed over the bar from six yards out.

Millwall made their first substitution on 68 minutes with Neil Harris replacing Grabban.

Chris Hackett made a late run to the far post three minutes later and was picked out by a deep cross but from a difficult chance with the ball dropping just in front of him he slashed well wide.

Seaborne received his first Saints booking for a foul before Robinson headed a deep free kick wide of the target.

Pardew made a second switch with Michail Antonio coming on for James. Antonio partnered Lambert in attack with Lallana dropping to right midfield.

Antonio’s pace immediately caused problems and after a good cross was flicked on by Lallana only a brave save from Forde at the feet of Holmes prevented him from scoring.

Fonte also marked his debut with a booking moments later.

Antonio tried to go it alone on 80 minutes but his fierce drive from 20 yards flashed just wide.

Trotter had half a chance to slam the ball home after Davis had half punched clear but his scuffed shot was easily cleared by Dan Harding coming off the line.

Pardew made his final change with just seconds of normal time remaining with Papa Waigo coming on for Lallana.

The fourth official held up the board showing three minutes of injury time were to be played and whereas the rest of the match had been something of a non-event, the added time was incredible.

Saints thought they had won the match when they took the lead just over a minute into the added period.

The goal had more than a slight element of luck about it but they weren’t complaining. Saints won a free kick 30 yards out just to the left of centre which Lambert took right footed.

The ball took a massive deflection in the area and changed direction leaving Forde helpless as it looped in the net to his left.

But Saints’ joy was shortlived as just a minute later Trotter ran straight through the heart of them and opened up his body to bury the ball right-footed low across Davis and into the far corner for a remarkable final score of 1-1 and a point apiece.

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