Waghorn strikes twice as honours even in thriller
Martyn Waghorn grabbed a brace in a thrilling game at Portman Road.
Blues’ leading scorer cancelled out Jake Cooper’s first-half header with a scrambled finish just after the break.
The August signing from Rangers - who scored twice in the 4-3 win at Millwall - then put Blues in front with a calm finish but Millwall were level before the hour through George Saville.
Both sides could have won it late on with Bart Bialkowski denying Millwall brilliantly on three occasions as the points were shared.
Town made four changes to the side that went down at Birmingham on Saturday, with Muzzy Carayol making his first start at Portman Road and Myles Kenlock returning to the side.
Waghorn had a claim for a penalty inside the first five minutes when he went down under a challenge but referee Stephen Martin gave a quick glance and no more.
Jordan Archer held firm from Kenlock’s cross, the ‘keeper then forced into a double save to deny Waghorn after the striker got on the end of Adam Webster’s long range pass.
Lee Gregory responded for the visitors with a shot deflected wide for a corner, then Cole Skuse had his cross smothered away from danger six yards out following good work by Bersant Celina in a free flowing start to the game.
Bialkowski had to be alert to clear after Webster was a bit heavy with a back pass, the Poland international then saving far more comfortably from Steve Morison’s header.
Carayol whipped a vicious shot just over the bar from 30 yards out as Town continued to threaten but it was Millwall who broke the deadlock on 26 minutes, Ben Marshall the provider with a cross and Cooper headed in from close range.
Archer saved easily from Waghorn, who didn’t hit his free-kick with his normal quality, Saville couldn’t keep his shot down at the far post from Gregory’s cross, then Marshall failed to find Morison in the box from a good position as the Lions maintained their lead into the break.
Town made a change at half-time with Ben Folami on for his League debut, Kenlock making way.
The Academy graduate was straight into the action, finding Jonas Knudsen down the left but his cross evaded Carayol at the far post as Town looked to get back on level terms immediately after the restart.
On 52 minutes Blues were level, Skuse’s shot was beaten out by Archer, Folami forced it goalwards and from the scramble the ball went over the line with Waghorn talking the credit.
Two minutes later Town were ahead, Waghorn getting behind the Millwall defence, rounding Archer and sliding the ball into the empty net.
Millwall were back on parity before the hour though, Morison set up Jed Wallace who crossed from the right and Saville buried his shot into the far corner.
Grant Ward replaced Carayol in Town’s second change, Morison heading wide from a corner, Waghorn denied at the near post before Skuse, nursing a facial cut, was replaced by Luke Hyam.
Gregory got himself in a great position but fired well wide after a neat exchange with Mahlon Romeo as the game entered the closing stages, Luke Chambers up for an acrobatic volley from Hyam’s cross but wide.
It took another trademark superb save from Bialkowski to deny Gregory when a goal looked certain, then Saville hit the post with the follow up, while at the other end the ball fizzed across the box.
Hyam was denied by Archer in a pulsating end to the game that could have seen either side grab the advantage, with Bialkowski at his brilliant best to deny Wallace and Saville in added on time.
Town: Bialkowski, Spence, Chambers, Webster, Knudsen, Kenlock (Folami 46), Skuse (Hyam 76), Gleeson, Celina, Waghorn, Carayol (Ward 64). Subs not used: Crowe, Connolly, Sears, Carter-Vickers. Booked: Carayol, Spence, Gleeson, Waghorn.
Millwall: Archer, Meredith, Hutchinson, Williams, Gregory (Onyedinma 90), Romeo, Wallace, Morison (Elliott 79), Saville, Cooper, Marshall (O’Brien 79). Subs not used: Martin, Cahill, Tunnicliffe, Shackell.