CHRIS Wilder’s housewarming party at the Riverside Stadium ended in a 1-1 draw against Millwall as his Middlesbrough side shared the spoils with Gary Rowett’s side.

It was a game that showed signs of the potential of what Wilder’s team can do but in the end, Millwall’s physicality saw them earn a point on the road.

There is a moment when you step on a rollercoaster at an amusement park and you brace yourself for the imminent thrust of speed that sends you flying. That’s a fair comparison to the start of this game at the Riverside as Duncan Watmore was released through by Andraz Sporar but his low shot was well handled by Bartosz Bialkowski. That would have been some start with 12 seconds on the clock.

Sporar was then through on goal with another defence cutting pass minutes later but the alert Daniel Ballard slid across at he vital moment to deny a goal bound effort.

Marc Bola will be finding his feet back in the side having recovered from injury to be in the starting line-up. There appeared to be no cobwebs as the full-back fired an effort from the edge of the box with some pace behind it. Bialkowski parried the ball away but he’ll have felt his fingertips after that.

Boro were pinning Millwall back in their own defensive third and it didn’t take much longer for Wilder to see his first goal in the Boro dugout.

Watmore received the ball on the left hand side and drove into the box putting Scott Malone on his backside in the process. A fizzed ball deflected up into the air and fell kindly to Matt Crooks at the back post who was on hand to nod home to give Boro the lead and send the Riverside into raptures.

Millwall rallied themselves round and sought about taking the game back to Boro and using their presence. McNair felt the brunt of a heavy aerial challenge receiving a cut to the eye but Boro felt the brunt of a controversial and unlucky equaliser.

Mason Bennett palmed off McNair who fell to the floor clutching his face and drove into the box. His cutback found Benik Afobe whose loose touch allowed Lee Peltier to slide in and block but the ball rebounded back off the shins of Sol Bamba, wrong footing Luke Daniels and rolling into the net.

Boro’s players protested against the initial incident with McNair but referee Oliver Langford waved away the claims.

Marcus Tavernier nearly provided an instant response just after the half hour mark jinking passed his man and firing on goal only to see Bialkowski palm the effort away again for Millwall.

Moments later, Sporar had a penalty shout waved away as he took a tumble into the box from a Shaun Hutchinson challenge. It was an claim that falls under the ‘you’ve seen them given category’.

After seven minutes of added time, Boro would feel unfortunate to go in behind as Wilder made his feelings towards the referee very clear as he met the official in conversation down the tunnel.

The Lions almost roared into the lead three minutes into the second half when Jed Wallace made ground in the Boro half, teed up Afobe who’s blazing effort was deflected over by a Bamba slide tackle.

Tavernier then responded with another shot that was once again met by the palms of Bialkowski from 25 yards.

An hour had gone by and it was a tough one to call. The overlapping centre backs had come into play for Boro while Millwall were getting their knees dirty with some hefty challenges.

Boro found a bit more rhythm to their play and pinned Millwall back in their own defensive third. But they weren’t showing any chinks in the armour and with around ten minutes to go, Gary Rowett withdrew his attacking players as they looked to clinch an away point and take it back down south.

Onel Hernandez came on for Boro and provided some much needed spark but his crosses and shots were coming to no avail as Wilder cut a frustrated figure on the touchline.

In the 89th minute, Boro had a glorious chance when a series of back and forth headers so the ball drop kindly to Matt Crooks in the box but after watching the ball drop, he lashed his volley high and wide.

The full time whistle blew at the Riverside Stadium where Millwall came to the North-East and spoilt the Chris Wilder housewarming party.