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Report: Stevenage 2-2 Millwall

MILLWALL were held to a 2-2 draw in a keenly-contested pre-season friendly at Stevenage.

In hot and humid conditions at the Lamex Stadium, Nicky Bailey converted Scott McDonald's low cross to put the Lions ahead in just the eighth minute.

But midfielder Simon Walton scored two direct free-kicks in the space of seven second-half minutes to turn the game on its head.

However, the visitors restored parity when Fred Onyedinma was bundled over in the area and Jermaine Easter converted the resulting penalty.

As he had done against Dartford in midweek, manager Ian Holloway fielded completely different XIs in either half to give every member of his squad a chance to impress.

Millwall were given an injury scare early on when Bailey was caught on the shin by the studs of Walton, who was lucky to escape a card.

Physio Bobby Bacic initially indicated that Bailey would have to be substituted but he carried on and opened the scoring moments later from close range.

Stevenage came close to an equaliser midway through the half when Roarie Deacon's half-volley deflected narrowly wide of the target.

Summer signing Lee Gregory had a chance to double the visitors' advantage on the stroke of half time but he lobbed over the bar after beating Harry Worley to the ball.

A completely changed Lions side made an indifferent start to the second period and found themselves 2-1 down inside ten minutes.

First Walton curled a low free-kick inside Stephen Bywater's near post to make it 1-1 before hitting a shot through the wall and into the net from the opposite side of the area.

Millwall made an immediate response, however, and only the offside flag denied John Marquis an equaliser from Scott Malone's cross.

But when Onyedinma was felled inside the box, Easter stepped up to score from 12 yards and level the scores once again.

The Lions pushed for a winner with Martyn Woolford and Shaun Williams both trying their luck from distance, before Marquis' looping header hit the bar.

Despite a third goal proving elusive, Holloway will have been pleased with the workout his troops were given and the competitiveness of the game.

Millwall first half XI: Forde; Edwards, Dunne, Nelson, Briggs; Bailey, Upson; Martin, McDonald, Chaplow; Gregory.

Millwall second half XI: Bywater; Siafa, Webster, Beevers, Malone; Williams, Wright; Easter, Woolford, Onyedinma; Marquis.

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

33 thoughts on “Report: Stevenage 2-2 Millwall

  • July 19, 2014 at 16:57
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    That's still 10 unbeaten in my book, long may this run last......

    COYL!!!!!!

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  • July 19, 2014 at 17:26
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    Results are not really imperative in Pre Season especially when we are changing the whole team at half time, but with that being said the longer we remain unbeaten the better.

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  • July 19, 2014 at 17:31
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    I am not gonna make any preseason games till the Mallorca game, really interested to see if Wright finally gets a chance to show what he is capable of. I wouldn't be surprised if he made quite a few appearances this season.

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    • July 19, 2014 at 17:44
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      @glyngo: Sorry Glyngo; personally I've seen enough of Wright. IMO he'd struggle in League 1 let alone at Championship level. One of the first I'd like to see on his way.

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      • July 20, 2014 at 02:23
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        @Adsy77777:

        Wright was very poor today. Very frustrating to watch.
        Loads of ability to make a 30 yard pass when given all the time in the world, but no composure under pressure, gives the ball away when harried and an absolute defensive liability.

        Not interested in tracking the runner on three separate occasions today, not acceptable at any level.
        Looked completely baffled defending set pieces, didn't know where he was supposed to be and lost the flight of the ball.
        Was on his heels all game, the only one in midfield not moving into space to receive the pass.

        When he got the ball in space, he did ping a couple of excellent through balls and sweeping passes that looked nice. But for every nice pass, he gave the ball away three times.

        (I'll forgive him pulling out of the 50-50 challenges on this occasion, no need to get injured in preseason.)

        Not at all sure he is a central midfield, and definitely not a defensive midfielder.
        But he has got pace, and solid technique when given time and space.
        Its just a problem if anyone on the opposing team is with ten feet of him.

        Possibly the most expendable player in the squad???
        5th choice Defensive CM (behind Bailey, Williams, Upson, Jimmy)
        7th choice Attacking CM (behind Woolford, Martin, Upson, Chaplow, Onyedinma, McDonald)
        Not sure where he is expecting to get a game, tbh.

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        • July 20, 2014 at 10:29
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          @Garrick: I'm afraid I have to agree with you on every point. Sorry Glyngo, the only chance he's got of making an appearance on match day is if the bloke dressed as Zampa calls in sick one Saturday and he steps in.

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  • July 19, 2014 at 17:37
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    Bywater is not strong enough as a back up to Fordey!

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    • July 19, 2014 at 17:45
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      @Adsy77777:

      Agreed. I think the word is liability!

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    • July 19, 2014 at 18:15
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      @Adsy77777: I'd rather see Denzel make mistakes through learning - than watching Bywater make mistakes through being incompetent / over the hill / sh*t... Wasn't at the game today, but was at dartford - and he looked dodgy there... in fact, pretty much every time I've seen him play, he's made some sort of error. He's a good shot stopper - but his catching and decision making are very hit and miss IMO...

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      • July 19, 2014 at 18:30
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        @Luke ColdBlow10: Agreed mate. He does pull off some good saves but also liable to throw one in the net every game. You can't get away with that at this level.

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  • July 19, 2014 at 17:58
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    Anyone know why the French trialist gueye wasn't even in the 22 squad ? Ps a prolific goal scorer is a must before the season starts

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    • July 19, 2014 at 18:32
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      @mfcjon: The agent who contacted Millwall is not actually his contracted agent. We are negotiating with his contracted agent to continue his trial period. Apparently.

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      • July 20, 2014 at 00:30
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        @Adsy77777:
        All agents would be put up against a wall and shot if I had my way!!

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  • July 19, 2014 at 17:59
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    Where's the fella from Everton...?

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    • July 19, 2014 at 18:07
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      @conor: SLP said he was in France don't know why got bored reading it. S*** paper

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      • July 19, 2014 at 18:20
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        @block 28: also said on twitter ollie had him locked away til he signs

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      • July 20, 2014 at 08:00
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        @deano22: i think ollie locked him in the Bastile..

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  • July 19, 2014 at 18:39
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    Hope the Everton kid not playing doesn't mean that he isn't coming to us .... didn't make this game but went Dartford once again I hear Nelson had a good match as he did on Tuesday nice to see the youngsters coming through at long last .
    I for one will give Kenny jacket a good reception when he returns to the den (thought he was a class act ) but cant help wondering why some of these youngsters weren't given a chance by him especially as the last couple of seasons a lot of our team under performed and still played week in week out and we also relied on bringing in loan players which is never good for the long term future of a club
    I like the fact IH is trying to change that with a blend of experience and youth and looking for lower league players who are young still learning and look promising ....
    I know from reading posts on here McDonald is slaughtered and if he does have a billy big b******* attitude rightly so , but I have a funny feeling he could come good for us this season If he is given a few games ?

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    • July 19, 2014 at 22:27
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      @mfc2u: you say KJ was a class act,in your post you have quoted some of the reason's why i think he was not as classy as many think he was.

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      • July 20, 2014 at 11:55
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        For sure Kenny had his faults a pet hate of mine was bringing on a sub for the last ten minutes when a player who was having a bad match should have come off after 10 mins of the second half ( never going to change a game ) and im sure their are many others but overall I think he did a great job for our club even when being interviewed he was classy and also I remember the amount of times he defended and backed our fans
        I would have loved to seen Kenny get the financial backing Lomas and now Ollie have been given its got to be said until he left our club showed no real ambition @jim1222:

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    • July 20, 2014 at 01:50
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      @mfc2u:

      These kids were 15! when Kenny Jackett left the club, and no where near ready for first team football, not even for "experience".

      We had very, very few talented youth prospects available to Jackett. David Amoo and Yusef Mersin, both stolen by Liverpool only to stagnate and get lost in their overcrowded youth system, then get released, their career over before they had started.
      The only other player near good enough was... Marquis. Kenny gave him his chance.
      The rest of the youth were very poor, and following the club turmoil between 2003-2007 the reason for that should be self explanatory.

      Remember it was under Kenny Jackett that players like, Onyedinma, O'Brien, Nelson, Siafa, Powell, Goodman, Gerrar, Pavey, Twardek, etc were recruited, developed, retained and protected.

      No small reason for the youth options available to Ollie now is Jackett convincing Berylson to invest in Youth, and we are hopefully reaping those rewards now.

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      • July 20, 2014 at 12:22
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        Fair point and if that is the case I think we have two outstanding prospects in fred and Sid but maybe some of the youngsters need to be given a chance in the first place and a run of games I remember was it Marvin Williams ? a great little player for us but would get 20 mins here and there and at the first opportunity was off [layer @Garrick:

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      • July 20, 2014 at 22:49
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        @Garrick: Great to see a sensible post about KJ and the youth policy.

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  • July 19, 2014 at 20:20
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    Glad to see Edwards played so he obviously wasn't badly injured at Dartford. I notice Fuller didn't get a game. Does that mean he is another one of these signings who will take a couple of weeks to get fit? I was hoping that he would be tried up front with Gregory. I was also disappointed to see that we conceded 2 goals from dead ball situations.

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      • July 20, 2014 at 10:23
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        @benzo: I thought that the report on the Dartford game said that both Edwards and Hoyte were injured.

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    • July 19, 2014 at 22:00
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      @denslions: BIG relief to see Edwards not injured - key player for our shape and probably the best we've got for that position.
      Fuller went back up north to move house - hopefully we'll see what he's like against Mallorca...
      Commentator on lions player (whose name escapes me) reckoned both goals were mostly caused by Bywater not organizing the wall properly.... any truth to this??

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      • July 20, 2014 at 02:39
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        @Luke ColdBlow10:

        Tough to say that outright...
        - The wall wasn't quite where I would have wanted it personally.
        BUT
        - Bywater told them exactly where HE wanted it, "organised it", and gave them the thumbs up (for one of them at least.)

        So it wasn't a "communication issue", or a "getting the angles wrong issue", just looked like a good free kick and a 'keeper lacking the ability and agility to make the save.
        No way to know if the wall was set up "Right", because every 'keeper and every team have a different version of what "right" means.

        That said, don't think Bywater would have saved either regardless, he looks woeful.
        His only saving grace, as far as I can tell, is his quick distribution/sweeper style play fits Ollie's mentality perfectly. (Unlike Forde who isn't a natural sweeper keeper)
        No good if he can't keep the ball out of the net though.

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        • July 20, 2014 at 13:08
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          @Garrick: Cheers Garrick - let's hope Forde stays fit then!
          What has impressed me about Forde is that he still seems to be improving - and has notably improved from a few seasons ago when he was making bad mistakes regularly. Bywater however, hasn't seemed to tighten up his game in the most crucial areas.
          You could argue that he's not getting anywhere near as much game time as Forde - so his reading of the game is rusty.. but on the other hand - just 'catching' the ball should be something you can improve on from training - and agility also...

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  • July 19, 2014 at 21:31
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    Can not see how Marquis goal was offside. Looked a good goal to me. Linesman was so far behind play he could never have known either way

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  • July 20, 2014 at 03:48
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    Reading one if the earlier posts abaut josh wright if he does have pace and i know he's a quality passer of the ball then why not use him as a winger aslong as ollie teaches him how to beat a defender his crossing would be ideal to Gregory maybe or a big strong forward were yet to sign

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  • July 20, 2014 at 07:56
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    Love this site, being a fan in the u.s. it's harder following all the updates. What happened with gueye lastnight?

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  • July 20, 2014 at 12:05
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    Get rid of bywater. He is two bob can't even arrange his wall. I have never seen him have a game where he doesn't make a mistake.

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