MILLWALL are through to the second round of the EFL Cup after a comfortable 4-0 win over Barnet at The Hive Stadium on Tuesday night.
Millwall went in front through John Akinde’s own goal and Aiden O’Brien doubled the lead before half-time.
Barnet battled back in the second half with the shooting of Ryan Watson from outside the box their principle threat, but Steve Morison made it three with a near post header from David Worrall’s corner.
Fred Onyedinma sealed the rout with a penalty nine minutes from time.
This was a win that ticked all the boxes and Millwall could now be set for a lucrative tie in the second round, where the Premier League teams who haven’t qualified for Europe enter the competition.
Millwall boss Neil Harris made five changes to the side that had beaten Oldham 3-0 in League One on Saturday.
Sid Nelson started at right-back with Mahlon Romeo on the bench. Onyedinma came in up front for Lee Gregory, who had to go off against the Latics but recovered to take his place on the bench.
Gregg Wylde also started on the left of midfield just in front of Joe Martin who made his first start of the season.
After a low-key start it was Martin who helped break the deadlock in the 23rd minute when he whipped in a free-kick from the right. Bees striker Akinde, who scored at the same stage of the competition at The Den last season, stuck out a left leg but only succeeded in diverting the ball past goalkeeper Josh Vickers.
Six minutes later Barnet had the chance to equalise but after Akinde had raced onto a through ball and was about to shoot, Byron Webster got back to make the covering tackle.
A year ago Millwall struggled to contain the powerful Akinde but it’s a measure of their progress how well Nelson and Webster, who both started and struggled in that 2-1 defeat, were comfortably shutting down any danger on Millwall’s right flank.
Millwall always looked like they had the attacking class to create more openings, with O’Brien, who started on the right wing, making diagonal runs seeking to exploit the space behind Barnet’s back four.
And it paid off in the 35th minute when he found himself free in the box with only Vickers to beat before he confidently dispatched his second goal in two games.
A minute later the Lions were almost caught out when Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro headed towards Jordan Archer’s goal, but his effort went just wide.
Barnet came out at the start of the second half determined to cut the deficit and Archer had to get down low to keep out Watson’s shot from 25 yards before he sprung to his feet to shepherd Akinde away from goal as the striker looked set to profit from the loose ball.
Minutes later Watson again found space on the edge of the box but his shot was deflected behind and Morison, as he so often does, cleared the corner at the near post.
Morison showed his creative side in the 57th minute when he released Onyedinma in the inside-right channel but Bondz N’Gala did well to funnel the forward away from goal and then make a decisive block.
Barnet boss Martin Allen took off Akinde and Akpa Akpro as his side sought to work their way back into the tie, and they probably should have pulled a goal back in the 66th minute but Alex Nicholls couldn’t direct his header on target from Curtis Weston’s cross.
Morison made it 3-0 when he expertly flicked Worrall’s corner past Vickers before Onyedinma extended the lead from the penalty spot after he had been fouled in the box.
Before that Ben Thompson had to scoop the ball off the line after Archer had partially saved Michael Nelson’s header, but Millwall confidently marched into the second round.
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