Report: Dartford 1-1 Millwall

MILLWALL came from behind to draw their opening pre-season fixture against Dartford at Princes Park.

Romaric Logan gave Dartford the lead in the 31st minute when he took advantage of Tom King’s sliced clearance from Shaun Hutchinson’s back-pass to round the Lions stopper and score.

Millwall boss Neil Harris changed his entire team at the break and one of those who came on, Ben Thompson, equalised with a low shot to the bottom corner in the 65th minute.

David Worrall had tested Deren Ibrahim in the second minute with a free-kick that the Darts goalkeeper had to palm around the post.

The big news before kick-off was the inclusion in the starting XI of Fred Onyedinma, who is staying with the club after speculation all summer about his future. He started up front with Steve Morison, with closed-season signings George Saville and James Meredith also in the first-half side.

Logan went close to putting National League South Dartford ahead in the eighth minute but flashed a shot wide of King’s far post.

Morison shot over four minutes later but Dartford were dangerous, Lyle Della-Verde almost catching out King with a free-kick aimed towards the near post. King got across to save but was at fault when Logan gave Dartford the lead.

Millwall tried to take advantage of Onyedinma’s pace behind the Dartford defence, and he had a chance to level before half-time only to fire off Ibrahim’s legs.

Harris made 11 changes at the break and one of them, Jed Wallace, shot over from inside the box after Tony Craig had crossed from the left.

The Lions were a lot livelier now and Kris Twardek found space in the penalty area before Richard Sho-Silva made an excellent last-ditch block. From the corner Craig shot towards goal but Dartford survived.

Millwall wouldn’t relent, though, as Wallace continued to threaten down the right, and the away side finally beat Ibrahim when Thompson struck from outside the box.

Tom Elliott, who was looking increasingly menacing up front alongside Lee Gregory, probably should have headed Millwall in front but missed his connection from Twardek’s cross and Ibrahim punched clear.

Moments earlier Mahlon Romeo had showed good pace to get back to deny substitute Warren Mfula.

Elliott showed his prowess in the air with a number of flick-ons that his team-mates didn’t quite anticipate. At the other end Jordan Archer had little to do.

Thirteen minutes from time, Twardek was urged to shoot by the Millwall fans behind Ibrahim’s goal as he worked a route across Dartford’s box, but the Canadian underage international delayed his shot and lost the ball.

Mfula cracked an effort just wide of Archer’s post in the 80th minute, before, under pressure from the same Dartford player, Paul Rooney showed composure to see off the danger and take the ball out from defence.

Harris made another substitution with seven minutes left, Christian Mbulu coming on for Rooney.

After Gregory and Elliott combined Thompson made space for another effort from outside the box but he couldn’t keep his shot down, before Gregory headed over in the last minute.

Millwall (first half): King; Brown, Nelson, Hutchinson, Meredith; Worrall, Butcher, Saville, O’Brien; Onyedinma, Morison.

Millwall (second half): Archer; Romeo, Webster, Rooney (Mbulu, 83), Craig; Wallace, Thompson, Williams, Twardek; Gregory, Elliott.

Image: Millwall FC


John Kelly