U18 Premier League Development League 2
Team: Smith, Furlong, Kakay, Comley, Wise, Kpekawa, Komodikis, Butler, Beckles, Mitchell, Shodipo.
Subs: Herdman, Mitford, Harran, Young, Grego-Cox
Justin Skinner, the Millwall U18’s manager, has previously been involved with the Rangers Youth set-up of course before becoming the reserve team manager in 2006.
The Saturday Morning Crew lined up in their designated area and the game against second-placed Millwall kicked off 5 minutes late.
After getting into a good position, Aaron Mitchell was clearly fouled, but he managed to compose himself and his shot took a deflection before going out for a corner. Later, Rangers were awarded a free kick which R’s fan Harly Wise bent round the visitors’ wall and although it stretched the keeper, it was a fairly comfortable save by Tom Beadle. QPR then went even closer when a Lions defender was forced to clear the ball off the line.
The Millwall custodian had to make a very good save following an R’s attack made at speed down the left wing. Rangers lost both wingers during the course of the first-half. Firstly Olamide Shodipo left the field with just 15 minutes gone and was replaced by Ryan Young. Then Andreas Komodikis hobbled off after 34 minutes and Steve Gallen introduced striker Reece Grego-Cox. Half-time: 0-0.
The visitors could have taken the lead after the break when Mark Smith had to knock the ball out for a corner after a Rangers defender’s header was goal-bound. At the other end, Brandon Comley was clipped just outside the ‘D’ which resulted in the Millwall player being booked by Edward Smith. There was then a big shout for handball as the free kick was belted into the wall.
Brandon Comley was booked I presumed for a verbal exchange as it appeared that the Millwall player had fouled him?
The deadlock was finally broken after 76 minutes. Ryan Young crossed the ball over from the right flank, the keeper must have thought initially that it was going over the bar and as we watched it sail over, Alan Barnes remarked: “It’s going in!” As the keeper stepped back towards the far post, he realised that he was in trouble, but his recovery was too late and the ball ended up well over the goal-line.
I think it was quick thinking by Osman Kakay who managed to clear the ball to safety after a powerful shot was well saved by Mark Smith. With 10 minutes or so remaining, Steve Gallen then brought on Tyrell Mitford at the expense of Ben Beckles which meant that Reece Grego-Cox moved inside from his temporary wide position.
It was Grego-Cox who rifled a shot just over the crossbar after a nice turn following a good run down the right flank by Ryan Young.
This win stretched Rangers’ lead over Millwall to eleven points. The Saturday Morning Crew also included Alan Barnes, Rob Bennett and Roger Stokes.