U23 Professional Development League
Team: Dieng, Kakay, Williams, Owens, Phillips, Wells. Oteh, Chair, Sylla, Tilt, Mackie
Sub Not Used: Brzozowski,
The game was scheduled to kick-off at 2pm but was delayed for at least five minutes whilst two goals, situated at each end, between the pitch perimeter and the bye-line, were dismantled.
Millwall turned out in a black kit so the referee, Mr Whitton, added an orange bib.
Jamie Mackie, on his return from injury, was appointed captain. The R’s side also included at centre-back, Ben Wells, a trialist, who had been a regular in the West Ham youth team.
Rangers started off positively on the front foot, with good movement and crisp passing.
Millwall began to close the home side down and then took the lead in the 11th minute, with their first attempt on goal, when Shane Ferguson’s cross was nodded in by Tom Elliott.
The Lions almost doubled their lead, when a cross from the right found Ferguson free in the box. He closed in and flicked the ball with the outside of his foot, but Seny Dieng denied him with an excellent save.
Ilias Chair’s powerful free kick, from fully 30 yards, was knocked over the crossbar by the Millwall keeper. And then a couple of minutes later, Chair’s stinging shot was pushed away by David Martin.
A well-deserved equaliser came on 37 minutes, when, following a one-two with Chay Tilt, Osman Kakay let fly from outside the box.
After a lovely one-two down the left, Aramide Oteh belted the ball against the post.
Sylla did well to keep control of the ball around the bye-line, before turning and blasting the ball, which David Martin did well to block. Half-time: 1-1.
45 minutes was far too long for Jamie Mackie and after the interval he was replaced by Deshane Dalling.
After receiving a good ball from Ilias Chair, and despite having time on the ball, Idrissa Sylla scuffed his shot wide just before the hour mark.
Paul Hall made two changes soon after with Charlie Fox replacing Sylla and surprisingly Oteh was also taken off, which saw the introduction of Romeo Akinola.
This meant that with no strikers, Akinola was pushed upfront. Also, centre-back Charlie Fox slotted in at left-back and Jack Williams moved up the left flank.
The visitors had a good opportunity when a Millwall player cut in from the right, and after Seny Dieng came short, and then went back, he lifted the ball which ended up just wide of the far post.
Six minutes from time, a great ball in from the right found Akinola in space and from 30 yards out, he pulled the trigger and saw his shot hit the crossbar.
Deshane Dalling could well have given the R’s the lead in the closing stages after being put through. His effort resulted in a corner, from which, the ball was kicked off the line and the match ended all square.