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MATCH REPORT: STEVENAGE 0, MILLWALL 1

25 July 2015

Stevenage fell to a narrow 1-0 home defeat to League 1 Millwall this afternoon in their latest pre-season friendly.

A close-range finish from Mark Beevers in the second half was enough to win the game for the Lions, who created several chances in an otherwise low-key encounter.

With Ronnie Henry and Fraser Franks among those missing with knocks and Jerome Okimo and Dean Parrett named on the bench, it was a relatively young side for Stevenage with George Casey, Dale Gorman and Ryan Johnson joining Dipo Akinyemi in the starting XI.

Millwall were on top in the early stages and Boro had to rely on good defending by Wells, Hughes and Johnson to thwart their visitors from taking an early lead.

Former Wycombe winger Paris Cowan-Hall was looking bright in his first pre-season appearance back for the League 1 side since injury but, fortunately for Boro, his final ball or shot was often lacking and chances came and went.

Jimmy Abdou nodded wide at the back post on 22 minutes when it looked easier to score as Boro battled hard but all too often saw any attacking momentum break down, leaving Millwall to counter.

A driving run from Dipo Akinyemi on 36 mins finally gave the crowd something to cheer and Stevenage seemed to find their passing game and put together their best passage of play of the half.

Chances came and went for both sides as the half drew to a close with Shaun Williams smashing the crossbar with a fierce effort for Millwall as the visitors broke quickly and set the midfielder up for a chance inside the box. An Akinyemi cross was flicked wide by a stretching Brett Williams six minutes before the break and the striker shot straight at David Forde moments later.

Boro began brightly in the second half with Gorman just unable to get onto an Akinyemi through-ball and Pett seeing a dangerous cross cleared, with Lee Gregory then firing tamely straight at Day after finding space in the box at the other end.

Williams and Akinyemi were replaced just before the hour by two attacking trialists but within minutes Millwall struck to take the lead. From a free-kick from the right, Jack Powell swung in the cross and a close range finish by Mark Beevers put the visitors ahead.

A whole host of substitutions by Millwall broke the play up in the second half with ex-Wycombe loanee Fred Onyedinma looking particularly bright out wide for Neil Harris’ men.

Both sides pushed forward in the closing stages but defences remained on top, leaving the Lions to claim a narrow victory.

Next up for Stevenage is a Spurs XI next Saturday 1st August (3pm). Tickets for this game can be purchased at www.borotickets.co.uk.

Stevenage: Day, Casey, Wells, Hughes, Johnson, Gorman (Conlon 67) McAllister (Parrett 30), Lee, Pett, Akinyemi (Trialist 2), Williams (Trialist 1)

Subs not used: Jackson,  Okimo, Kerr, Smyth

Millwall: Forde (Archer 56), Cummings (Nelson 73), Abdou (Upson 46), Craig, Williams (Thompson 73), Cowan-Hall (Onyedinma 56), Gregory (Philpot 56), Martin (Powell 56), Marquis, Beevers (Martin 73), Webster

Subs not used: Martin, Powell, Pavey

Referee: Graham Horwood

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