Stevenage 2-2 Millwall
Stevenage secured a hard earnt draw against Championship side Millwall on Saturday at The Lamex.
Trailing one nil at the half time break, Stevenage battled back hard in the second half to not only level the game, but then take the lead, before Millwall levelled matters themselves from the penalty spot.
Manager Graham Westley returned pretty much to the starting line up that had done so well against West Ham last weekend, and the opening of the game was quite disrupted following an injury to Millwall midfielder Nicky Bailey. Following treatment though he was okay to continue and the game slowly started to find some rhythm but unfortunately it was our opponents who opened the scoring shortly after the restart, when Bailey himself found the net with eight minutes gone.
Millwall were happy to play the possession game following this point and we had to work hard to try and carve out openings, the first real one of which came after 16 minutes when Simon Walton delivered a corner and Dean Wells did well to direct it back across goal, but nobody could get a telling touch. Roarie Deacon also went close around the half an hour mark but his effort went wide for a corner.
Deacon was replaced by Okenabirhie shortly after having taken a few competitive hits by that point. Our best two chances of the half fell just before the break, and both came through Chris Whelpdale. He couldn't connect properly with a Tom Pett cross and his first time shot bobbled wide, and the second chance fell going into injury time where he went past three players before hitting the strike straight at their goalkeeper.
Millwall changed their entire eleven at half time, and that changed the momentum, and replacement keeper Stephen Bywater was quickly bending to pick the ball out of the net after Okenabirhie was fouled, and Walton stepped up to put the free kick into the back of the net.
With the confidence shot the goal brought, Pett came close to giving us the advantage but brought a fantastic save out of Bywater. We did however keep plugging away and Walton was again the man with the goal, as he dispatched another free kick into the net on 54 minutes.
Millwall then had a goal ruled out for offside, and had other chances they wasted but on the hour mark Pett was adjudged to have fouled Fred Onyedinma, and Easter stepped up to the resulting penalty, sending Beasant the wrong way and levelling the scores in the process.
With the game coming to a close, Westley gave opportunities to youngsters Ryan Johnson, Conor Calcutt and Ed Jackson.
Millwall then could've stolen the lead again as Marquis clipped the top of the bar and Beasant was again called upon before the referee brought the match to an end.
Beasant, Lee (Ashton 64), Worley (Jackson 83), Wells, Dembele, Whelpdale (Johnson 66), Bond, Walton, Deacon (Okenabirhie 35 (Gordon 88)), Pett, Marriott (Calcutt 77).
Millwall 1st half:
Forde, Edwards, Dunne, Nelson, Briggs, Bailey, Upson, Chaplow, Martin, MacDonald, Gregory.
Millwall 2nd half:
Bywater, Beevers, Webster, Williams, Malone, Wright, Siafa, Onyedinma, Woolford, Marquis, Easter.
Sub not used: Goodman.