Late Morison goal wins friendly for League One Lions
Reds slipped to a 3-2 defeat to League One play-off finalists Millwall in their latest pre-season test at a sweltering Checkatrade Stadium.
The hosts were good value for their half-time lead as they recovered from the concession of an early Lee Gregory goal to lead through Enzio Boldewijn and Jordan Roberts, who both scored their first goals for the club.
But Millwall showed their squad depth in the second half during the glut of changes by both sides as Shaun Williams and Steve Morison, with three minutes to go, headed well-taken goals.
There was just one change to the starting XI which faced Brighton a week ago with Yusuf Mersin starting in goal. The bench included trialists Dieumera Vua, a central defender, and former Liverpool midfielder Yaleny Baio.
Both came on in the second half when all 11 players were changed as Dermot Drummy gave all of the squad match time.
minute when James Collins attacked the near post to meet a cross from Roberts which was deflected just wide.thReds were the better side early on and carved out a good chance in the 11
met Morison’s far post cross with an unchallenged header that gave Mersin no chance.GregoryThe home side knocked the ball around confidently in the early stages but they were stunned on 17 minutes when the Lions took the lead against the run of play when
in space. The Dutchman still had work to do, but he produced a composed side-foot finish inside the far post with his left foot.BoldewijnBut Reds were level three minutes later. Jason Banton made the goal with a strong crossfield run from the left before slipping the over-lapping
an easy finish at the far post.RobertsThe hosts went in front after 33 minutes. Collins did well to latch onto a ball into the left-hand channel by Roberts and outmuscled a defender before cutting the ball back from the bye-line and giving
Mersin was relieved to see a pile-driver from ex-Reds’ loanee Aiden O’Brien whistle just past the left-hand post and his replacement Mitch Beeney made an excellent save with his first touch after coming on at the second half when he spread himself well to keep out Gregory’s close-range volley.
minute. Collins cushioned a lovely ball into the path of Billy Clifford but the substitute’s shot was comfortably saved by David Forde.ndThe Lions enjoyed a good spell of pressure as they sought an equaliser but Reds nearly got a third in the 62
But the visitors were deservedly level midway through the second half. Shane Ferguson curled in a lovely free kick from the left which Shaun Williams met with a header from close range that gave Beeney no chance.
Both sides made the usual raft of changes as the second half progressed with Josh Yorwerth employed in a central midfield role for Crawley in the last 15 minutes. Millwall looked the side more likely to grab a winner with David Worrall, who nearly signed for the club three years ago, stinging the palms of Beeney with 12 minutes to go.
Matt Harrold made his first appearance of pre-season having recovered from knee surgery and Ayran Tajbakhsh forced Forde to save his low drive with five minutes left before Millwall struck again from a set piece moments later, Morison rising unmarked to glance a header from the impressive Morison, who was denied a fourth a minute later by an excellent save from Beeney.
The Lions then went close again when Ferguson’s side-footed effort came back off the inside of the far post in the dying seconds as the Lions finished the game strongly.
: RedsMersin (Beeney 45), Young (Tajbakhsh 75), Connolly (Vua 70), McNerney (Garnett 45), Blackman (Arthur 75), Smith (Yorwerth 75), Payne (Baio 75), Boldewijn (Tursan 75), Collins (Harrold 75), Banton (Clifford 72), Roberts (Bawling 72).
Referee: Tim Lawrence
: 1278 (489 Millwall)Attendance