Young Lions share spoils in derby draw
Millwall U18s 2 Brentford U18s 2
Millwall and Brentford shared the spoils following an entertaining game at Calmont Road last Saturday.
The Lions started brightly and in their first attack Charlie Penny was just a fraction away from touching home Jason Twum's inviting cross.
However it was Brentford who took the lead in the seventh minute when striker Jatta fired the ball past goalkeeper Tom Beadle after The Lions stopper had blocked his initial effort.
Brentford were spurred on by this and went in search of a second goal, but it was Millwall who levelled the score against the run of play after 23 minutes when Penny held off his marker to fire home from the edge of the area.
Six minutes later following yet another spell of Brentford pressure, the visitors regained their advantage when Jatta struck for a second time, slamming the ball past Beadle from close range.
Millwall came out in the second period and looked a transformed team. Two chances fell their way soon after the restart when a super run and cross to the far post by Twum was blasted over the bar by Callum Thompson. Barely 60 seconds later, the same combination struck again. This time the cross was headed wide by Thompson.
The Lions were reduced to 10 men in the 62nd minute when central defender Sid Nelson was sent off for tripping Jatta when he was through on goal.
Facing the final half an hour a man and a goal down, Dave Livermore's charges dug deep and produced a really gutsy display.
Rather than sit back and defend, the young Lions in fact had Brentford on the back foot for much of that time.
Penny had the ball in the back of the visitors net but his effort was ruled out by the narrowest of offside decisions whilst Fred Onyyedinma and Ben Thompson were not far off target.
In the 71st minute Penny’s persistence and patience paid off. Under pressure he gathered a ball lofted to him out of defence and bore down on goal before rounding the keeper and sliding the ball home for his - and Millwall’s - second of the day.
Ten minutes later, and with The Lions looking for a winner, Penny was upended in the Brentford box.
He dusted himself down, picked himself up but unfortunately saw Bees keeper James Bransgrove guess right and he pushed Penny’s resultant spot-kick round the post for a corner as Millwall's last chance of securing a famous victory slipped away.
Team: Beadle, Wood, Guinchard (Seidu, 43mins.) B.Thompson, Fitzgerald, Nelson, C.Thompson (Philpot, 75mins), Callaghan (Danquae, 70mins), Penny, Onyedinma, Twum. Sub not used: Wellham.