Cardiff beat gallant Lions
With tonight's FA Youth Cup at home to Sheffield United very much in mind, a particularly youthful U18s were pipped 2-1 by Cardiff City in Saturday's U18s Professional League 2 match at Calmont Road.
The young Lions, predominantly featuring players from Larry McAvoy's U16s squad, gave a stronger and older Cardiff side a real test throughout and were unlucky not to have secured a share of the spoils.
Following an even opening quarter of an hour in which James White hit the post for Millwall, the home side went a goal behind courtesy of a smart finish from Jake Watkins, who moments earlier had gone close to breaking the deadlock.
The home side responded superbly, however, and eventually their pressure paid off two minutes before the break. A spell of Millwall pressure resulted in a free-kick conceded by Cardiff near the 18-yard box.
Although the free-kick was cleared away for a Millwall corner, the resulting flighted delivery from Lewis White was expertly nodded home by defender Rian Bray.
A couple of minutes later Ellis Brown tricked his way past three defenders but fired directly at the Cardiff keeper.
The second-half opened with Millwall making all the running, but failing to take advantage of the possession which they enjoyed.
In the 62nd minute a strike by James Fitz crashed against the upright following a neat exchange between Ezechukwu Ebuzoeme, Mundle-Smith and Brown. And minutes later Mundle-Smith and Brown both had crisp shots turned away by the visiting keeper as The Lions started to turn the screw.
However it was Cardiff who got their noses infront with 17 minutes remaining thanks to a clinical finish from Ashley Baker.
Despite falling behind for a second time, Millwall battled on enthusiastically but just failed to grab the all important equaliser.
Millwall: Harry Girling, Ryan Green, Noah Chesmain, James Fitzgerald, James White, Rian Bray, Alex Mulrooney-Skinner, Ezechukwu Ebuzoeme, Kryen Mundle-Smith (Toby Coker, 85mins), Ellis Brown, Lewis White (Noel Leighton, 75mins). Subs not used: Charlie Tagg, Harry Beresford, Ryan Sandford.