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Dartford 0 Millwall 1

15 July 2014

Full-time score from Princes Park

Jermaine Easter scored the only goal of the game as Millwall kicked off their pre-season with a 1-0 victory at Conference Premier outfit Dartford on Tuesday night.

Manager Ian Holloway had stressed beforehand that he would use the opening fixture of The Lions three pre-season games to give the majority of his squad a run-out, and that's just what he did fielding a different team in each half.

The opening 45 minutes enabled Ollie to run the rule over trialists Matthew Briggs and Magaye Gueye, whilst there was a welcome return from injury for Richard Chaplow and first outing for Justin Hoyte since Boxing Day 2013. Defender Byron Webster also made his first start in a Millwall shirt.

Millwall started well and Hoyte was inches away from finding Chaplow with a delightful pass in the opening three minutes, but the ball spun away from his team-mate as he broke into the penalty area.

Former Everton winger Gueye twice went close with fizzers from distance before The Lions were forced to make a change just before the half-hour mark when Hoyte sustained a knock; Jimmy Abdou playing out the remainder of the half at right-back.

On 35 minutes Gueye tried his luck once more with another long range effort, this time his fierce 20-yard effort stung the palms of Darts' keeper Jason Brown.

At the other end a quick counter-attack from the home side ended with Luke Daley firing over from 25 yards before Andy Pugh sent a left foot effort a couple of yards wide of the target.

Former Charlton keeper Brown got lucky three minutes before the break when he fumbled and stumbled over the ball trying to clear a back pass, but the ball eventually bobbled away from John Marquis, who was posed to pounce, and over the line for a corner.

Shaun Williams drove forward moments later, steadied himself and then sent a dipping 25-yarder narrowly over the bar.

It was all change at the start of the second period as Holloway introduced an entirely different starting XI, handing a debut to summer signing Lee Gregory.

The Lions drove forward straight from the restart and Nicky Bailey's drive was deflected for a corner before Lee Martin scooped a free-kick from a central position 18 yards out over the bar.

Ed Upson drilled wide of the target following good work by Martin, whose persistence won possession in midfield as Millwall pressed for the opening goal, and it duly arrived on 62 minutes. Carlos Edwards' embarked on a surging run down the right flank and then picked out Easter, who swept the ball home from close range.

Bailey sent another long range shot inches over as Millwall pressed for a second goal against a hard-working Darts team.

Youngsters Sid Nelson, Fred Onyedinma and Jack Powell were all introduced during the final quarter of an hour and despite enjoying the majority of possession, there were to be no further goals as The Lions comfortably saw out the closing stages to secure a deserved win.

Dartford: Brown (Ibrahim, 72mins), Green, McAuley, Mitchel-King (Anidugbe, 72mins), Cornhill, Hayes (Collier, 46mins), Noble (Harris, 46mins), Bradbrook (Derry, 63mins), Pugh (Thompson, 63mins), Daley (Adekunle, 68mins).

Millwall first half: Forde; Hoyte (O'Brien, 29mins), Robinson, Webster, Briggs; Abdou, Williams; Woolford, Chaplow, Gueye; Marquis.

Millwall second half: Bywater; Edwards (Nelson, 75mins), Dunne, Beevers, Malone; Bailey, Wright; Upson (Onyedinma, 83mins), Martin (Powell, 83mins), Easter, Gregory.


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