Millwall U18s 3 Derby U18s 4
Millwall were left wondering what might have been after letting a 2-0 lead slip before losing this seven-goal thriller at Calmont Road on Saturday morning.
The young Lions started showing real attacking enterprise and their pressure paid off twice as they roared into a two-goal lead with just 15 minutes on the clock.
Jamie Philpot had already gone close for the home side with a glancing header that flew narrowly wide in the opening minute. But there was to be no let-off for Derby a second time, and in the 10th-minute Dexter Peter rose highest to plant a firm header home from Kris Twardek's corner.
Minutes later striker Mikael Ndjoli drilled an effort just inches over the Derby bar as Millwall went in search of an instant second goal.
It duly arrived on the quarter-hour mark when Chris Parr’s precision low cross was met by Tomi Adeloye and he steered the ball wide of the keeper.
The Lions were rocked five minutes later when Derby, in their first penetrative attack, clawed a goal back thanks to wide midfielder Andre Johnson.
Worse was to come for the home side five minutes later when the visitors grabbed an equaliser through Callum Guy, whose deft free-kick from just outside the penalty area flew into the top right hand corner.
It went from bad to worse on the half hour mark when Derby edged ahead for the first time. Millwall defender Joe Guinchard was adjudged to have fouled Kurtis Revan in the penalty area and Charles Vernam made no mistake with the resulting spot-kick.
The Lions responded immediately and a superbly struck effort by Adeloye was heading for the back of the net until Derby keeper Behrens somehow averted the danger with an excellent save.
Late first-half pressure by Millwall was rewarded just before the half-time whistle when Twardek’s low strike on goal fizzed into the back of the net with the help of a deflection from Ndjoli.
Once again it was The Lions taking the game to the opposition in the opening stages of the second-half and they almost retook the lead four minutes into the game when Adeloye raced through the middle of the County defence, but his on target effort was well held by the keeper.
However it was Derby who got their noses infront once more on 59 minutes when Vernam’s low 18-yard drive whistled into the back of the Millwall net to hand the Rams a 4-3 advantage.
Despite piling on the pressure thereafter, The Lions could not find a way through. Philpot went close with a shot that flew narrowly over and then saw another effort hacked off the line but Derby held on to secure victory.
Millwall: Goodman, Parr, Guinchard, Danquae (Fitzgerald, 70mins), Nelson, Peter, Adeloye, Bryon (Farrell, 56mins), Ndjoli (Mulrooney-Skinner, 70mins) Philpot, Twardek. Subs not used: Brown, Girling.
Club photographer Brian Tonks was on hand to capture some of the best action from the game in this special photo gallery.