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Report: Millwall U21s 1 Ipswich U21s 1

28 November 2014

Full-time from The Den

Alfie Pavey grabbed a 75th-minute equaliser as Millwall U21s secured a Professional Development League draw against Ipswich Town at The Den on Friday night.

On another occasion, Neil Harris' young charges could have been celebrating all three points as they bossed long spells of the game against an Ipswich side performing under the watchful eye of former Lions boss Mick McCarthy.

Millwall fielded midfield duo Richard Chaplow and Jimmy Abdou as their over-age players, and the two led by example, using all their experience to dominate the middle of the park for long spells of the game.

The Lions so nearly got off to a dream start in the opening seconds when a well-worked move ended with Joshua Siafa's splendid angled 20-yard strike smacking the woodwork.

Ipswich keeper Michael Crowe did well to clear under pressure from Kris Twardek as the home side continued to put the squeeze on their opponents, but it was the visitors who took the lead against the run of play on the quarter hour mark when Shane McLaughlin slid the ball home from close range.

Chopper's charges went desperately close to levelling within two minutes when the persistent Dylan Casey powered down the left flank and picked out Callum Webb at the far post with a delicious delivery. Unfortunately Ipswich keeper Crowe was well placed and gathered Webb's powerful header at the second attempt.

Pavey lashed the ball wide and a promising move inspired by a strong run from left-back Casey into the heart of the Ipswich half only came to a halt when Twardek was penalised for a foul.

Aiden O'Brien was denied what would have been a splendid equaliser on 32 minutes. He showed great control before acrobatically hooking a shot on the turn that hit the right hand post and spun along the goal-line before the boot of an Ipswich defender finally cleared the danger.

Pavey and centre-half Keaton Wood - with a firm header - both went close as Millwall finished the first-half on the front foot, but just unable to grab the goal that their efforts had deserved.

Ipswich were a whisker away from doubling their tally within seconds of the restart, but thankfully McLaughlin directed his header onto the roof of the net with just keeper Harry Girling to beat.

Back came Millwall though, with Twardek rifling a low drive narrowly wide from the edge of the area and then Webb firing off target following a sublime flick from the tireless O'Brien.

Chaplow then had three chances to grab that elusive leveller, firstly dragging wide after picking up Abdou's knock-down. He then weaved his way past five opposition players into the penalty area, saw his initial shot blocked on the line by the keeper and then somehow fired the rebound over the bar from six yards.

Huge credit to Millwall though, as they kept their shape and composure as the game headed into the final quarter of an hour.

The introduction of Anthony Jeffrey certainly added fresh impetus for The Lions, and they finally got back on level terms thanks to Pavey's textbook downward header that gave Crowe no chance in the visiting goal.

Millwall finished the game as they had started, and there could have been no complaints if they had taken all three points; Jeffrey fired into the side netting before combining superbly with Chaplow to set up Twardek, whose shot was held by the keeper.

Keeper Crowe saved his best for last, however, denying O'Brien a winner in the dying seconds by somehow clearing the striker's goal-bound left-foot effort off the line to ensure the game finished all-square.

Millwall: Girling, Siafa, Casey, Abdou, Nelson, Wood, Webb (Jeffrey, 62mins), Chaplow, Pavey, Twardek, O'Brien. Subs not used: Parr, Goodman, Bryon, Philpot. 
Booking: Nelson (54mins)
Scorer: Pavey (75mins)

Ipswich Town: Crowe, Emanuel, Wells, Guldbranson, St Ledger (Wyatt, 44mins), Robinson, Galvin, Benyu, McQueen, McLaughlin (Rayadan, 52mins), Patterson (Ford, 74mins). Subs not used: Marsden, Blangfield.
Scorer: McLaughlin (15mins)

Ref: M. Bloor

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