Full-time from The DenGoal-machine Danny Hockton and young striker Aiden O'Brien bagged a brace each as a Millwall Legends XI came from behind to record a 6-1 victory against a Heart4More Foundation XI at The Den on Tuesday night.
Inspired by former Lions forward Tobi Alabi, who is founder of Heart4More, the purpose of the game was to highlight the work the Foundation do in regard to raising awareness of cardiac health issues in the community for both young and old.
Everyone was a winner on an evening high on entertainment and packed with goals - including a trademark finish from The Lions all-time record-scorer Neil Harris and a belter from Mark Hammond to cancel out a first-half header from Reice Cook.
The Den crowd were treated to seeing some of their favourite players of years gone by pull on the blue shirt with such pride again. Although the waistlines may have been a little thicker and the hair a little thinner in some cases, there was no doubting the joy and enthusiasm of the Legends, who included livewire F2 Football Freestyler Jeremy Lynch as a second-half sub.
Millwall, starting with the likes of Tony Warner, Robbie Ryan, Ken Cunningham, Alan Dunne and Shaun Batt in the team, went close to opening the deadlock in the opening exchanges. A sublime through ball from Harris picked out Batt, whose long legs got the better of David Adedipe before hitting a shot that was well saved by keeper Ehsen Shah.
A huge throw out by Warner found Batt on the halfway line. He in turn slipped the ball to Gary Alexander who fed Barry Cogan on the left. The latter's tantalising cross picked out the onrushing Batt at the back post, but his header flew narrowly off target as the hosts looked for the opening goal.
However it was Heart4More who took the lead, despite huge - tongue-in-cheek - protests from the home side as Cook met a deep cross and headed home midway through the opening half.
Back came Millwall though and Dunne, playing as an attacking midfielder, twice went close to levelling seeing a stinging drive brilliantly blocked by Shah and then sending a sent fizzer narrowly wide.
Alexander went even closer with a low angled shot that was a whisker away from finding the target following a brilliant sliderule pass from Dunne, but the visitors went in 1-0 ahead at the break.
Talk about a game of two halves! The Lions, with hot-shots Hockton and O'Brien forming a lethal partnership, were simply unstoppable after the break.
Sub Hammond levelled the scores when he won possession on the edge of the penalty area, took a couple of steps and thumped the ball into the back of the net before Chopper produced an instinctive finish after O'Brien had teed up his gaffer perfectly.
The goals then came thick and fast as Hockton's hooked finish put Millwall 3-1 ahead and O'Brien added a fourth with a composed finish after rounding the keeper. In between, however, Lions stopper Warner produced a super save at full stretch to keeper out Arsenal's Chuba Akpom's goal-bound free-kick.
Tobi Alabi then entered the field to warm applause from the crowd as captain for Heart4More for a cameo appearance.
Hockton slammed home at the second attempt soon after to make it 5-1 and O'Brien produced a neat finish to make it six from close range.
Alabi then swapped sides and played the last few minutes for The Lions, renewing the strike partnership that he had enjoyed so well with O'Brien whilst playing for Millwall's Academy.
Despite the crowd willing Tobi to score, the ball just wouldn't kindly for him and it finished a resounding 6-1 to Millwall Legends on a night when the football family united superbly.
Millwall Legends XI squad: Tony Warner, Seb Barton, Matt Lawrence, Robbie Ryan, Alan Dunne, Kenny Cunningham, Danny Hockton, Gary Alexander, Neil Harris, David Livermore, Scott Barron, Barry Cogan, Shaun Batt, Tobi Alabi, Aiden O'Brien, Fury Martin, Jeremy Lynch.
Heart4More Foundation XI: Ehsen Shah, David Adedipe, Semi Ajayi, Chuba Akpom, Frank Anunire, Klein Brown, Anthony Cook, Reice Cook, Connor McLaren, Christopher Melder, Immanuel Parry, Michele Rinchuiso, Dammy Shitta, Joseph Sylvester, George Stevens, Tobi Alabi, Alfie Thorpe.