Ebuzoeme and Brown grab early goals in away day win
Two goals in the opening seven minutes from Eze Ebuzoeme and James Brown secured an excellent away day win for Millwall's U18s at Hull City on Saturday morning.
The young Lions got off to a dream start at Bishop Burton when Ebuzoeme's strike slipped through the hands of Tigers keeper Erik Bukran in the opening minute.
Defender James Brown doubled The Lions' tally just six minutes later with a crisp arrowed shot into the bottom corner.
Millwall withstood a tremendous amount of second-half pressure and although Ellis Barkworth reduced the arrears, his 90th-minute goal proved too little, too late for the home side.
The south Londoners were good value for their victory, however, and stunned their hosts by taking the lead with barely 60 seconds on the clock.
From virtually their first penetrative attack, a shot from Ebuzoeme skidded through the hands of Bukran on a wet playing surface and flew into the back of the net.
Hull looked for an immediate response and Tyler Hamilton's deft footwork created an opening for the midfielder on the edge of the penalty area, but his shot lacked power and was comfortably gathered by Ryan Sandford in the Millwall goal.
The Lions were two up after just seven minutes thanks to a fine strike from full-back Brown, who capitalised on a poor defensive clearance and struck the ball beautifully into the bottom corner on the half-volley.
Tigers keeper Bukran denied Millwall a third goal with an excellent save to deny Mikeal Ndjoli just moments after Josh Thacker had sent a sizzling volley narrowly over the bar for City.
The home side recovered from that early double blow and continued to create chances as the first-half wore on. Striker Ben Hinchliffe shot straight at Sandford before Hamilton saw a shot tipped round the post as the Tigers continued to be frustrated in front of goal.
Millwall held onto their two-goal cushion going into the break and after the restart could have added another couple in quick succession. Firstly, Matthew Campbell saw his goal-bound strike superbly blocked by Thacker and then Ebere Eze, hat-trick hero for the U21s at QPR last week, was unable to hit the target when well placed.
Hull kept plugging away, however, desperate to try and get a foothold back in the game but found The Lions' defence in mean mood. Hamilton had another opportunity on 72 minutes but scuffed his effort wide and then skipper Barkworth picked out substitute Marc Kelledy, whose effort drifted wide off target as Millwall stood firm.
Ndjoli had the Lions’ last chance of the game when he shot wide of Bukran’s goal as the Tigers spent the final ten minutes camped in the visitors’ half.
Keeper Sandford saw a clearance charged down by Luke Lofts, but Ryan redeemed himself did well to close down the space and Lofts' shot was well cleared by Rian Bray.
There was little Sandford could do to prevent Hull grabbing a late goal when, in the dying seconds of normal time, a good cross from Ahmed Salam was missed in the middle and Barkworth popped up at the far post to fire home.
The damage had been done already, however, and there was barely time to restart the game before the referee blew for full-time on a gutsy, determined display by Millwall.
Ryan Sandford, James Brown, Rob Strachen, James White, Rian Bray, Ryan Green, Matthew Campbell, Eze Ebuzoeme, Mikeal Ndjoli, Ebere Eze, Ronnie O’Donnell (Mason Saunders, 62mins). Subs not used: Junior Tiensa, Harry Girling, Jethro Hanson.
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