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Match Reports

Lions lose Southend friendly

Our take on the contest at Roots Hall...

24 July 2019

Two goals in three second-half minutes from Theo Robinson ensured Millwall suffered a pre-season friendly defeat at Southend United on Wednesday night at Roots Hall.

An own-goal gave The Lions an early lead in the second period, but substitute Robinson's double inside the final 15 minutes turned the game on its head.

Lions boss Neil Harris experimented with his starting XI once more, handing a start to Ryan Sandford in goal, as well as reverting Murray Wallace to centre-back and partnering Jon Dadi Bodvarsson with Tom Bradshaw in attack.

The first action of the game came on eight minutes as a slick move saw The Lions move the ball forward, but Jiri Skalak's shot was blocked by the Southend defence.

The Shrimpers' first effort came six minutes later, but Sandford was equal to Stephen McLaughlin's effort, before Dru Yearwood blazed wide.

A deep cross was nodded back across goal and into the path of Humphrys at the midway point of the half, but the Southend man was unable to make the connection which would have given his side the lead.

There were half-chances at either end from there, but to no avail, as the first-half ended goalless.

Three minutes into the second-half, the deadlock was broken in bizarre circumstances, as an attempted clearance cannoned off Ralph and looped over Mark Oxley in the Southend goal.

Jed Wallace had an attempt saved and ex-Shrimper Ryan Leonard fired over as The Lions looked to double their lead, but it was Mark Milligan who got the Roots Hall crowd off its feet next, hitting a half-volley just inches over the crossbar shortly after the hour-mark.

Harry Lennon and Humphrys also had shots on goal as Southend tried to find a way back into the game, but at the other end, substitute Matt Smith's header from Skalak's cross was goal-bound, only for it to be blocked inside the six-yard box.

With 14 minutes remaining, the scores were level. Former Lion and Southend substitute Robinson picked up the ball on the edge of the penalty area and lashed an effort past Sandford to make it 1-1.

A sublime piece of skill from Brandon Goodship nearly set up a move that gave Southend their second three minutes later, but after his shot was blocked for a corner, the resulting kick found its way to Robinson, who had the simplest of tasks of nodding home at the near post to put The Shrimpers in front.

Skalak powered behind the Southend back-line and hit a half-volley towards goal as the clock ticked towards the 90-minute mark, but Oxley tipped over, before the stopper also punched away the corner that followed.

Smith then nodded a free-kick back across goal, but there was no Millwall touch to gain a draw.

Southend United: Oxley, Bwomono, Ralph, Milligan, Trialist 1, Humphrys (Robinson 73'), McLaughlin (Trialist 2 74'), Goodship (Trialist 3 84'), Yearwood, Mantom (Kelman 70'), Lennon. Subs not used: Hyam, Bishop, Kiernan, Taylor, Trialist 4, I. Hutchinson, White.

Scorer: Robinson 76' 79'

Millwall: Sandford, M. Wallace, S. Hutchinson, J. Wallace (Tiensia 87'), Thompson (Mitchell 76'), Bradshaw (Burey 80'), Ferguson, Leonard, Bodvarsson (Smith 60'), McNamara, Skalak. Subs not used: Ransom, Wright.

Scorer: Ralph og 48'

Referee: John Brooks

Attendance: 2,070 (509)

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