Ipswich Town 0 Millwall 3: Town are well tamed by Lions
- Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller
Ipswich Town's final pre-season friendly ended in defeat for the Blues to Championship side Millwall at Portman Road today.
The south London team were good value for their 0-3 victory, controlling the game for much of the time and restricting Paul Cook's side to few opportunities. The Lions were strong all over the pitch and this was a good workout for Town.
Ipswich had their moments but they were sporadic, with the Lions' goals coming from Benik Afobe, one in each half, and Jed Wallace.
It was Town's final pre-season clash ahead of next week's big kick-off when Morecambe visit Portman Road in League One.
Lee Evans returned from injury and captained the Town side. It was a smaller crowd in attendance from last week's against Crystal Palace, although quite a few Millwall fans had made the trip up the A12. In rather odd circumstance, Town were wearing their white away kit with black shorts, while Millwall wore their usual dark blue and white.
It was Millwall, with former Town keeper Bartosz Bialkowski between the sticks, who kicked off towards the Sir Bobby Robson Stand, the Championship side enjoying good possession in the opening minutes, with Luke Woolfenden heading clear an early dangerous cross.
However, it was Ipswich who fashioned an opening chance on seven minutes, as Wes Burns robbed George Saville 20 yards out. Burns raced into the box and passed to Macualey Bonne, but his effort was blocked and trickled towards Bialkowski.
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Vaclav Hladky saved a Saville header as he got on the end of a dangerous cross just six yards out and on 15 minutes Millwall got the first corner of the game which ended with Toto Nsiala and Jake Cooper having to be separated as they grappled after the corner was cleared for another, which came to nothing.
Joe Pigott dispossessed Maikel Kieftenbeld but his shot was saved comfortably and Town were guilty of giving the ball away too cheaply.
On the half hour Lee Evans shifted a long cross-field pass to Armando Dobra, who took the ball in his stride, but was crudely taken out by Danny McNamara as he flicked the ball past him. McNamara received a yellow card.
George Evans thundered a volley on the angle straight at Hladky and at the other end Town almost took the lead when Dobra slipped Penney in and his low cross was mis-cued by Daniel Ballard, going inches past the far post. Town were enjoying their best period of the game and won a couple of corners, the second a clever routine saw Burns hit the outside of the post from eight yards.
Dobra's brave run won another corner but as it was cleared, Millwall broke to take the lead on 38 minutes, Wallace finding space 25 yards out and although his shot was parried by Hladky, Afobe was on hand to tap home from eight yards.
Hladky dived to save a Shaun Hutchinson effort as Town failed to clear their lines and it was the visitors who went into the break ahead.
There were no changes at half-time and Town began on the front foot, Pigott winning a free-kick 30 yards out on 47 minutes. Lee Evans took it well, forcing Bialkowski into a flying save. But two minutes later Millwall doubled their lead.
The Lions worked it well down the left, Wallace playing it into centre-half Cooper who had got forward, his pull-back pass saw Afobe net his second, side-footing home.
Millwall won a succession of corners and it was from the third that the they got their third.
Town were caught napping as Scott Malone took the corner quickly to Wallace who let fly from just inside the box and inside the near post of Hladky's goal. It was a poor goal to concede.
Millwall made seven substitutions on the hour mark and on 66 minutes Burns fired a free-kick well over, unable to repeat the feat he achieved at Colchester on Tuesday night.
New man Conor Chaplin and Janoi Donacien replaced Bonne and Burns.
Vincent-Young, playing more forward with Donacien at right back, got into the box and his shot was deflected for a corner as Ipswich looked brighter as the game went into the final 15 minutes. Pigott was presented with the ball by Thompson and turned, but waited an age for support which never really comes and shot wide.
James Norwood, Cameron Humphreys and Kayden Jackson replaced Pigott, Penney and Harper as the clocked ticked down to 80 minutes. Lee Evans' shot was just wide as the new-look Lions took time to adapt to all the changes.
Matt Ward replaced Dobra in the final minute as the game drew to a close, with Woolfenden in the right place to clear off the line in added time to deny Millwall a fourth.
Ipswich Town: Hladky, Vincent-Young (Jackson, 80), Nsiala, Woolfenden, Penney (Humphreys, 80), Burns (Donacien, 70), Harper, Evans, Dobra (Ward, 89), Pigott (Norwood, 80), Bonne (Chaplin, 70)
Subs: Holy, Ndaba
Millwall: Bialkowski, McNamara (Romeo, 61), Cooper (Pearce, 76), Hutchinson (M Wallace, 61), Evans (Thompson, 76), Ballard (Leonard, 61), Kieftenbeld (Mahoney, 61), Saville (Mitchell, 61), J Wallace (Bennett, 61), Malone, Afobe (Smith, 61)