It may only have been Boreham Wood but it was a much better performance by Millwall today as they saw off the National League side with relative ease.
Tyler Burey was making his first professional Start in a Lions shirt over on the right wing/right forward position, In place of the main man Jed Wallace. The former AFC Wimbledon youngster looked very confident and composed as he was prepared to run at his defender and attempt to do the right things by either crossing the ball or getting a shot away at goal. There were alot of positive signs from the lad today.
Behind him In the right wing-back position was Millwall Academy graduate Danny McNamara who was also making his professional debut for the Lions, having recently been recalled from a successful loan spell at Callum Davidson’s Scottish Premiership side, St Johnstone.
I think I speak for all Millwall fans when I say it was refreshing to see a full-back who can cross a ball. Not only that, he looked assured and confident in possession, he was composed and didn’t ever panic or make any silly decisions. To be honest, it was a perfect performance by the youngster and he didn’t put a foot wrong in mine and many others opinions from what I have seen. I would keep him in the starting 11 for our next game personally, he is playing well and must be full of confidence. Romeo finally has decent competition!
We also got to see the much anticipated duo of Troy Parrott and Kenneth Zohore who both Suffered injuries at the beginning of the season, meaning us Lions fans have had to wait a long time to see what is arguably our best front pairing, together. They looked very good too. Zohore certainly knows how to finish his chances, Parrott was busy and caused problems all afternoon. The young Irishman was unfortunate to not get on the scoresheet himself but his overall game was brilliant. The signs are looking good for them two in the last 2 games.
Whilst Tyler Burey joined them in a 3 up top, we got to see glimpses of some potential positive things to come from the pair of them linking up together. They were both very direct and looked to shoot as often as possible, which is something we have lacked from our strikers this season. Too often we end a game having not even had 10 shots, in my opinion that should be the bare minimum!
Their styles also compliment one another perfectly in my opinion, Zohore can hold the ball up and win headers, bringing those around him into play. Parrott reads the game well and floats around the final third making being nuisance, picking up those flick-on's and making intelligent runs in behind. Shame neither belong to us really.
It was nearly a quick start for the hosts though at the beginning, Less than a minute was on the clock when Jake Cooper got booked for Millwall after Boreham Wood had threatened to create an early chance on goal. The booking was a harsh one, even the hosts manager said so after the game, but this booking was to go on to contribute towards a major talking point later on in the game. Millwall quickly settled into their style and shape though and things were looking positive for Gary Rowett’s side, threatening the goal on a couple of occasions and forcing some good saves out of the home keeper.
The lead eventually came after 31 minutes through on-loan West Brom forward Zohore after some neat build up play and a lovely one-two between Scott Malone and Troy Parrott. It was Malone who would provide the ball to Zohore for a simple but composed finish to put Millwall 1-0 up.
Into the second half it was Boreham Wood who would again threaten first. Whilst they didn’t force Frank Fielding into any noteworthy saves, they did apply pressure and get in behind the defence once or twice causing some concern. Matt Rhead missed their best chance, receiving the ball 10 yards out in the centre of the penalty area, but the ex Lincoln man could only look on in horror as he skied his effort harmlessly over.
They also had a half shout for a penalty when someone went down after Cooper stuck a hand out. Boreham Wood fans think it was a stonewall pen from what I have seen in online forums since the game, but I have reminded a few of them that Football is still (just about) a contact sport... so a penalty given there would have been extremely soft to say the least.
Jake Cooper should then arguably have been sent off though after blocking his opponents run as Boreham Wood broke forward. It was one of those challenges where the defender couldn’t really get himself out of the way as the striker flicked the ball past him. Given Cooper’s initial yellow was harsh, so if this tackle warranted a booking (debatable) then things evened themselves up.
Millwall then continued to dominate the game from about the 55th minute onwards, creating no less than 27 chances overall and having over 60% of the ball. The Boreham Wood keeper Nathan Ashmore made a number of good saves but was unable to stop a Shaun Hutchinson header at the near post, as he nodded in For 2-0 after a good corner from Scott Malone.
Overall it was a much better performance from Millwall. No fan should be disappointed with anything from today’s game, every single player did their job, put a shift in and we won the game. We also had a few other reasons to be positive, namely Danny McNamara and the Parrott and Zohore combo. Ryan Leonard was my Man of the match and he needs to keep his place.
Ok it was against a side we were expected to beat, but the FA Cup is never easy, we were professional and got the Job done well.
We move onto a tough, but winnable league game vs Bournemouth on Tuesday, Anyone can beat anyone in our League and whilst most will expect us to get hammered, I will keep the faith and hope we carry on from this performance and pick up another point or three down on the South Coast.
I also appeared on the number 1 podcast for Millwall supporters, ACHTUNG MILLWALL, after the game. Click the link to listen to the full 40 minute episode!