GALLERY: Winn on song as Boro beat Millwall

Steve Morison makes scoring return to Stevenage, but on losing side

Boro 2

Millwall 1


SUMMER recruit Peter Winn put in a sparkling performance as Boro recorded a deserved victory over npower Championship side Millwall on Saturday.

Winn threatened the Millwall goal on several occasions before firing home Boro’s second in the 63rd minute and linked up well with Scott Laird on the left flank.

In the end Graham Westley’s side won quite comfortably and had it not been for Millwall goalkeeper David Forde the Lions could have found themselves heading back to the New Den with an even bigger reverse.

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Despite Boro’s relative stroll to victory it was hard to imagine such an outcome after a tame opening 20 minutes that was littered with mistakes from the home side.

John Mousinho recovered from a knee injury to start his first game since the behind-closed-doors clash with Yeovil Town two weeks ago but struggled early on forcing Westley to switch from 4-4-2 to 4-3-3 as Millwall played the ball around their hosts with ease.

Winn it was who got Boro going, displaying a good burst of pace to race past Alan Dunne but unfortunately his cross failed to find Charlie Griffin.

Millwall’s first effort on goal came with the game a quarter of an hour old but Gary Alexander headed tamely at former Millwall goalkeeper Chris Day, who received a lively reception from the travelling fans prior to the game.

Boro broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute through another former Lion Peter Vincenti. Joel Byrom’s free kick to the far post was only headed as far as Wilson whose shot hit Vincenti with the Boro man reacting quickest to swivel and fire home.

The goal sparked Boro into life and they should have doubled their lead four minutes later when Winn was off target.

Byrom, who had a good game in the middle of the park, swung over a beautifully flighted corner that found the former Scunthorpe man arriving at the near post but the left winger lifted his header over the bar from six yards out.

The nippy winger nearly got it right 60 seconds later though forcing Forde into the first of a catalogue of wonderful saves.

Byrom slipped the ball to Winn who wriggled free of the attentions of his man before curling in a shot that looked destined for the bottom corner prior to Forde’s intervention.

With six minutes of the half remaining Millwall came close to drawing level. A free kick from the left found Morison at the far post and his header brushed the top of Day’s crossbar.

Forde was in fine form and produced another top class save to deny Mousinho just before the interval.

A Boro cross from the right was flicked on by Vincenti and Mousinho fired the ball goalwards only to see Forde divert it away with his right hand.

The Millwall goalkeeper picked up where he left off after the break stretching full length to push out Griffin’s shot after the Boro striker had been teed up by Mousinho.

Millwall hit back with an effort of their own but Dunne volleyed over at the far post after being picked out by Scott Barron’s free kick.

Shortly afterwards Barron found himself in space on the Boro left allowing him to fire the ball across the face of goal but Morison shot over.

Having twice been denied in the first half Winn went one better just after the hour mark, doubling Boro’s lead with a superb volley.

A good spell of play from Boro saw Henry swing over a cross and Winn raced in unchallenged at the far post firing first time past the helpless Forde.

The goal sparked the crowd into life and they nearly had more to cheer less than 60 seconds later.

Substitute Bas Savage went on a marauding run down the left and crossed for Griffin who was only denied by yet another good save from Forde.

The visitors pulled a goal back with 11 minutes left and predictably it was that man Morison. Jack Smith was given time and space to whip in a cross from the Boro right which found Morison at the far post and the former Boro favourite headed in despite Day getting a hand to the effort.

Morison nearly had the visitors level when he got on the end of a Neil Harris cross but his effort was excellently repelled by Day and the assistant’s flag was also raised for offside.

Another good piece of link up play between Ronnie Henry and Wilson down the Boro right nearly resulted in a goal but Bridges’ volley was deflected narrowly wide by Jimmy Abdou.

With the game moving into added time, there were a nervous few seconds for the home fans as Boro failed to clear their lines from a Millwall corner but the visitors were unable to take advantage and the ball ran behind for a goal kick.

Soon after referee D’Urso bought the game to halt, maintaining Boro’s unbeaten run in pre-season, a run they’ll be looking to extend when they welcome another npower Championship side, Hertfordshire rivals Watford, to the Lamex on Tuesday evening.

Boro: Day, Henry, Bostwick, Roberts (Charles 80), S Laird, Wilson, Byrom (Bridges 88), Mousinho (Murphy 58), Winn (Long 67), Griffin (Beardsley 73), Vincenti (Savage 60). Subs: Bayes, Foster, Sills, McBean, Lawrie, Riza.

Millwall: Forde; Dunne, Robinson, Ward, Smith; Hackett, Abdou, M Laird, Barron; Alexander (Harris 54), Morison. Subs: O’Connor, Mildenhall, Grabban, Hughes-Mason, Marquis, Richards, McLaren.

Referee: Andy D’Urso (Billericay, Essex).

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