Match report: Stevenage 2 Millwall 2

Simon Walton. Photo: Harry Hubbard

Simon Walton. Photo: Harry Hubbard - Credit: Archant

Boro look to have unearthed a gem in Tom Pett, while Simon Walton has all the qualities needed in a club captain

Scoreboard says Stevenage 2 Millwall 10

Scoreboard says Stevenage 2 Millwall 10 - Credit: Archant

At one point in this encounter the scoreboard read ‘Stevenage 2 Millwall 10’

It was a little optimistic on behalf of the visitors, but come the end of the match there were still four goals shared and plenty of other chances for both teams.

Boro boss Graham Westley said in his programme notes that pre-season is about ‘practicing winning’, but it is as much about getting players fit and ready to play alongside each other ahead of a new campaign.

And with just six from 22 of Boro’s current squad having been regular squad members last season, plenty of games are required to get them in shape.

The early signs are that there are some things for Stevenage’s fans to feel positive about – and how often have we said that over the last 18 months?

The club’s supporters do like a flying winger and the club has given a platform for quite a few to showcase their skills down the years.

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George Boyd and, more recently, Luke Freeman are names that spring to mind, and there is something about new signing Tom Pett, here starting up top before going out wide, that has had fans on their feet.

He’s a tricky little player, Pett. In fact, his performances so far have suggested that the move from Wealdstone to a full-time role playing for Boro in League 2 will not be much of a problem.

Pett may have had Boro’s fans shuffling their bums forward on their seats, but early in this game he had Nicky Bailey’s bum on the turf after the Millwall man’s challenge on the Boro man had him finger jabbing in Pett’s direction.

Thankfully the two did not collide again, and after returning to the pitch following a lengthy spell of treatment Bailey met Scott McDonald’s cross from the right to tap in the opener from a yard.

Millwall changed their entire team at half-time but they were hit by an early Stevenage equaliser in the second period when Simon Walton stepped up to smack his low set piece past Stephen Bywater for 1-1.

Pett then hit a wonderful shot only for Bywater to pull off an equally good stop to push it over the bar, but the goalkeeper could do nothing to stop another Walton free-kick shortly afterwards which the commanding midfielder put in off the post.

Millwall scored their equaliser from the penalty spot after Pett had brought down Fred Onyedinma in the box and Jermaine Easter stepped up. The striker had missed one good chance moments earlier, but made no mistake from the spot to earn Millwall a draw.

Stevenage: Beasant, Dembele, Worley (Jackson 84), Bond, Wells, Whelpdale (Johnson 68), Lee (Ashton 66), Walton, Pett, Deacon (Okenabihrie 36 (Gordon 89)), Marriott (Calcutt 78). Subs: Day.

Millwall 1st half: Forde, Dunne, Nelson, Martin, Gregory, Bailey, Edwards, Chaplow, Upson, Briggs, McDonald. Millwall 2nd half: Bywater, Malone, Wright, Williams, Easter, Woolford, Beevers, Webster, Siafa, Onyedinma, Marquis.