New signing, Leon Best and Shane McLoughlin on target as the Blues defeat Millwall
Town’s U23s put points on the board for the first time this season as goals from Leon Best and Shane McLoughlin helped the Blues to a 2-1 win over Millwall at Playford Road this afternoon.
Gerard Nash’s side had lost their opening three league matches and had to survive some late pressure from the Lions in order to pick up all three points.
Along with Best, Town’s starting line-up also included Conor Grant, Paul Digby, Luke Varney and Teddy Bishop, with the latter completing his first full 90 minutes this season.
The Blues had to rely on Chris Smith at the back to deny Millwall an early opener, as the defender hooked a looping Harry Smith effort off the line.
That wasn’t to be a sign of things to come in the opening 45 minutes as Town had the better of the chances, with Best twice unlucky with efforts on goal, and Varney glancing a Grant free-kick just past the post.
The visitors did come close again as Jacob Marsden had to be alert to tip a stinging drive from Lewis White over the crossbar, but Town’s opener arrived soon after.
New signing, Best picked up Grant’s pass on the right and drove forward before powerfully squeezing the ball home at the near post. The former Rotherham man had to be withdrawn at the break due to an ankle injury suffered prior to his opener, with fellow Irishman, McLoughlin coming on to replace him.
The Lions came close to a leveller midway through the second period as Kyron Smith’s deflected free-kick clipped the outside of Marsden’s post.
Town’s second soon followed, though, as Digby floated a marvellous left-footed cross into the box which was trapped by McLoughlin, and drilled into the bottom corner of the net.
As the Blues looked to see out the game, the visitors quickly had a route back into the contest, although there was a hint of controversy about it. White’s shot was pushed onto the woodwork by Marsden, and Noel Leighton’s follow up struck the underside of the bar, but was adjudged to have crossed the line.
Town had to hold on to their slim advantage, and Marsden was called upon to do so, as he clawed away a powerful close range Harry Smith header, ensuring the Blues secured their first win of the season.
Starting: Marsden, Emmanuel, Webber, Digby, Fowler, Smith, McDonnell, Grant (Blanchfield, 75), Varney (Patterson, 76), Best (McLoughlin, 45), Bishop. Not used: Wright.
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