Saturday saw Millwall kick off their first of five pre-season games with a victory at Hayes Lane, against local side Bromley. With 22 players all playing a part, with the first XI getting 60 minutes and the second with 30 it offered a chance to see all players who should play a part in the squad next season.
Below are my player ratings, with a brief summary of each players performance:
David Forde – 5 – Forde has probably been the best Millwall goalkeeper in my time following the club, he is almost a legend for his service and commitment as a player. However, I think even Forde knows this will be his last season as a player at The Den. On Saturday Forde looked rusty, and was at fault along with Sid Nelson for the goal Bromley scored in the match. There was another occasion, when Forde took too long on the ball and almost gave away another goal, however his blushes were saved by the offside flag to prevent a second Bromley goal. With Forde’s experiences it’s great to have such a solid number two keeper, however I feel keeping Forde on has hurt the development of Tom King in goal.
Mahlon Romeo – 6 – Solid throughout and seems to have continued from his form during the second half of last season, carrying the ball with pace and causing trouble on the overlap with David Worrall.
Sid Nelson – 5 – Poor on the day, I think Nelson would be hugely disappointed with his involvement during Bromley’s goal. As mentioned above a mix up between himself and Forde allowed forward Sho-Silva to get in and round Forde for Bromley’s only goal of the match. I’m a huge fan of Nelson since his first involvement with the first team, however if he won’t get the game time here this season I think he will be best served getting these minutes on loan elsewhere. There is clearly still a future Millwall captain in there, however without a full season playing week in week out his development will continue to stagnate, it’s a situation which reminds me of John Marquis when he first broke on the seen.
Shaun Hutchinson – 6 – First appearance in a Millwall shirt with a solid performance from Hutchinson. Untroubled for much of the game, the defender clearly has a huge advantage in aerial duels and won’t be bullied by the likes of James Hanson and other target man forwards this season. Also showed his ability in attacking set-pieces, bringing a save from Bromley keeper Alan Julian midway through the first half.
Noah Chesmain – 6 – First of the youngsters to be given a chance due to Joe Martin and Shane Ferguson being absent, Chesmain stood out from the rest of the youngsters involved in the match. Comfortable on the ball, he looks to have also developed physically after his loan spell with Welling during the second half of last season. With more chances to impress during the coming games, Chesmain looks the favourite to break into the first XI this coming season.
David Worrall – 8 – The best of the new signings, Worrall was my personal MOTM from Saturdays game. In charge of set plays, he laid on an early assist for Onyedinma’s goal in the third minute and continued to be a nuisance from corners on both sides and free kicks. Looking to beat his man down the right flank, it felt like both Worrall and Romeo already had formed an understanding, which is crucial going into the season.
Ben Thompson – 7 – Continuing from last season, Thompson was certainly up for the match on Saturday, winning every 50 50 challenge and controlling the midfield. Thompson also demonstrated his ability to carry the ball, having got hold of the ball and laying on a perfectly measured pass for Gregory to tuck away his goal. Having also taken the number 8 shirt for the coming season, it feels like Thompson will only get better and better.
Jimmy Abdou – 6 – A typical Jimmy performance, Abdou made it easy winning the ball off the opposition and laying it off simple for his team mates. Can we please make sure he stays two more seasons and earns a testimonial?
Fred Onyedinma – 7 – Getting a goal in the first game was the perfect start for Onyedinma, playing on the left side of midfield he was often able to cut in and carry the ball inwards, allowing Chesmain to overlap and get forward on the wing. Would’ve probably got a 6 but for the goal, but hope Onyedinma can step up a level this season.
Steve Morison – 6 – Nothing special from Morison, who will probably get better with more game time throughout pre season. Understanding with Gregory clearly hasn’t vanished and Morison will likely be starting on the 6th August, with no other forward able to do the Morison role at the club.
Lee Gregory – 7 – A goal to start of pre-season, the perfect tonic to add to the Lee Gregory transfer speculation. Took his goal very well, placing into the top corner from the edge of the box and looking as quick as ever on the last line of defence. Seems the Rotherham transfer speculation has vanished, however will be interesting how the transfer rumours develop for our main man.
As always in the second half of friendly games, the pace of the game faded and none of the second XI really stood out with substitutes disrupting the flow of the game. I’ve left ratings regardless, however hard to judge in the last half hour of the match. With most going to be starting on Tuesday night, I anxiously wait to see Gregg Wylde at his best in a Millwall shirt.
Jordan Archer – 6
James Brown – 6
Byron Webster – 6
Paul Rooney – 6
Tony Craig – 5
Kris Twardek – 6
Shaun Williams – 6
Kyron Farrell – 6
Gregg Wylde – 6
Jamie Philpot – 6
Aiden O’Brien – 6