BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Jed Wallace underlined his impressive pre-season as he scored the only goal as Millwall beat VfL Bochum in Jimmy Abdou’s testimonial.
The winger has netted four times in pre-season and his first-half goal was enough for the Lions to sign off with a victory in their final major tune up before next weekend’s Championship opener against Middlesbrough at The Den.
It will be a far different atmosphere in SE16 on August 4. While the home crowd gave a rousing entrance to their former midfielder, it was the small band of away fans who made all the noise after that.
Abdou was given a guard of honour by both sets of players as he entered the field of play – bringing his three children on as the ultimate team player basked in an individual moment.
The first major chance came on 30 minutes and it was Steve Morison’s nod down inside the Bochum box which caused some panic. Aiden O’Brien did not get enough power on his effort as it floated onto the bar and the same player then appeared to get nothing on his follow-up swipe.
Bochum keeper Felix Dornebusch threw himself in front of a far more full-blooded strike from O’Brien soon after as the Lions finally began to get some joy in the final third.
The German side, patient in possession without a whole lot of penetration, at least managed to get within range of Jordan Archer’s goal but Tom Weilandt fired high into the empty Cold Blow Lane end – it was a difficult first-time strike from right-back Stefano Celozzi’s driven cross.
Wallace scored in the 41st minute. The winger had a striking chance from 25 yards out but opted instead to feed the ball into Morison. The captain teed it back into the ex-Wolves man’s path and it proved the correct decision as he thundered in a first-time shot via the underside of the crossbar.
Millwall made a change at the break as Ben Amos replaced Archer between the posts.
Sebastien Maier shaved a strike narrowly wide of the right post soon after the restart.
But once again there was little to note down in the opening 20 minutes of the second half.
Even a free-kick on the edge of the box – Maier bringing down Wallace – was wasted as it was pushed sideways and Shaun Williams’ eventual hit was blocked.
Amos did at least have a save to make against a Bochum side who were desperately short of a cutting edge, the on-loan Bolton Wanderers man parrying away Lukas Hinterseer’s shot.
Wallace nearly had a second as he played a delightful one-two with O’Brien but Dornebusch did well as he raced off his line to make a crucial block.
Patrick Fabian, under pressure from Jake Cooper, headed a corner wide.
IMAGE BY BRIAN TONKS
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