BY JAKE SANDERS
Millwall’s unbeaten start to pre-season is over after they slipped to a 2-1 defeat against Colchester United.
Sammie Szmodics and Kane Vincent-Young were on target for the U’s on an extremely frustrating night for the Lions. Substitute Jed Wallace halved the deficit with the final kick of the game, but the result was never in doubt.
Fred Onyedinma, Aiden O’Brien and Shane Ferguson all missed chances for Millwall in the first-half and despite a more dominant second period, they couldn’t find an equaliser.
Neil Harris made nine changes from the 2-0 win at Cambridge four days ago and handed a debut to Ben Amos, after he sat out the win at the Abbey Stadium.
Ferguson was one of two players to keep their place from the weekend and the winger almost gave Millwall an early lead, but he was denied by a sharp stop from Dillon Barnes in the U’s goal.
That chance seemed to wake Colchester up and they took the lead soon after. The lively Courtney Senior found Szmodics with an inch-perfect through pass and he did the rest to put the League Two side ahead.
O’Brien almost levelled for the Lions, but his curling effort was well saved by Barnes before Onyedinma squandered a great chance to level, heading over from close-range.
Despite that bright spell, the visitors fell further behind just after the half hour mark. Vincent-Young and Brennan Dickerson exchanged passes down the right before the full-back found space in the box and finished high past Amos in the Lions goal.
The second period was a much quieter affair and despite Harris throwing on Lee Gregory, Mahlon Romeo and Wallace as Millwall searched for way back into the game, it was to no avail as they struggled to test Barnes in the Colchester goal.
The home side were whiskers away from a third, but Luke Norris’ long-range strike came back off the bar.
The Lions finally produced some quality in the 89th minute as Wallace fired in a spectacular effort into the far corner from outside the box, but it was never going to change the outcome.
IMAGE BY BRIAN TONKS
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