Blackburn survive Den cauldron to force replay

Teams to replay FA Cup quarter-final on Wednesday

Millwall 0 - 0 Blackburn Rovers

FA Cup

Leon Best of Blackburn holds off the challenge of Millwall’s Mark Beevers. Photograph: Andrew Winning/Reuters

Date: 10 March, 2013

Venue: The New Den

Sun, Mar 10, 2013, 17:12


This may not go down on the list of FA Cup classics, but Blackburn Rovers will not mind. Michael Appleton's side survived the biting cold and a ferociously hostile Millwall cauldron to depart south Bermondsey still able to dream of a Wembley semi-final.

Millwall were by far the stronger of these Championship teams but could not make the decisive breakthrough and now face a replay at Ewood Park this Wednesday.

The busiest man on the pitch was the referee, Martin Atkinson, who needed to keep his wits about him as both teams hurled themselves into challenges throughout a tempestuous tie. Scott Dann, who wore the captain's armband for Blackburn with Danny Murphy omitted from the squad, required early strapping around his head following a collision with Liam Trotter.

Trotter went close when cutting inside from the left and curling a shot narrowly wide of Jake Kean's left-hand post. It was a rare piece of quality during a half when there seemed to be more tackles than passes, epitomised when Trotter sent his team-mate Rob Hulse crashing to the turf with a fine challenge.

As the volume increased inside the Den, so did Millwall's grip on the game. The passion emanating from the stands began to spill onto the pitch as David Forde inexplicably sprinted out of his goal to shove Markus Olsson, both players shown yellow cards. Hulse then had the ball in the back of the net but his far-post header from a corner was disallowed due to Dany N'Guessan's obstruction of the goalkeeper.

With five minutes before half-time, Millwall were denied by the post. Jack Smith drifted a deep cross into the penalty area from the left but Andy Keogh, scrambling forward and stooping low, saw his header rebound off the woodwork.

Blackburn showed more life in the second half but were left short of creativity in midfield. Millwall, on the other hand, were crafting opportunities with more frequency and Danny Shittu, of all people, rifled a shot towards the top corner from 35 yards that Kean tipped over. The powerful centre° half also tested Kean with an effort from 25 yards late on.

The home side should, though, have definitely been in front after 59 minutes. Chris Taylor drilled the ball deep into the penalty area where Keogh waited to guide it back across goal, only for Hulse to somehow fire over from six yards.

Blackburn almost made Millwall pay for their profligacy with 13 minutes remaining. Morten Gamst Pedersen's corner was nodded back across goal by Dann and met by Joshua King, but his header came back off the same post that denied Keogh in the first half.

Millwall pressed in the closing stages but now face a tough, midweek trip to Lancashire, despite a flurry of half-chances late on.

Guardian Service