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FA Cup: Blackburn 0 Millwall 1

Championship side Millwall booked their place in the FA Cup semi-finals after a scrappy 1-0 win over Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

A Danny Shittu header just before half-time was all that separated the two sides in the quarter-final replay, after the initial tie had finished in a 0-0 draw at The Den on Sunday.

It was Blackburn that looked the liveliest in the early stages, with Leon Best and Jordan Rhodes both trying their luck from distance although neither really tested David Forde in the Millwall goal.

The first real goal-scoring opportunity came after 16 minutes, when Blackburn’s Morten Gamst Pedersen played a low corner to David Dunn on the edge of the box, and his first-time shot was just past the left-hand post.

It wasn’t until the 23rd minute that Millwall came alive and managed their first shot at the home side’s goal, when midfielder Chris Taylor fired well over from range.

As the first-half progressed, Blackburn continued to pile pressure onto the Millwall back four but Joshua King and Pedersen were both guilty of wasting good scoring opportunities.

As the sides looked to be heading into the break all square, Millwall struck the first blow.

Liam Trotter’s out-swinging corner was met by the head of Nigerian defender Danny Shittu who climbed above Blackburn’s Leon best and nodded the ball into the ground and the back of the net to give Millwall the advantage at half-time.

Blackburn made one change at half-time, introducing Portuguese striker Nuno Gomes in place of the disappointing Marcus Olsson.

The second half began in much the same vein as the first, with Blackburn doing the majority of the pressing without testing the Millwall goal.

Then 20 minutes into the second half Blackburn thought they had the equaliser when Best dribbled the ball through a crowd of Millwall defenders, clipped the ball past Forde, only to see his shot cleared off the line by an outstretched Shittu leg.

Blackburn boss Michael Appleton gave a debut to 19-year-old striker Anton Forrester in place of the wasteful King as Blackburn continued their search for an equaliser.

Chances were few and far between throughout the entire 90 minutes, but Blackburn did have a chance to equalise in the 86th minute when Best was played through, only to send the ball over from six-yards out.

Blackburn continued to attack the Millwall goal well into stoppage time, but it was a resilient Millwall who managed to hold on to their slender one-goal advantage.

Millwall will now face Wigan at Wembley for a place in the FA Cup final.

Wed 13 March, 2013
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