Sports Mole brings you live coverage of tonight's FA Cup quarter-final replay between Blackburn and Millwall.
By Barney Corkhill, Staff Reporter Filed: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 19:00 UK
Last Updated: Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 08:11 UK
Millwall progressed into the semi-finals of the FA Cup courtesy of a narrow 1-0 win over Blackburn Rovers in their quarter-final replay this evening.
A tight first half saw Danny Shittu score late on to send the visitors into the break with a lead, which they managed to hold on to in a second half of few chances.
Millwall will now face Wigan Athletic in the semi final, with the winner of that likely to be in the Europa League next season.
You can read how the match unfolded with Sport Mole's minute-by-minute coverage below.
7pmGood evening! Thank you for joining Sports Mole for tonight's FA Cup tie, let's hope it is more exciting than the original match on Sunday!
7.02pmTonight is a big match for both clubs as a place in the semi-final of the FA Cup is up for grabs. It may have been devalued by some people in recent years, but to many, including me, this remains the best domestic club competition in world football. The magic of the cup is still alive and well, and a second-tier team reaching the semi-final proves that.
7.04pmThe match isn't just a big one because of the pride involved, however. The winner of this one will face Wigan in the semis, and both will fancy their chances of beating a team that could well be preoccupied with fighting relegation and reaching the final, which is a huge occasion in any club's season, yet alone a Championship side. Not only that, the other semi-final will involve Manchester City and either Manchester United and Chelsea, which means that either Blackburn, Millwall or Wigan are likely to make it into the Europa League next season.
7.06pmHowever, both teams will have to perform better than they have in recent weeks if they want to get that far. Neither have dazzled their fans with their recent form, and they sit 16th and 17th respectively in the Championship table.
7.08pmRovers have not won in their last six games in all competitions. In fact, their last win came in the previous round of the FA Cup last month when they beat Arsenal 1-0 at the Emirates.
7.10pmMillwall's cup run has proved a welcome distraction from their poor league form recently. In the league they have won just one of their last nine games, losing seven and drawing one of those matches. They have been better in the cup, however, so Blackburn will have to be wary of that tonight.
7.12pmTEAM NEWS: Blackburn have made two changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Millwall at the Den on Sunday, bringing in David Dunn and Martin Olsson, while Millwall remain unchanged. Full team news coming right up...
7.17pmMillwall opting for no changes seems like quite a strange decision to me. Sunday's match was a pretty drab affair so I expected some changes to try and influence a different result.
7.19pmMillwall do have fairly recent history in the latter stages of this comeptition. In 2004 they shocked everyone by reaching the final, but Manchester United just proved too strong for them on that occasion as the Red Devils ran out 3-0 winners.
7.21pmYou have to go an awful lot further back to find Blackburn last appearance in the final - back to 1960 to be exact. They also lost 3-0 on that occasion, downed by Wolverhampton Wanderers.
7.23pmTheir overall FA Cup record is among the best, however. Blackburn dominated the competition when it was in it's infant stage. Between 1883 and 1893, Rovers won the competition an impressive five times. They will still have a lot to do to reach another final if they get through today, but it is still a huge opportunity for them.
7.25pmPREDICTION: Right, we're five minutes from kickoff here at Ewood Park, and it's time I gave my prediction. Both sides are in poor form, but cup games often see teams throwing the form book out of the window. Whether or not that will be the case tonight remains to be seen, but I'm going to go for a 1-0 win for Blackburn.
7.28pmWe're nearing kickoff now. Hopefully we will get a better game than the first FA Cup match between these two sides! Remember, they are playing for the chance to face Wigan in the semi-final.
7.30pmThe players are all lined up and we're just about ready to go...
1 minHalf-chance for Blackburn early on as Rhodes is slipped through behind the defence. His shot is off target, but the linesman has his flag up anyway. It was very close, but that's a good call from the official.
3 minBlackburn are enjoying more of the ball in these very early stages, but a long ball comes to nothing. I wouldn't expect Rhodes to have much success aerially against Beevers and Shittu.
4 minSHOT! Blackburn have already managed something they didn't on Sunday: a shot on target. Leon Best is the man to have it, cutting inside before firing a low strike in towards the near post, but Forde collects it comfortably.
6 minMillwall have their best spell of possession yet, knocking the ball about nicely before Smith sends a sweeping ball out to the right. Dunne swings it in but David Dunn is back to clear the danger.
8 minThere have been quite a few long balls in these early stages. Millwall are always likely to play like that with Hulse up front, but I think Blackburn would get more joy keeping it on the floor.
10 minTo be fair to Blackburn, I think they are trying to play short passes but aren't being allowed to by Millwall. The visitors are pressing high up the field and the middle of the park is very crowded.
12 minMillwall have the ball in the back of the net but it won't count. Hulse nudges his marker off the ball but the linesman has his flag up for offside. However, replays show that he was actually on. Whether or not he would have scored without the whistle is up for debate as the keeper had stopped playing, but Millwall could feel hard done by there.
14 minSHOT! If you don't shoot, you don't score...but if you shoot like that you won't be scoring either. Rhodes gets the ball and turns his man about 25 yards from goal. There aren't any options for him, however, so he lets fly and sends it high over the bar.
16 minCLOSE! That's better! A Best strike results in a corner for Blackburn, and they work it out well to Dunn on the edge of the box. He curls it goalwards, but it drifts just past the post. Hard to tell whether that was a cross or a shot, but whatever it was it was close!
18 minThis match has started in a very similar vein to the first match between these two, which isn't good news for the neutrals!
20 minLowe is beaten by N'Guessan down the left channel before bringing him down with a poor challenge. The ref wants a word, but that is as far as it will go. No yelllow.
21 minA long free kick is pumped into the Blackburn box which Kean inexplicably chooses to come for. He gets nowhere near it, but neither does any Millwaal player and the ball drifts through for a corner. Bizarre goalkeeping.
23 minSHOT! Taylor drives forward down the left before smashing an effort goalwards. It is swerving and moving all over the place, but ends up a yard or so wide of the post.
25 minPedersen has two chances to deliver the ball into the box but each time his cross is cleared away. More a case of good defending than bad deliveries, but if they plan on going via an aerial route then the passes are going to have to be pinpoint today.
27 minA poor tackle from Keogh leaves Dunn in a heap on the floor. He bounces straight back up onto his feet, however, which is good to see when so many players stay down for longer than needed nowadays.
28 minSHOT! Taylor has another shot from a similar position to the one he had five minutes ago, but the result is the same as he misses the target.
30 minWe've now played half an hour of football at Ewood Park and are still waiting for our first real chance. Including the original match, I doubt there have been 120 minutes between two sides with as few chances as this tie has provided so far!
32 minPedersen launches a long throw into the penalty area, but Blackburn only have three players in the box. It was a good throw from the winger and a long throw is a dangerous weapon in the arsenal of any side, so I'm not sure when Rovers committed so few players there.
34 minIt's been a long-ball match so far. Both sets of defenders are trying to hoist it up to their strikers, completely bypassing the midfielder, who must be thinking that they are watching a tennis match!
36 minTo emphasise that point, the pass completion stats have just come to my attention: Blackburn have completed 57% and Millwall 54%. That really is poor.
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38 minTaylor looks like Millwall's most lively player tonight. He cuts inside onto his right again, and once more gets a shot away, but this time it is well blocked.
39 minSHOT! The ball is fed to Best, on the floor for once, and he shimmys to the left before cutting back right and hammering a shot towards goal. It is always rising, though, and doesn't threaten Forde's goal.
41 minCLOSE! Millwall want a penalty for a handball in the box, but the ref waves it away. It comes out to Taylor, but his shot goes into the side netting via a deflection. The ball did hit Lowe's hand in the build up, but he was too close to warrant a penalty.
43 minWe finally have a goal in this tie! It is the first time Blackburn have conceded in this season's FA Cup, but Shittu scores for the fourth time in six FA Cup matches. The big defender shrugged off Leon Best inside the box and powered his header past Kean. He really attacked that one.
44 minYELLOW CARD! David Dunn becomes the first man in the book tonight. He slid in late on Shittu in his haste to try and win the ball back. It was a poor tackle, worthy of the yellow, but nothing malicious.
45 minJust one minute of added time at Ewood Park.
8.20pmA pretty drab half ends in an exciting way as Millwall take the lead into the break. It took 130 minutes, but we finally got a goal in this tie, and it could be exactly what we need to liven this one up.
8.22pmYELLOW CARD! Small correction from earlier, David Dunn wasn't the first man in the book. Danny Shittu was given a yellow card for taking his shirt off while celebrating his goal. It's a stupid way for anyone to get a yellow, but especially a defender.
8.24pmIt is no surprise that the goal came via a header. The ball has probably spent more time in the air than it has on the ground in this one as both sides continue to hoof it up towards their strikers. It hasn't been successful so far but I doubt much will change in the second half. Both sides have midfielders who can play good football when they keep it on the ground, but the middle of the park is so congested that both teams often have no choice but to knock it long.
8.26pmBefore the goal, it had been a very even game. Neither side had managed to carve out a good chance and it had 0-0 written all over it until Shittu popped up with his header.
8.28pmThere is some controversy surrounding the corner that led to the goal, however. There doesn't appear to be any touch from a Blackburn player to warrant the award of a corner. However, no Blackburn players protested at the referee's decision - perhaps they were relieved at not having conceded a penalty shortly before that!
8.30pmStill, as it stands Millwall will face Wigan in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. The Lions still have a long way to go in order to secure that, but Wigan boss Roberto Martinez won't be too worried about what he has seen in this match so far.
8.32pmBLACKBURN SUB: Rovers will make a change as they chase this one. On comes former Portugal international Nuno Gomes for Markus Olsson.
45 minMillwall get us back underway at Ewood Park.
46 minBest has moved out to the left following that sub. Gomes has, unsurprisingly, gone into the middle although he could play in the whole just off Rhodes rather than as an out-and-out striker.
48 minBlackburn have started this with a bit more attacking intent than they had in the first half. Lowe is released down the right but his cross is blocked and goes out for a corner, which comes to nothing.
50 minA high ball comes towards King inside his own half, but his control is so bad that it goes out for a corner. He was being marshalled by a defender and wants a free kick for his treatment, but the corner will stand.
51 minMillwall take a quick throw and catch Blackburn napping. They can't make the most of it, however, as the cross eludes Hulse at the back post.
53 minBlackburn are beginning to play the ball through their midfield now, and immediately work good space down the left to cross. Forde is out well to collect the ball into the box, but that looks like a more promising avenue of attacking than merely lumping it forward.
55 minMillwall seemed to have recognised this change of tactics and have made it scrappy in the middle again to try and disrupt this. It's working so far.
57 minBlackburn are switching between two styles of play willy nilly at the moment. Sometimes they try through the middle, but most of the time they are still playing it long. Neither are really working, particularly the latter as Shittu has been dominant in the air.
59 minTaylor comes steaming in with a very hard tackle, but it is completely fair. Thankfully, Clattenburg doesn't call for a foul when other referees might have.
61 minYELLOW CARD! He does give a foul for this one, however, and rightly so. Keogh brings his man down with a sliding tackle from behind and is punished with a red card.
61 minPedersen takes the free kick, but it finds no-one and goes out for a goal kick. To be fair, had anyone been arriving at the back post that would've been a good ball in.
63 minOFF THE LINE! Blackburn's best moment in this match by some distance! Best picks the ball up about 25 yards from goal and makes a beeline for the opposition defence. He finds a way past them and into the box before slipping the ball past Forde, but Lowry is back to make a brilliant sliding clearance off the line. Good play from both Best and Lowry there.
65 minMILLWALL SUB: Millwall make their first change of the night as N'Guessan is replaced by Nadjim Abdou.
66 minThere must be a sniper in the ground or something because King has just gone down like he has just been shot inside the penalty box. A tantalising cross from Pedersen led to the ball dropping at King's feet, and he threw his hands into the air and himself onto the ground. Ridiculous dive, he should have been booked.
68 minI've just seen it again, and it is even more ridiculous than I first thought. There may have been a hint of a hand on his chest, but nothing to warrant such a dramatic fall. Disgraceful.
70 minThe possession is exactly even between these two sides at the moment and that is no surprise. Neither side has dominated, the only difference has been that Millwall scored their sole chance while Blackburn did not. Still time for that to change, however.
72 minI must say I expected Blackburn to have more of a go in this half. As it stands they are out of the FA Cup and they are yet to throw the kitchen sink at Millwall. Time is running out!
74 minBLACKBURN SUB: Is this the kitchen sink? On comes young Anton Forrester for his debut, replacing King. Forrester is a striker, if you're wondering, so that is an attacking sub by Appleton.
75 minForrester's first action is to hound Smith into losing the ball, but then he miscontrols it and it goes out for a throw in.
76 minYELLOW CARD! Beevers picks up his 10th yellow card of the season for an off-the-ball incident. He held on to Best as he tried to race clear in support of his teammates, and rightly picks up the card. That was very cynical.
78 minWith just over 10 minutes left it is Millwall who are knocking the ball about freely inside the Blackburn half. It should be the other way round! Where is Blackburn's pressure?!
80 minSHOT! The Millwall move ends in a shot, but not a very good one at all. Taylor lets fly from range but it ends up high in the stands and closer to the corner flag than the goal. Not one for the highlight reel.
82 minRovers have really found goals hard to come by recently. Since the Arsenal game they have scored just twice in six games. Now would be as good a time as any to improve that record.
83 minHalf-chance for Millwall as Hulse lifts the ball over Hanley's head and collects it the other side. Hanley recovers in time to win the ball back just as Hulse was about to pull the trigger, however. Almost Gazza-esque from Hulse.
84 minMILLWALL SUB: That will be Hulse's last action today. He is replaced by John Marquis.
85 minThe Blackburn crowd is growing increasingly restless. Moments ago a backpass was greeted by a chorus of boos. They want their side to attack and I don't blame them.
87 minSHOT! Best is trying to make something happen down the left flank, but he is finding shooting chances hard to come by. He does make space for himself on that occasion, cutting inside onto his right before curling an effort goalwards, but it is always too high.
89 minThis is more like it from Blackburn. They are beginning to pour forward in numbers and really pile the pressure on Millwall. Dunn slips a good ball into Rhodes, who turns his man before clipping a ball in that Shittu is across to clear.
90 minWe will have 3 minutes of added time at Ewood Park. Can Blackburn get a late equaliser?
90 minAfter a scramble in the Millwall box the ball falls to Nuno Gomes, but his first time volley is blocked before it can test Forde. Millwall are really putting their bodies on the line to defend this lead.
90+2 minCHANCE! What a chance to seal the game for Millwall! Marquis spins away from his man and slips a through ball to Taylor, who has plenty of time to pick his spot. He gets his shot all wrong, however, and skies it way over the crossbar.
9.23pmMillwall are going to Wembley! You can see what it means to the players, who are reacting like they have won the cup! They will face Wigan Athletic in the semi-final.
9.24pmIt obviously means a lot to these Blackburn players too. David Dunn is in tears as he trudges off the pitch, he knows that his side have just missed a golden chance to reach Wembley.
9.26pmIt was Danny Shittu who really made the difference for Millwall tonight. He was dominant in defence and also popped up with the winner just before half time. Blackburn's playing style really played to his strengths and Rhodes wasn't even given a sniff by the defender.
9.28pmBlackburn only really had one chance in the whole game as they failed to threaten when going forward. Their dry spell in front of goal continues, and it is a problem that they need to address sooner rather than later. Personally, I think Appleton got his gameplan all wrong, and that starved Blackburn's creative players such as Dunn.
9.30pmRight, that's it from me tonight. Thank you for joining Sports Mole for this FA Cup quarter-final replay, which saw Millwall progress to the semis to face Wigan. I will leave you with Jack Prescott's match report, and be sure to stick around for match analysis which should be on site within half an hour. Good night!