Millwall 0-0 Blackburn Rovers
The FA Cup with Budweiser
Sixth Round Proper
2pm, Sunday 10 March 2013
The Den, Millwall FC
Live on ESPN
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By Nicholas Veevers at the Den
Millwall and Blackburn both take their place in the hat for The FA Cup Semi-Final after sharing a draw at the Den.
On a bitter and drizzly Mother’s Day in south London, it wasn’t the prettiest of spectacles as the Championship rivals couldn’t be separated.
Ref Martin Atkinson made seven bookings in a full-blooded tie, which threatened to boil over at times as both teams competed for a spot in the last four.
But it will be Millwall who look at this game as an opportunity missed, with the two sides set to meet again in the Ewood Park replay on Wednesday night.
Kenny Jackett’s side were the more progressive throughout and spurned a number of chances to win it in the second half, so Rovers head back north the happier of the two.
There were few chances in a gritty opening, with Lions midfielder Liam Trotter curling an effort narrowly wide in the 23rd minute to register the first real attempt at goal from either side.
And the hosts had the ball in the net just before the half-hour mark, when Chris Taylor’s corner into the six yard box found its way to Rob Hulse who headed home.
But Danny N’Guessan had fouled ‘keeper Jake Kean in the build-up and the effort was ruled out.
Millwall then came even closer before the break, as Jack Smith’s curling cross was met by the head of Andy Keogh. The Irishman’s effort beat Kean, but rebounded off the inside of the post and Rovers were let off the hook.
Blackburn needed to improve in the second half and they had a chance to shock the Den within two minutes of the re-start.
David Bentley did well to cross from the right and pick out top scorer Jordan Rhodes in the area, but he hit a left-footer well over the angle.
Lions defender Danny Shittu then tried his luck with an incredible shot from almost 40 yards. It was dipping under the bar and almost caught Kean out, but the young stopper made an equally spectacular save to tip over the bar.
Millwall sensed a winner and really should have been ahead in the 59th minute, with the best chance of the game.
Keogh managed to head N’Guessan’s deep cross back into the danger zone and picked out an un-marked Hulse at the far post.
But the experienced striker was off target from six yards and fired over from close range with the goal at his mercy.
It was Rovers who showed their resolve and found their feet in the later stages, enjoying their best spell with sub David Dunn prompting Rhodes and Leon Best into life.
And they were denied by a post, when Josh King headed against the upright after Millwall had failed to clear one of Morten Gamst Pedersen’s dangerous corners.
With full-time in sight though, it was Millwall who finished with a flurry of chances in the last ten minutes.
Kean’s hands were stung by another Shittu shot after 83 minutes, before N’Guessan fired over from inside the box seconds later.
And it was N’Guessan who had the final say by heading wide from Keogh’s centre, as Michael Appleton’s men escaped the Lions’ Den with a replay and valuable home advantage in three days.
Millwall: 1 David Forde, 2 Alan Dunne, 3 Danny Shittu (c), 6 Liam Trotter, 7 Rob Hulse, 12 Shane Lowry, 16 Mark Beevers, 19 Chris Taylor, 20 Andy Keogh, 21 Jack Smith, 22 Danny N’Guessan.
Subs not used: 33 Maik Taylor, 9 John Marquis, 15 Liam Feeney, 25 Adam Smith, 26 Jimmy Abdou, 27 Karleigh Osbourne, 29 George Saville.
Blackburn Rovers: 34 Jake Kean, 6 Jason Lowe, 9 Leon Best, 11 Jordan Rhodes, 12 Morten Gamst Pedersen, 14 Markus Olsson, 15 Joshua King (21 Nuno Gomes), 16 Scott Dann (c), 27 Adam Henley (2 Bradley Orr, 37) (8 David Dunn, 49) 31 Grant Hanley, 35 David Bentley.
Subs not used: 29 Grzegorz Sandomierski, 5 Gael Givet, 23 Karim Rekik, 25 David Goodwillie.
Referee: Martin Atkinson