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Match Report


Posted Sat 07 Nov 15 at 18:17 PM

Full-time score from The Den

Millwall progressed to the Second Round of the Emirates FA Cup with a hard-fought victory against non-League AFC Fylde. 

Sub Aiden O'Brien (54mins) and Lee Gregory (59mins) put The Lions 2-0 ahead, but a gutsy Coasters side pulled a goal back through Alex Whittle (62mins), only for Steve Morison to finally kill off any hopes of a giant-killing act with Millwall's third two minutes from time. 

The Lions showed five changes to the team that started against Bradford City last time out, with manager Neil Harris bringing in David Forde, Shaun Cummings, Byron Webster, Paris Cowan-Hall and Ben Thompson for Jordan Archer, Carlos Edwards, Tony Craig, Shane Ferguson and George Saville, the latter two of whom are on loan and were ineligible to play. 

As expected Fylde played with no fear at all as they comfortably held their own in a first-half low on scoring chances at either end. 

Millwall had a loud shout for a penalty waved away with just eight minutes on the clock. Cowan-Hall led a counter-attack down the right flank and his delicious delivery looked to be perfect for the onrushing Gregory, who appeared to be shoved in the back as he sent a header over the bar. 

The non-League side had their first chance of the game on 12 minutes when the dangerous Danny Rowe skipped past a couple of challenges and broke into the penalty area, but fired wide of the target from 14 yards. 

Joe Martin was close to scoring his first goal in a Millwall shirt after 13 minutes with a 20-yard free-kick that AFC Fylde keeper Matt Urwin scooped away on the line. 

There was a sigh of relief from the home fans shortly after when left-back Martin was penalised for a foul and up stepped Josh Wilson, whose crisp strike rippled the side netting. 

Keeper Forde twice came to the rescue with timely interceptions as Fylde tried to find a way through, but it was Morison who nearly broke the deadlock just past the half-mark. Flicking the ball round his marker, the captain hit a stinging angled volley that flashed inches wide of the left upright.

However the visitors went even closer with the best chance of the opening half; Rowe was fed by Dion Charles and raced into the danger zone. With keeper Forde trying to close the angle, Rowe took aim but thankfully saw his effort whiz off target.

Millwall replaced Cowan-Hall with O'Brien at the break and two goals in five minutes early in the second-half looked to have put the home side in control.

A neat one-two between Gregory and Morison worked the ball to O'Brien, who broke clear in the penalty area and produced a clinical finish into the bottom corner with 54 minutes on the clock to put The Lions 1-0 ahead.

Just five minutes later Millwall doubled their tally, this time Gregory's persistence in the danger zone paid off as he harried and hassled to win possession before driving the ball home from eight yards.

However Millwall were caught napping in the 62nd-minute when Whittle combined with Rowe and fired home via the post after his initial shot had been blocked.

Buoyed by this the visitors enjoyed a good spell of possession, but without ever really testing Forde in the home goal.

It was Coasters' stopper Urwin who was called into action, however, superbly tipping Onyedinma's  bullet header over the bar following a sweeping move involving Martin and Morison.

Fylde came back again and Whittle's sumptuous delivery from the left flashed across the face of goal and millimetres away from the boot of Matt Blinkhorn, who was lurking at the back post

Captain Morison finally killed off any hopes the non-Leaguers had of pulling off a Cup shock by adding a third goal for the home side with two minutes left.

O'Brien was the provider with a lung-busting run from his own half. He then laid the ball perfectly into the path of Morison, who smashed it into the back of the net with an unstoppable shot.

Forde came to The Lions' rescue in injury-time with a great save to push Rowe's stinging free-kick round for a corner, but Morison's late goal really had done the damage and there was to be no way back for Dave Challinor's battling side.

Millwall: Forde, Cummings, J. Martin, Beevers, Webster, Williams, Thompson (Powell, 88mins), Cowan-Hall (O'Brien, 46mins), Gregory, Morison (Pavey, 88mins), Onyedinma. Subs not used: Archer, L.Martin, Romeo, Wood. 
Booking: J. Martin (35mins), Webster (87mins) 
Scorers: O'Brien (54mins), Gregory (59mins), Morison (87mins) 

AFC Fylde: Urwin, C.Hughes, Whittle, Baker, Hannigan, Collins, Charles, Rowe, Blinkhorn, M.Hughes (Lloyd, 83mins), Wilson (Finley, 70mins). Subs not used: Hinchcliffe, Sumner, Barnes, Hardy, Langley. 
Scorer: Whittle (62mins) 

Ref: S. Martin 
Att:  3,445

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