A good performance from League Two strugglers Dagenham & Redbridge ensured that they took this FA Cup Third round tie into a replay. Despite their lowly league position, the Daggers came into this game in good form. They’re unbeaten in their last four league games, with two wins and two draws. The visitors Millwall however, who are also struggling but in the Championship, have only one win in their last six league games, scoring only once in those six. Despite these two sides being two divisions apart, it turnt out to be a close encounter.
Millwall boss Kenny Jackett has expressed his desire for his team to find that little bit more cutting edge in the final third. Unfortunately today was to prove no different from the last few games. His team did have more possession in the first half but just couldn’t find that killer pass to get a real opening on goal. Millwall’s James Henry tested Daggers keeper Chris Lewington early on, however his low free kick was easily held. Paul Robinson’s header following a Henry corner went wide of the target, as did Liam Feeney’s fierce shot just before the half-hour mark.
John Marquis then had another attempt on goal for Millwall following good play from Henry and Tottenham loanee Harry Kane but Marquis’ shot went over the bar. Millwall had chances but lacked the quality to finish them. The home side’s first real attempt on goal didn’t threaten Millwall goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall whatsoever. Ahmed Abdulla’s shot from outside the box drifted well wide of the post. Apart from that the Daggers didn’t really trouble Millwall going forward in the first half. However, they coped well with Millwall’s forward play as the score remained goalless at half time.
The Daggers started the second half brilliantly and almost capitalised on a mistake by Millwall goalkeeper Mildenhall. His miskick fell into the path of Brian Woodall on the left but his cross was cleared away by Alan Dunne. Mildenhall kept Millwall in the game minutes later as two efforts from Micky Spillane following a set piece were fantasically saved by the goalkeeper. Dagenham & Redbridge were oozing with confidence following their second half pressure on the visitors goal.
It was Millwall though who should’ve opened the scoring moments later. Another effort from Marquis from a tight angle found the side netting but he had time to take an extra touch which would’ve put him in a better position to score. Then Liam Trotter’s free header went just over the crossbar following a great delivery by left back Scott Barron.
Millwall manager Kenny Jackett shuffled the pack with around 20 minutes to go, bringing on striker Josh McQuoid. Then with 10 minutes left on the clock, he introduced fellow striker Shaun Batt, who hasn’t played a competitive game for 18 months following a horrific knee injury. The introduction of Batt produced the biggest cheer of the day from the 1,296 travelling Millwall fans, then he almost put the Lions 1-0 up. With his back to goal, Batt turned and beat his man brilliantly with a great burst of pace but his shot was blocked.
It wasn’t to be Millwall’s day, however Dagenham & Redbridge will be pleased with their efforts. They’ve earned a replay at the Den and both sides will be hoping for a big draw in the Fourth round. Millwall/Dagenham & Redbridge are ball number 4. Now both sides will turn their attentions to climbing up their respective leagues, before they meet again in the FA Cup Third round replay.