An injury time equaliser from Ben Thompson earned Millwall a 4th round replay against Rochdale following a 2-2 draw the The Den yesterday in the Emirates FA Cup.
Millwall made 9 changes to the side that beat Leeds in dramatic fashion last weekend. Including Dave Martin, Tom Elliott, Tony Craig, Ben Thompson and Fred Onyedinma all coming into the side. Jason Shackell also made his full Millwall debut, despite suffering from food poisoning earlier in the week. Rochdale only made 3 changes to the side that lost 2-1 to Gillingham last time out, with Kgosi Nthle, Joe Bunney and Joe Rafferty all coming into the starting line-up.
Millwall were awarded a penalty on 16 minutes when Donervon Daniels brought down Fred Onyedinma in the area before Jed Wallace scored the resulting spot kick to put the hosts into the lead. Rochdale didn’t let that early set back get them down and nearly equalised when Matt Kitching’s effort was blocked by Shackell. However, the visitors did find the equaliser just after the half hour mark when Andy Cannon’s ball found Ian Henderson to drill past Martin into the bottom left hand corner.
Rochdale started the second half on top and could have taken the lead if it weren’t for Martin’s fine save to stop Andy Cannon’s shot. However, Rochdale did take the lead after Cannon’s cross deflected over Martin, laving Matt Done to put away the rebound. Millwall sprung to life from this and almost found an equaliser after Tom Elliott’s shot. Only to be pushed away by keeper Josh Lillis followed by a headed effort going over the bar from close range.
Just as it looked as if last season’s quarter finalists were about to be the victims of a cup upset, an unmarked Ben Thompson took advantage of Steve Morison’s cross at the near post to earn the hosts a replay at Spotland.
Speaking after the match, manager Neil Harris wasn’t too disheartened with the draw however admitting he has seen better days of his team.
“I’m disappointed with the first 60 minutes. Rochdale deserved got in front of us. They came here and played like an underdog and play it like a cup tie.”
“However, on reflection a draw is probably about right and we both still deserve to be in the competition.”
Giving his post-match thoughts, Rochdale boss Keith Hill was delighted by what he saw of his team.
“If they perform like they have done today, with that courage then we should be successful.”
“The performance was reminiscent of last season, and the season before, and the season before that.”
“It’s a positive disappointment that they’re feeling because they know that they’ve played well and we were narrowly held to a draw.”