On Saturday at The Den, Lions Supporters witnessed the best display by a Millwall team this season without question in my judgement. The overall Millwall record against Bournemouth is quite good Played 78 Won 38 Drawn 11 Lost 29. The record for both teams in their last 5 games Millwall (home) LLWWW Bournemouth (away) WLLLW.
In his programme notes, Neil Harris said “The third round of the FA Cup is always a very special weekend in the football calendar, and for us to have a home tie against premier league opposition. Both sides will relish the occasion to progress. For us to do so we have to cause an upset against a top 10 premier league club and our players young and old will look forward to matching themselves against premier league opponents.”
The side that Neil Harris picked was the same unchanged 11 for the 5th successive match. But the Bournemouth boss made 11 changes from the side that lost a 3 goal lead against Arsenal in the mid-week game. This decision led to the biggest humiliation that he has faced which has to be said was of his own making.
For years now the FA cup has been undermined by managers and owners from clubs in the Premier League who play weakened teams which put fans off from attending. After all, what supporter will pay good money to watch a team of 2nd stringers!
Eddie Howe after the game come out with the normal platitudes about the “players who were picked had the chance to impress” etc., etc., etc.
If the truth were known I reckon that Howe turned up at The Den thinking although it might be a hard game because they were a premier league team not even half way through their 2nd season & we were 2 divisions below them that their “Quality” would tell in the end. How they were in for a rude awakening from the start the lions set the pace playing a high pressing game & closing them down the moment they got the ball.
For me, this is the football I love to see, the Lions nearly took the lead after 5 minutes Lee Gregory cut out a back pass to the keeper then the ball found its way to the feet of Steve Morison who was unable to lift the ball over the keeper. The Bournemouth keeper Federici never settled at all in the first half and every time the ball came near him he acted as if he had a bomb at his feet. The breakthrough was finally made in the 25th minute when Williamson took a corner which was met by Morison with a fine headed & it was 1-0 to the Lions.
At half time the Bournemouth keeper was never in the dressing room, but on the field being put through his paces and to be fair it had some effect he was not so panic stricken. But it was a sight I have never seen before. On 49 minutes Millwall increased their lead when Morison going down the outside put a cross in which was palmed out by the keeper into the path of Cummings who bundled the ball over the line so now we were 2 up. Millwall in the second half carried on playing the same way as they had done in the 1st half and because of that Bournemouth had not been able to get into the game. There was a period in the second half the visitors started to get their game together but to be fair that was down to the lions starting to run out of steam. But Archer was never seriously tested, the only time there was a scare just towards the end Wilson their striker got the ball in the net but it was immediately ruled offside. The Lions responded to that by going 3 up when Ferguson was, played in by Dave Worrall Fergie hit a low shot into the bottom corner. For me every Millwall Player deserves 10 out of 10. Every Lions supporter went home well happy.
Millwall’s Line-up: Archer, Webster, Cummings, Hutchinson, Craig, Onyedinma, Thompson, Williams, O’Brien, Gregory, Morison.
Millwall’s Subs: Ferguson for O’Brien, Butcher for Gregory, Worrall for Onyedinma
Bournemouth’s Line-up: Federici, Lee, Wilson, Mings, Smith, Surman, Hyndman, Pugh, Ibe, Grabban, Mousset.
Bournemouth’s Subs: Wilson for Lee, Gosling for Hyndman, Cook for Smith