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Millwall 1 - Derby County 1

The Den

02/01/10 15:00

Attendance: 10, 531

Play It Again

Kris Commons marked his return to the starting line-up with the equaliser as The Rams came from a goal down to force a replay after a 1-1 draw at The Den. Lewis Grabban gave The Lions the lead with a looping header just after the break but Commons thumped home to level the scores only three minutes later after a half clearance fell to him inside the area. Both sides had chances to prevent the replay with Steve Davies clipping the bar with a free kick and Andy Frampton having a header cleared off the line in a typically frantic cup-tie but neither side could conjure a goal and they will meet again a week on Tuesday to decide the winner.

There were three changes to the side that earned a goalless draw at Newcastle on Monday evening with Chris Porter coming in for the ineligible DJ Campbell, while the suspended Robbie Savage and Jay McEveley were replaced by Kris Commons and Dean Moxey. New loan signing Lee Johnson was named amongst the substitutes as was academy youngster Callum Ball with Stephen Bywater captaining the side in the absence of Robbie Savage.

Millwall gave the visitors no time on the ball in the opening stages with The Rams struggling to keep hold of possession and they had the first chance of the match when Marc Laird cut inside from the right but he could only hit the side netting when well placed. At the other end Rob Hulse dragged Derby`s first effort wide of the mark when played in by Chris Porter although the angle was against him as he took the chance on his weaker left foot.

Derby were beginning to produce some neat one-touch football in the middle of the park as they asserted themselves on the game with Paul Connolly getting a number of dangerous crosses into the area. One such cross was met by Chris Porter but his firm header was gathered by David Forde in the home goal. Lewis Grabban and Steve Morrison were looking lively up front as Millwall tried to regain control of the match and good work by the later setup David Martin but his effort was blocked by Jake Buxton.

Kris Commons ran at the home defence and fired in a low effort from twenty-five yards but Forde again saved comfortably from the winger. David Martin escaped the attentions of Paul Connolly on the half-hour mark but his low cross was hacked to safety by Paul Green inside the six-yard area and Jack Smith tried his luck from long range but his shot flashed wide of the mark without troubling Bywater.

Lewis Grabban`s pace got him onto the end of a Steve Morrison pass but, with only Bywater to beat, he snatched at the opportunity and sliced wide of the goal. The Rams nearly made the home side pay in injury time when a neat passing move released Kris Commons on the left and his low cross into the area caused panic in the home defence before eventually being cleared to safety. It had been a high-tempo first half with both sides creating chances but neither managed to find the breakthrough before the break.

Lee Johnson came in place of Lee Hendrie who picked up a hamstring injury in the first period in the only halftime change and the home side took the lead four minutes into the second half. Lewis Grabban found space in the area and met Marc Laird`s cross with a header that looped over Stephen Bywater and into the net to spark wild celebrations inside The Den. However, the goal spurred Derby into life and they equalised only three minutes later when a poor clearance in the area fell to Kris Commons and he rifled a shot across Forde and into the far corner to haul his side level.

Commons tried his luck again two minutes later but his shot from the edge of the area flew wide of the mark and a deflected David Martin effort wasn`t far wide on the hour mark with Bywater beaten. Both sides were going all out for a winner and Rob Hulse nearly gave The Rams the lead when Miles Addison played in Chris Porter down the right but he couldn`t get enough on the ball to get his effort on target.

Kris Commons fired a firm effort wide of the mark from twenty yards with a little over fifteen minutes to go and Steve Davies was brought on in place of Rob Hulse up front. Paul Green cleared an Andy Frampton header off the line when he go this head to a corner and the fullback had another opportunity moments later but Miles Addison threw himself in front of his shot before it could trouble Bywater.

Steve Davies` free kick from thirty yards clipped the top of the bar and went over with ten minutes to go and Steve Morrison fired wide from just inside the area as the game approached the final minutes. Neither side were able to force the winner despite three minutes of injury time and the sides will have to replay at Pride Park on Tuesday 12th January for a place in the fourth round.




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The Journalist

Writer: MikeC Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday January 3 2010

Time: 3:53PM

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