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February 16, 2013
• 7:45 AM
• Kenilworth Road Stadium, Luton, Bedfordshire
Referee: L. Probert
• Attendance: 9768
J. Henry 12'
R. Hulse 36'
D. N'Guessan 86'
Thanks for being with us today for Goal.com UK's play-by-play coverage of the first FA Cup match of the weekend. I'm Adam Mazrani and it's been a pleasure having you! Stayed tuned into Goal.com UK for the rest of the day's football coverage. Bye for now!
The final whistle's blown and Millwall can celebrate reaching the quarter finals of the FA Cup after a highly polished performance at a valiant but ultimately poor Luton outfit. The Hatters may have produced heroics to reach this stage and certainly their supporters will never forget this season's FA Cup run. However, today their limitations just seemed to be highlighted by an impressive Millwall team, who are now within only one win of reaching Wembley.
90' + 3'
Yellow Card Mark Beevers
90' + 3'
The other thing is that when Luton have worked openings, they have found Millwall goalkeeper David Forde in superb form. The former Hatters keeper has just produced another good save to deny Jon Shaw after a Luton corner fell to the striker inside the six-yard box. Seconds to go now.
90' + 1'
Stuart Fleetwood works himself into space and produces an effort that ultimately flies wide. That rather sums up Luton's efforts today: decent approach-play but when in sight of goal, the quality is just lacking at the crucial moments.
There will be four minutes of stoppage time here at Kenilworth Road and this game's race has been run. Luton have given everything but they just haven't been good enough and they now look very very tired indeed.
Yellow Card Andy Keogh
Millwall fans are in full voice and celebrating and they have every right to do so. Their team have been superb today and thoroughly deserve a first place in the last eight of the FA Cup since they reached the final in 2004.
Goal Dany N'Guessan
GOAL! Luton 0-3 Millwall! It's all over now and Millwall get the third goal that their superiority deserves. It was a goal that proved their quality over Luton really, with some good interplay on the edge of the box proving too hot for the home defence to handle. Again it was Henry at the heart of it who produced a curling left-footed effort that Tyler could only push out into the path of the onrushing N'Guessan to tap home.
Rather aimless from Luton now - the passing has become very ragged and the crosses seem to be thrown in without real aim or precision. Millwall aren't offering too much down the other end but at the moment, they just don't need to.
It's got all too bitty now and it looks like Luton know that time is running out on their FA Cup campaign. The Hatters are giving away silly fouls and making it easy for Millwall to close out the match in comfort. This has been a thoroughly professional job well done by Kenny Jackett's men.
This game looks all but over I'm afraid to say and just as I type that, Millwall go so close to adding a third not once, but twice. First, a pinpoint cross from Dunne finds Keogh whose header is brilliantly stopped by Tyler. Then, another enterprising piece of play from Henry sees the man of the match's drifting cross somehow headed wide by Keogh when it looked easier to score.
The momentum of the game is just being stunted somewhat amidst a raft of substitutions. Paul Buckle is going for broke with his changes, replacing midfielders with strikers but the fear is all that will do is play into Millwall's hand, particularly now with the pace of N'Guessan on the break.
Millwall are beginning to come into the second-half now and after a quickfire breakaway, Danny N'Guessan just overhits a pass that would have left James Henry one-on-one with the goalkeeper. A third Millwall goal looks the most likely prospect at this rate.
A hint of an opening for a third goal for the visitors and no surprise it's Trotter and Henry at the heart of it. The former shows good strength to hold off his markers and thread a ball through to Henry, who takes a step in and curls a shot over the bar. Moments later, Andy Keogh finds himself racing into a 50-50 challenge with the over-committed Mark Tyler, but somewhat shies away from the challenge and allows the Luton goalkeeper to take home the spoils.
Andre Gray has a sniff of a chance when he runs down the blind side of James Henry but with the whole of the goal in sight, his first touch fails him and Forde is able to collect the ball with ease. Moments later it's Gray again who finds himself in space on the byline but his fizzed ball is collected by Forde, whose handling has been superb.
For all of Luton's effort, it is fair to say you can tell that they are in the conference. You cannot question their attitude but their quality on the ball, particularly in the final third, leaves much to be desired.
The tempo has just been picked up a bit again for the home side, who seem to be attacking with just a tad more purpose. However, they need to be careful not to be picked off by Millwall's extra quality on the break and Andy Keogh has just had a shot that flashed wide of goal.
Yellow Card Scott Rendell
Luton suddenly burst into life when Andre Gray is sent through on goal. He gets there first before David Forde but the Millwall keeper does well to block it without using his arms. From the resulting corner, Kovacs thunders in but can only nod over the bar. These are big moments for Luton if they want to get back into the game.
Luton have got to do better than that. The hosts are awarded a free-kick just inside their own half in a good position for an inswinging delivery to put Millwall under pressure. However, Howells' delivery is unspeakably poor and barely reaches the penalty area.
There has been a distinct difference from the start of the first half to the quality of play in the beginning of the second. Frankly, it's all been rather agricultural at times and Luton have struggled to find any fluency whatsoever. Millwall look oh so comfortable and things are looking ominous for the home side.
The ball has spent a good deal of the two minutes played in the air, which Millwall will have no problem with whatsoever you would suspect.
Millwall get us back underway, with no changes made by either side at the break.
The players are out and we're about to get started. To use a cliche, the next goal will be crucial.
Minutes away from the second half now. Can Luton find it within themselves to make a comeback? You'd have to say it seems an extremely unlikely prospect at this point.
Tom's right there, Andre Gray has looked impressive for the home side but the outstanding players on the pitch have been James Henry and Liam Trotter, both from the visitors. Both have been linked with Premier League clubs in the past and on this showing, even if it is against non-league opposition, you can see why.
This from our man Tom Doyle at Kenilworth Road: That's half-time and if it carries on like this, Millwall look set for the quarter finals. Luton have gotten forward well through Andre Gray but they've made silly mistakes at the back to let the Lions take a two goal lead, and it's going to be difficult to get anything from this one unless they change this up. The visitors have been far too comfortable.
That's the half-time whistle and Millwall are firmly in the driving seat with a deserved 2-0 lead after producing a thoroughly professional, clinical display against their non-league opponents, who have just lacked a bit of quality in the final third.
45' + 2'
Two minutes into stoppage time and Luton get their best chance of the game. A corner by-passes the excellent Forde and suddenly Kovacs has a chance to redeem his earlier mistake. However, the big centre-back just seems to misjudge his run somewhat and ends up heading it backwards rather than towards goal.
Three minutes of stoppage time here.
Only minutes until the half-time whistle now and Millwall are ending the half firmly on top. Luton are in desperate need for the interval, a third goal here for the visitors would make the second-half an insignificance.
That second goal just looks to have taken the sting out of the atmosphere at Kenilworth Road, which had still been loud and supportive despite their side going behind so early on. They seem to know as well as everyone does that Luton are now extremely unlikely to make the quarter-finals.
There may be doubts about the intention but the improvisation shown by Hulse should be applauded. Not many would have thought to attempt an overhead kick from that sort of angle having fluffed the original header. It's tough on Luton who have given everything but really, it's hard to argue with the scoreline.
Goal Rob Hulse
GOAL! Luton 0-2 Millwall! The Championship side double their lead and after missing a simple chance earlier in the game, Rob Hulse finally gets on the scoresheet. Again it's James Henry at the heart of everything for the visitors, neatly collecting a clipped ball from Abdou in the middle of the park. Henry's cross finds Hulse, whose header goes slightly behind him, only for the striker to improvise quite brilliantly and produce an acrobatic effort that loops into the far corner. Did he mean it? It doesn't really matter and it's now an extremely tall task for Luton.
Millwall are looking extremely comfortable at present without having too much of the ball really. Luton are giving everything they've got but the gap in quality is beginning to show at the moment, the Hatters just do not seem to have the cutting edge to really hurt the visitors.
Bit of comedy capers here at Kenilworth Road. First a blocked Millwall cross sees the ball caught on the stadium roof. When was the last time you saw that? Then from the resulting Millwall corner, Liam Feeney powers up to volley the dropping ball, only to see the ball headed away and for his foot to ram directly into the mid-riff of the Luton defender.
Luton threaten a little and again it's Gray who's causing all the problems. Millwall look unable to handle him at the moment as he weaves between their defends, laying the ball off well to the on-rushing Luton full-back. However, the cross is poor and sails out of play. Promising signs for Luton however.
Henry has just produced a magical piece of play on the Millwall left. He's got two players to deal with but the winger still manages to jink in-between them and produce a clever cross that Hulse acrobatically volleys over. He's the danger man for the visitors, quite clearly.
After his daring early start, Andre Gray has just deteriorated somewhat. He's just attempted to flick a ball around his marker a'la Dennis Bergkamp for Arsenal v Newcastle all those years ago. The touch is poor though and the ball just runs out of play. Other than that he's actually looked quite handy so far.
The game looks to have settled down somewhat after that slightly frantic start. Millwall look relatively comfortable letting the home side come onto them, which are they doing with just a little less vigour than the have previously done. The Lions look threatening whenever they counter-attack with pace against the Hatters' rather shaky-looking central-defenders.
Again it's Luton doing all the running with some intelligent play from Alex Lawless sending in full-back Greg Taylor to whip in a cross that is well collected by Forde, arguably the outstanding player on the field for the visitors so far.
Luton go so close to an equaliser! A long ball from Kovacs is nodded on and the ball falls to midfielder Arnaud Mendy who produces a snapped half-volley from six yards out that brings an outstanding reaction save from David Forde. Paul Buckle's men have certainly reacted well to going behind.
That really was disastrous for the non-league side, who had made a promising start to proceedings here. However, at this level mistakes like the one made by Kovacs will almost always be punished. Give credit to Henry though, there was still an awful lot to do but he showed superb pace, awareness and composure to stay on his feet and give his side the lead.
Goal James Henry
GOAL! Luton 0-1 Millwall! I was just saying that there was a distinct lack of goalmouth action but that changes in an instant as the Championship side take the lead. A long ball over the top was horribly miscontrolled by Luton centre-back Kovacs, who screwed the ball right into the path of the onrushing James Henry. The winger safely eluded a wild lunge from the hapless defender, rounded Mark Tyler and tucked it away to put Kenny Jackett's men ahead.
Not much goalmouth action since that early flurry but you can hardly say that this game has settled down at all. The challenges are flying in and it's all rather scrappy. The football may not be free-flowing but it is certainly very watchable at the moment.
This is all getting rather spicy here. Both sets of players are clashing over tackles that can hardly be described as poorly timed. There's clearly no love lost between these two sets of players and it's making for a quite wonderful occasion. This is what 12.45 kick-offs should be all about!
Suddenly Luton have a sight on goal! Andre Gray has had a lively start to proceedings here and after collecting the ball on the left he skips past Dunne, races to the byline and tries a shot with the outside of his foot that brings a smart block from the Millwall goalkeeper. Both sides are going for it here.
What a start to this game and Millwall really should be ahead! The pace is frenetic and suddenly after some scrappy midfield play, a good ball through from Liam Trotter sets Rob Hulse away. With only the goalkeeper to beat the nomadic striker should score but he does not even hit the target, screwing his strike well wide of Mark Tyler's goal. That's a let-off for Luton.
Luton get us underway.
There may only be 10,000 here at Kenilworth Road but they really are creating an almighty racket. One just hopes that the Luton players can rise to the occasion, rather than be overawed by it.
The sides are coming out at Kenilworth Road and the atmosphere is electric. This has all the makings of a classic FA Cup tie. Can Luton do it? Or will it revert to form with Championship side Millwall making their first appearance in the last eight since 2004?
Bit of reaction to that team news: Luton make three changes to the team that won at Norwich in round four with Jonathan Smith, JJ O'Donnell and Scott Rendell, the sole goalscorer at Carrow Road, coming into the side. As for Millwall, their captain and defensive rock Danny Shittu misses out so Karleigh Osborne comes in. Up front, Andy Keogh replaces Benik Afobe, who is ineligible via the terms of his loan deal from Arsenal.
Luton: Tyler, Taylor, Henry, Kovacs, Howells, Lawless, Smith, Mendy, O'Donnell, Rendell, Gray. Subs: Brill, Shaw, Fleetwood, Lacey, Robinson, Woolley, Longden. Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Beevers, Osborne, Lowry, Henry, Trotter, Abdou, Feeney, Hulse, Keogh. Subs: Maik Taylor, Wright, Marquis, N'Guessan, Goodman, Adam Smith, Malone. Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)
The meeting between these two sides in the FA Cup quarter finals in 1985 of course made the headlines for all the wrong reasons. After Luton had triumphed 1-0, angry Millwall fans forced there way onto the pitch and began to make their way towards the home supporters as "The Kenilworth Road Riot" ensued. Police have assured everyone that anything like a repeat is extremely unlikely this afternoon and let's hope so.
On the other hand, visitors Millwall have actually won more games in the FA Cup in 2013 (two) than they have in the Championship (one). Kenny Jackett's men saw off Premier League opposition themselves in the last round, defeating Aston Villa at a raucous New Den. Surely the trip to Conference opposition will hardly be filling the Lions with dread?
So, can non-league Luton Town become the first non-league side to reach the quarter finals of the FA Cup since QPR did it 99 years ago? The Hatters have already made history in their cup run so far, becoming the first non-league side to win away at Premier League opposition in the cup since 1986 when they defeated Norwich City at Carrow Road in round four.
Hello people, good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com UK's coverage of the Fifth Round of the FA. We start today with the early afternoon kick-off at Kenilworth Road with our play-by-play coverage of Luton Town v Millwall. I'm Adam Mazrani and you'll be with me for the next couple of hours I'm afraid.
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