Report: Millwall 3-3 Bradford City

RICARDO Fuller spared Millwall's blushes with an 83rd minute-equaliser to set up an FA Cup third round replay with Bradford City.

The Lions will travel to the League One outfit a week on Wednesday after a topsy-turvy, six-goal thriller at The Den.

Having fallen behind to Billy Knott's early opener, Scott McDonald headed Millwall level to give them the momentum going into the second half.

And when Fuller tucked away McDonald's pass to make it 2-1, the Lions looked in control.

But a bizarre own goal from Sid Nelson restored parity and Knott added his second and Bradford's third to put the visitors ahead again.

Fuller, though, ensured Millwall's name will be in the fourth round draw on Monday night with a composed finish late on.

Ian Holloway's selection options were depleted by injury and suspension, with Lee Gregory (back), Mark Beevers (ankle) and Shaun Williams (banned) unavailable.

Alan Dunne, Matthew Briggs, Ed Upson, Richard Chaplow and Fuller were recalled to the starting XI, while 18-year-old Nelson kept his place in the side after an impressive debut.

Bradford, unbeaten in nine games and fifth in League One, made a confident start.

The visitors were able to capitalise on some early hesitation in the Millwall ranks and when Chaplow gave the ball away after two minutes, Knott drilled just wide.

Jon Stead then collected James Hanson's flick and fired acrobatically over the bar before Andrew Halliday's shot was deflected behind for a corner.

The goal was coming and it duly arrived in the sixth minute. Hanson nodded down a corner and Knott thumped in from close range.

Fuller shot wide from the edge of the box before seeing a goal disallowed for offside as the Lions mustered a response.

Halliday should have increased Bradford's advantage in the 24th minute but rifled over the bar from inside the six yard box after latching onto Hanson's flick.

But instead McDonald drew Millwall level, drifting into a pocket of space at the near post and guiding Martin's cross into the corner with a deft header.

The Lions visibly grew in confidence after equalising but it took a fine point-blank save from Forde to thwart Knott on the stroke of half time.

Millwall began the second period on the front foot, with Upson nodding over Briggs' floated cross and Martin curling wide from 20 yards.

And their pressure finally told when McDonald darted past a Bradford defender before teeing up Fuller, who finished well at the far post.

But the Lions' lead lasted just four minutes.

Hanson's shot took a wicked deflection, bounced off the bar and onto the shins of Nelson, who couldn't prevent the ball from rolling into his own net.

That freak incident shook Millwall's confidence, and when Filipe Morais' cross was tucked away by Knott in the 76th minute, it was Bradford who were on course for round four.

But Fuller dispatched Martin's square pass after Magaye Gueye's charge downfield to keep the Lions' cup hopes alive.

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

16 thoughts on “Report: Millwall 3-3 Bradford City

  • January 3, 2015 at 18:00
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    this result tells me exactly what we are at the moment. a very average league 1 side! big changes on the horizon this window though so we're told. i think everyone knows we don't have till summer to rebuild, it's now or never NOLUWDC!

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  • January 3, 2015 at 18:07
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    arrived at the Den hoping to see some youth in the squad. Instead, I hear Dunne and shittu at the back chaplow, martin, fuller and upson and my heart sank. People might be pleased we scored 3 goals but we had a line up if first teamers and they struggles against a 3rd division outfit. As usual nothing in the final third. We looked a bit more authoritative in the second but with that defence we were always likely to concede several. Forde was woeful. Shittu and Dunne have just about found their level against 3rd div opposition. Nelson was good, a bit lightweight and very unlucky with the og but he was doing 3 people's work. Briggs done ok. Martin and chaplow are pedestrian. No forward ambition at all and both proved what bottle jobs they are as per usual. Jimmy, usual 100% effort but nothing special. Mcd again needs to be quicker at getting the ball forward in the middle rather than backwards. Fuller? Scored two so can't complain but he will score regularly in the lower leagues. Still spent a lot of time on the deck. Maggie looked good when he came on. All in all its an extra game that we don't need in a couple of weeks time.

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    • January 3, 2015 at 19:35
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      @southlondon1885:
      Did you go? How can you dig out lee Martin? 2 assists today and one of the only players who looks dangerous for us on a regular basis. Better team with him in it than when he don't play.

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      • January 3, 2015 at 20:56
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        @82wall: yes I did go. Do not rate him at all. I'm not digging him out at all I just cannot share that opinion of him that he's one of our better players. He's a complete bottle job. I'm glad he made a few forward runs today but that's his level. He doesn't do it at championship level.

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    • January 4, 2015 at 11:07
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      @<a href="#comment-61201@southlondon1885: how can you moan about Chaplow today? He ran his a.r.s.e off all match. He doesn't claim to be Ronaldo and I'm not saying he's our answer but how anyone can s.l.a.g him for his performance in this match is beyond me???

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      • January 4, 2015 at 13:01
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        @Marshlion: Just do not rate him at all. He'll be injured for the rest of the season now so having one match where he runs around and looks busy against lower league opposition doesn't really make me feel great about him. Second half performance from all our players was much better but once again I don't see why they only kick into gear after going a goal down. It's infuriating when you watcj the same thing every match.

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  • January 3, 2015 at 18:12
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    Not a great result, but better than I expected and we're still in the 4th round draw.

    More worrying was the attendance. Despite the decent away following, only Blythe Spartans had a lower crowd today. Fans are voting with their feet.

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    • January 3, 2015 at 18:19
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      @Micky Lions: Kids for a quid would help,it might get adults thinking ill take the kids football its a cheap day out. Then hopefully the kids get the bug and continue to watch Millwall.

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    • January 3, 2015 at 18:49
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      @Micky Lions: cardiff had 4k last night their lowest since playing in their new stadium. Their next home game is a 31k sell out. Not just wall voting with their feet.

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      • January 3, 2015 at 19:07
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        @lukesmithmfc: Fair enough, the Cardiff crowd was a lot worse than ours, but there's also a lot of discontent with the owner/manager going on there, plus it was live on TV.

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  • January 3, 2015 at 18:14
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    All in all not as bad a performance as I was expecting. You can see what's missing out there but the players gave everything and visibly grew in confidence after we scored and they worked out Bradford's defence was fairly static and you could run at them with some success. Nelson was unlucky for the own goal (why was he facing the goal?) but otherwise looked solid. Apart from the decent save mentioned above I thought Forde was all over the place and is clearly having one of his dodgy spells. Ratings:

    Forde, 6: not a total liability but looked nervous
    Dunne, 6: did OK but didn't exactly fill me with confidence (as usual)
    Shittu, 7: some decent solid work
    Nelson, 6: OK but not the finished product
    Briggs, 7: Scott who? Good game
    Chaplow, 6: gave 100% but his passing was woeful
    Abdou, 6: solid enough but not one of his better games. Gave possession away too easily
    Upson, 6: flashes of quality but struggled against a team of giants
    McDonald, 8: scored one and made one and was a pain in the a*se for Bradford all afternoon
    Martin. 7: ran all day long and linked up well with Briggs
    Fuller, 8: lasted the whole match and scored two excellent goals. Still life in teh old dog if he get the service.
    ... plus an honourable mention to Gueye who came on and set up the equaliser and a few more opportunities.

    There is hope, people. There is hope.

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    • January 3, 2015 at 18:46
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      @junkmale: I agree with most of what you say, but neither Dunne or Briggs had a good game IMHO. Martin showed flashes of what he can do, but the team still looks completely devoid of confidence.
      The defence looks shaky, maybe because Forde behind them is having a nightmare time. Should have been King in goal today, and as much as I like him and defend him, Dunne's time is finished. Fuller and McDonald linked up well, and for me McDonald was MOM by miles.

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  • January 3, 2015 at 18:16
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    I went to the game today and we looked shocking Alan dunne was terrible and Bradford really pushed us in the second half the only person I thought had a good game was Chaplow we need changes to the team quick

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