FA Cup - Millwall and Rovers to replay after stalemate

FA Cup sixth round, The Den - Millwall 0 Blackburn Rovers 0

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Danny Shittu (L) of Millwall and Jordan Rhodes of Blackburn Rovers fight for the ball (Reuters)

Millwall and Blackburn Rovers will have to do it all again to settle their FA Cup sixth round tie after a dour 0-0 draw in their all-Championship clash at The Den.

In a match devoid of any true quality between two sides struggling in England's second division, much of the fare on offer was strictly second class with both teams hitting a post in either half.

Millwall enjoyed the brighter moments of the match, but could not find the finish their pressure merited as the clubs played out a goalless draw for the first time in this particular fixture.

Millwall handed a start to Rob Hulse. The on-loan QPR striker had missed the last three matches with a stomach injury but returned. Martyn Woolford was cup-tied and fellow winger James Henry was this week ruled out for the rest of the season due to a knee injury. The Lions had also lost on-loan Arsenal forward Benik Afobe to a cruciate ligament injury, although he too would have been ineligible

Leon Best made his first Blackburn start after suffering cruciate knee ligament damage shortly after a £3 million summer move from Newcastle.

He made his long-awaited Rovers debut from the bench during the closing stages of Tuesday's night's 1-0 Championship defeat at Bolton. The Republic of Ireland international partnered Jordan Rhodes in attack with DJ Campbell cup-tied. Campbell's fellow loanees Cameron Stewart and David Jones were also unavailable.

Kenny Jackett's side thought they had grabbed the lead on 37 minutes when Jack Smith picked out Andy Keogh on the run, but his header came back off a post from five yards out with Jake Kean rooted to the spot in the Rovers goal.

Rovers hit the same post with 15 minutes remaining when Scott Dann's header deflected into the path of Josh King via the outstanding Danny Shittu from Morten Gamst Pedersen's corner.

King's header flew goalwards, but came back off the post to deny the visiting side a win their play would not have merited.

Rhodes squandered Rovers' best chance of the match when he lifted the ball over the bar from eight yards out early in the second period, but most of the play circulated in the visiting half with Kean making a couple of excellent saves to deny Shittu.

One in particular was memorable as he somehow nudged a howitzer over the bar after the Millwall captain Shittu had thumped the ball at goal from 40 yards out.

Elsewhere, Hulse somehow lifted the ball over the bar from five yards out on 59 minutes after being played in by Keogh while the Millwall striker had the ball in the net in that forgettable first half, but the referee had rightly blew his whistle with Dany N'Guessan fouling Jake Kean in the Rovers goal.

Blackburn will fancy their chances of progressing to the last four when Millwall visit Ewood Park for Wednesday night's replay which will be settled by extra-time and penalties if there are no goals in normal time.

Rovers and Manchester City remain one of only two teams yet to concede a goal in the FA Cup proper this season.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Danny Shittu (Millwall): The home skipper was well up for the battle and lent himself well to keeping Jordan Rhodes and Leon Best quiet while helping out in attack.

PLAYER RATINGS

MILLWALL: Forde 6, Dunne 6, Shittu 8, Beevers 7, Lowry 7, Smith 7, Trotter 7, Taylor 6, N'Guessan 6, Keogh 7, Hulse 5.

BLACKBURN: Kean 7, Henley 6, Dann 7, Hanley 7, Markus Olsson 7, Bentley 7, Lowe 7, Pedersen 6, King 6, Best 5, Rhodes 5. Subs: Orr 6, Dunn 6, Nuno Gomes 6

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND STATS

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