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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 00:38 GMT
Last-gasp Saints deny Lions
Millwall striker Steve Claridge puts his side ahead
Claridge (on ground) puts Millwall ahead
Southampton 1-1 Millwall

Kevin Davies returned to haunt Millwall and save Southampton's blushes at St Mary's.

The former 7m man was unable to get a regular game during a loan spell at Millwall earlier in the season, but ended the Lions' hopes of a major upset with a last-gasp equaliser.

To say that Millwall were robbed is complete nonsense, we had loads of chances

Saints boss Gordon Strachan.

Davies, whose Saints contract will not be renewed at the end of the season, followed up to score after Millwall keeper Tony Warner had parried Jo Tessem's shot.

Until then, it looked as though Steve Claridge's 17th minute goal was going to provide one of the shocks of the round.

Millwall withstood some intense opening pressure from the Premiership side.

Brett Ormerod, Anders Svensson, James Beattie and Rory Delap all had shots charged down by determined Millwall defending.

Southampton striker Kevin Davies scored a late equaliser
Kevin Davies' late equaliser averted a Cup upset

But Millwall came closest to opening the scoring on nine minutes, when Francis Benali raced back to hook Claridge's shot off the line after Paul Ifill snapped up Michael Svensson's short back-pass to round Antti Niemi.

It was a warning Southampton ignored as Claridge fired Millwall ahead.

The former Portsmouth striker reacted first to poke the ball home after Paul Robinson nodded down a free-kick.

Southampton continued to make the running and were denied an equaliser on 32 minutes by Warner's amazing double save.

The Millwall keeper reacted quickly to shovel the ball out after Michael Svensson had struck the post, and while on his back Warner threw up a hand to parry Anders Svensson's follow-up shot.

Key moments at St Mary's
17mins: Claridge fires Millwall ahead.
30mins: Millwall survive a frantic scramble.
89mins: Davies nets the equaliser.

For all their domination of possession and territory Southampton lacked the invention to break down a well-organised Millwall defence.

Southampton penned Millwall in at the start of the second half as they pressed for an equlaiser.

Ormerod turned sharply to rasp in a shot 18 yards out but Warner launched himself to his right to save.

Southampton's final ball was poor and an unmarked Beattie was left frustrated as Ormerod failed to find him with his cross.

Millwall striker Steve Claridge battles against the odds
Claridge battled gamely all afternoon

Millwall had a rare sight of goal on the hour when Stephen Reid's powerful free-kick brought a fine save from Niemi.

Minutes later Reid thundered in another free-kick which Niemi saved with his legs.

The energetic Delap burst forward on to Beattie's flick but David Livermore epitomised Millwall's defending as he coolly shepherded the Irish international away from danger.

Steve Claridge ran himself into the ground. He continues to confound me and his contribution was more than just the goal

Mark McGhee

Millwall had certainly done their homework and prodigious work in midfield coupled with good tactics cut off Southampton's normal supply lines to striker Beattie.

Substitute Jo Tessem had a glorious chance to level when Anders Svensson's pass put him through on goal but Warner stood his ground superbly to deny the Norwegian.

But up popped Davies to save Saints' skins and earn a replay on Tuesday week.


Southampton: Niemi, Telfer, Williams, Michael Svensson, Benali, Fernandes (Davies 78), Delap, Oakley, Anders Svensson, Ormerod (Tessem 58), Beattie (Marsden 78).
Subs not used: Jones, Dodd.
Booked: Ormerod.

Millwall: Warner, Lawrence, Ward, Robinson, Ryan, Ifill, Wise, Hearn, Livermore, Reid, Claridge (Braniff 90).
Subs not used: Gueret, Bull, Sweeney, Baltacha.

Booked: Lawrence.

Attendance: 23,809

Referee: M Messias (N Yorkshire).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Johnathan Pearce
"Millwall deserved better"
Southampton boss Gordon Strachan
"Their defenders got the better of us"
Millwall boss Mark McGhee
"We should have won the match"

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