Millwall 3 Everton 2 – Murray Wallace sends Den into delirium with stoppage-time winner

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Millwall and FA Cup upsets have plenty of recent history – and Murray Wallace ensured that was the case again tonight.

The Scottish defender scored a winner in the fourth minute of injury time to sent Premier League Everton spiralling out of the competition at the fourth round stage.

This Lions side beat AFC Bournemouth, Leicester and Watford on their way to the last eight in 2017.

The South Londoners needed some luck – Jake Cooper appearing to handle the ball to make it 2-2.

But Everton failed to deal with Millwall’s set-piece deliveries all night in testing conditions.

Twice the Lions fell behind and vitally they clawed themselves back level quickly.

Millwall v Everton, Emirates FA Cup, The New Den, 26 January 2019.
Photograph by Keith Gillard

Lee Gregory headed in his 10th goal of the season after Richarlison had given Marco Silva’s side a first-half lead.

And then Cooper ensured that Everton’s advantage in the second period was also short-lived.

But the winner could hardly have been any more dramatic. One last chance for Millwall from a free-kick. And Shaun Williams put in a testing ball, the Toffees defence came unstuck and there was Wallace to send the Den into delirium.

Everton looked as if they were going into the break with a lead that their performance didn’t merit.

It will not be a moment that Jordan Archer wants to watch back any time soon. Richarlison’s speculative long-ranger bounced up just in front of him and zipped under his body.

Millwall v Everton, Emirates FA Cup, The New Den, 26 January 2019.
Photograph by Keith Gillard

But the Lions found an almost instant response – and it was no surprise it came from a free-kick.

That had already looked a potential source of chances. Jake Cooper had headed a Shane Ferguson delivery wide in the early stages and Michael Keane needed to head away from his line after Shaun Hutchinson made a good connection with another deadball in from the Northern Ireland international.

Ferguson’s free-kick just before the interval was looped on by Cooper and Gregory showed real quality to glance the ball over Jordan Pickford.

Everton created very little in that opening 45 minutes, summed up by Richarlison air-kicking a decent ball swept in from the right by Seamus Coleman.

Millwall looked comfortable in the second half – but then Everton scored with their first chance of that period.

Gylfi Sigurdsson seized on a soft clearance and rolled in Tosun to finish low past Archer in the 74th minute.

Millwall v Everton, Emirates FA Cup, The New Den, 26 January 2019.
Photograph by Keith Gillard

But Millwall found another response – within 147 seconds. This time it came from a corner. Murray Wallace tried to strike the ball goalwards and Cooper forced it home.

Referee Michael Oliver consulted with his assistant down that end before deciding the goal counted. Social media was lit up with comments that it should have been struck off. 

But the facts are that Cooper now has six goals for the season and seven assists – that’s a colossal contribution.

It had already been a rip-roaring tie – but we weren’t finished there.

Wallace was in the right place to put Millwall into the fifth round of the FA Cup. They won’t fear anybody coming here if they can get another Den date when the draw is made.

And the victory was achieved with the Lions short on numbers. Jed Wallace sat it out with a knock with Tom Elliott, Conor McLaughlin and Tom Bradshaw all injured too. Ben Marshall, Ben Thompson and Fred Onyedinma were cup-tied.

Millwall v Everton, Emirates FA Cup, The New Den, 26 January 2019.
Photograph by Keith Gillard