Fan's Roar: Cup and derby joy for Millwall
By Ian Toal of Millwall Supporters Club.
What a fabulous four days it has been to be a Millwall supporter.
To go up to Blackburn and get a 1-0 win in the FA Cup quarter final replay to make it to a semi-final at Wembley, was a great achievement with the team showing great character.
But to follow it up with a 2-0 victory in a south-east London derby against Charlton Athletic on Saturday was equally important.
That result against our local rivals eased the relegation worries our supporters were experiencing and initially moved us five places up the table.
As a supporter to win a derby game means a hell of a lot.
So much so that teams can be forgiven less than decent seasons as long as they beat their rivals.
The appetite for this game prior to our FA Cup victory was huge amongst our supporters with the 3,000 ticket allocation going in around six hours to season ticket holders.
It was a little surprising to find out before the match that Charlton had the worst home league form in the division and that must have given our team a boost in the pre-match build-up, but a far bigger factor was the cup win.
The whole atmosphere around the club and among our supporters changed.
It is like we have been transported back to 2004 and our FA Cup run where we made the final for the only time in our history.
We had to have an away replay that year as well at Prenton
Park against Tranmere.
After missing some great chances in the home tie against Blackburn, none more so than Hulse's miss from barely seven yards, you would have been forgiven for thinking our chance had gone.
Certainly the guy behind me at the home match who repeatedly shouted that out and the fact that it was, "... a million pounds lost" believed we had squandered our chance but thankfully he was wrong.
The team put in an immense collective performance up at Ewood Park led by inspirational captain Danny Shttu who has now has a new song courtesy of Danny's post match reaction, "That's what we do!" when asked about making it to Wembley.
To follow that up with a 2-0 win at The Valley was the icing on the cake before the international break and the important games over the Easter period.
Easter certainly came early for Millwall supporters as substitute Jermaine Easter combined with fellow new loan signing Richard Chaplow and netted with his first touch in his second loan spell at the club to put us 1-0 up against Charlton.
We probably could only afford these players thanks to the Blackburn victory so our cup run had an immediate positive impact on our league position.
We have been given the Saturday slot for our semi-final against Wigan with a 5.15pm kick off on April 13.
We will have the west side on the ground with the pick of the better pubs and our chief executive Andy Ambler won the toss with his Wigan counterpart so we will be playing in our blue and white kit.
The anticipation amongst our supporters will rise in the meantime.
It's a good time to be a Millwall supporter.