Cup football has provided welcome distraction for Millwall in the last week. The League is the priority for most teams and we are no different in wanting the same, but the opportunity to win matches, pick up some revenue and progress towards the later stages of the cup competitions is always welcome.
Supporters lower down the league structure still love the FA Cup. The magic of a non-league club entertaining a league team doing their best to cause an upset in front of their biggest crowd in a decade is what makes the FA Cup special.
From the manager: Harry Smith was the difference
It wasn’t quite the same at The Den on Friday night as we managed to beat Southend United 1-0 to advance to the second round. A crowd of 4,500 looked very sparse in the home end and only a decent away following of 943 added something to the match to lift it above a pre-season friendly.
It was an entertaining match that could of gone either way, but a goal of quality as ex-Shrimper, David Worrall played a nice ball inside for young full-back Marlon Romeo to run onto and then smash it past the keeper.
We have been drawn at home to Braintree Town in the second round.
Romeo is now hitting his best form after falling below the high standards he set last season. We need to keep hold of him as rumours are about that Premier League clubs are keeping an eye on him.
The cup matches were not without downside though as our talisman striker Steve Morison was stretchered off with a knee injury against Southend. Midfielder Ben Thompson had to go off at half time after being flattened by the same player, Ryan Inniss. Without Morison it would require a big step forward from other players to make us anything better than a mid-table team. He is a class above almost all players at this level.
The future of the Millwall team does look rosy though after a 3-1 win the Check-A-Trade Trophy on Tuesday night at Luton when Neil Harris changed his team around and played Kyron Farrell, Paul Rooney, Harry Smith and substitute Kris Twardek.
All of these youngsters impressed but it was big striker Harry Smith who made the difference with a brace in the last 10 minutes of the match.
I’m excited that Smith, signed from Folkestone Invicta this summer, can adapt to league football as he has the physical attributes to be a big hit with the Lions supporters. Our Under 18s also beat Worthing 6-0 in the FA Youth Cup on Monday night to further demonstrate how our youth set-up is flourishing.
Our first team get back to league action when we entertain Bristol Rovers this Saturday and hope to take out cup form back into the league to gain some more vital points.