Millwall 1 Everton 1: Teenage kicks for inspired Williams

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Marvin Williams was all smiles after he celebrated a new contract with his boyhood club with his second goal in as many games. Millwall were minutes away from condemning Everton to their fourth early Cup defeat this season.

Williams, 18, scored the opener for the South London side who reached the FA Cup final two years ago only to be beaten by Manchester United. They were denied a giant-killing when Leon Osman came off the bench to score an equaliser with 12 minutes left.

Williams, whoscored his first senior goal in the win against Derby, revealed that he was only told he was starting by the caretaker manager David Tuttle an hour and a half before kick-off - minutes after signing a new two-and-a-half-year deal with the club.

"This is a great start to my professional career," said Williams. "I signed a new deal just before the game. The manager took me upstairs to see the chairman and I signed there and then. It's been an amazing start to the year and I'm still pinching myself.

"I'm a local boy and I've been at the club since I was 10 years old. I went to the Cup final against Manchester United as a fan and to be out there playing in this competition was great.

"David sat me down before the game and told me to go out and enjoy myself. He took a lot of pressure off me by telling me there was no expectation for us to win. I'm relishing it all and I don't care who I come up against, be it a Championship or a Premiership club, because I just want to play for Millwall."

The home side set the tempo when the impressive Barry Cogan ran at the visitors' defence only to be bundled to the floor after 13 minutes, but the referee Rob Styles waved away appeals from the incensed Millwall players.

The home side came close again minutes later when Tony Hibbert was called on to clear the ball off his own line.

Cogan swung in a dangerous corner and Ben May out-jumped the Everton defence to steer the ball towards the far corner of the net. Hibbert was on hand to clear the danger with Richard Wright well beaten.

Everton's first chance came on 33 minutes when an error by Paul Robinson saw the ball squirt to James McFadden on the penalty spot, but the young Scot was denied by a magnificent point-blank save by Millwall's goalkeeper Andy Marshall, who raced off his line to deny the winger.

Williams then opened the scoring for the home side when May flicked a perfect ball over the top of the Everton defence for the youngster to chase down and turn past Wright for a deserved lead.

Everton struggled to compete throughout the game and their manager David Moyes had seen enough on the hour to change his side around as they went in search of an equaliser. On came James Beattie and Duncan Ferguson.

However, it was not until the introduction of Osman that Everton looked a real threat. It was his close-range header with just 12 minutes to go that earned his side a replay.

After the goal, it was a real backs-to-the-wall performance from Millwall as Everton threw everything at them.

Only a man-of-the-match display by Marshall, who was playing with a knee injury but made a string of excellent saves, earned his side a replay.

Goals: Williams (1-0) 39, Osman (1-1) 79.

Millwall (4-4-2): Marshall; Lawrence, Robinson, Whitbread, Craig; Cogan, Livermore, Elliott, Braniss (Fangueiro, 83); May, Williams. Substitutes not used: Phillips, Weston, Pooley, Hendry.

Everton (4-5-1): Wright; Hibbert, Valente, Weir, Ferrari; McFadden (Beattie, 58), Neville (Osman, 73), Cahill, Arteta, Kilbane; Bent (Ferguson, 58). Substitutes not used: Turner, Naysmith.

Referee: R Styles (Hampshire).

Booked: Millwall Robinson; Everton Arteta, Weir.

Attendance: 16,440.

Man of the match: Marshall.

Comments