Millwall boss gives his opinion on Brighton’s first goal in FA Cup quarter final clash


Millwall manager Neil Harris reckons James Meredith and Shane Ferguson will both be disappointed at not closing down Solly March for  Brighton’s first goal on Sunday.

The Lions were leading 2-0 when Albion halved the deficit in the 88th minute. Substitute March broke down the left and his cross – despite a partial block – was smashed home by Jurgen Locadia.

Harris had brought on Australian Meredith shortly before. The former Bradford City man slotted in at left-back with Shane Ferguson moving forward to replace Aiden O’Brien.

March’s 95th-minute free-kick was fumbled into the net by Lions keeper David Martin to take the contest into extra-time, with Brighton prevailing 5-4 on penalties.

Harris said: “James and Shane will be disappointed that they let Solly March get down the line – we knew he would be a handful down that side – hence why we had to take Aiden [O’Brien] off, he was cramping in both legs.

Millwall v Brighton & Hove Albion, Emirates FA Cup – Quarter Final, The Den, 17 March 2019.
Photograph by Keith Gillard

“We doubled up with almost two full-backs in that position. They’ll be disappointed he got down the line so easily.

“We had seven blue shirts in the box when Locadia turns. You do have to give credit – it’s one hell of a turn and finish at that moment. 

“But going into the 91st minute I didn’t feel like there was any momentum from Brighton.

Millwall v Brighton & Hove Albion, Emirates FA Cup – Quarter Final, The Den, 17 March 2019.
Photograph by Keith Gillard

“I put Hutch [Shaun Hutchinson] because Chris [Hughton, Brighton manager] put his centre-backs up front – he went five-up so we had to go five at the back. The decision made was to win the game and it was the right decision to make.

“No-one can comprehend, without hindsight, the error that was to follow. It was a bit of an unfortunate set of events that we had changed personnel and then conceded from the last kick of the game.”

See tomorrow’s South London Press for more reaction from Neil Harris.


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