BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Millwall put in a spirited effort against Chelsea as they lost narrowly at Stamford Bridge to exit the FA Youth Cup at the quarter-final stage.
The Lions were major underdogs for the last-eight clash in west London but the hosts only managed the one goal – Armando Broja converting just past the hour mark.
Milllwall’s players deserve all the applause they get. Good performance. pic.twitter.com/wxlrHCRtr0
— Richard Cawley (@RichCawleySLP) February 27, 2020
Larry McAvoy and Chris Perry’s side were roared on by 1,000 Millwall fans – the club could easily have sold a greater allocation – and they produced big cheers every time that Chelsea misplaced a pass or finished poorly.
The Blues, as expected, had plenty of the ball in the opening period but only had their first shot on target shortly before half-time and it was a comfortable take for keeper Leighton Fanshawe.
Chelsea striker Broja did hit the back of the net but his overhead kick was ruled out as he made contact with Ben Bennett. The groggy Lions left-back had to be stretchered off the pitch.
Millwall defended well in the first 45 minutes but found it hard to make the most of their rare counters.
Broja seemed rattled by the Lions support as he spurned a great chance. Fanshawe could only push out Marcel Lewis’ cross to the Chelsea number nine but he struck wide from relatively close range.
The Lions did win a corner of their own and Alex Mitchell climbed well but could only direct it past the left post.
Wolves were 4-0 down at the break in the previous round – going on to lose 7-0 to the Premier League outfit – but Millwall walked off level.
Broja finally did make the breakthrough for Chelsea on 62 minutes as he converted from close range.
Fanshawe made a couple of important saves in the second period but Chelsea were unable to kill the contest off.
Millwall won a number of corners in the closing stages and Mitchell once again met one first but it was straight at Blues keeper Jake Askew.
The Lions could hold their head high after such a spirited showing and totally deserved the applause as they headed to the away end at the final whistle.
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