Football: KEVIN SAVE US; Southampton 1 Millwall 1

The People (London, England), January 26, 2003 | Go to article overview

Football: KEVIN SAVE US; Southampton 1 Millwall 1


Byline: Frank WIECHULA

KEVIN DAVIES brought Southampton back from the brink of an FA Cup defeat with a last-gasp leveller against the team he played for earlier this season.

Late substitute Davies, who scored three goals on loan at the Lions, broke Millwall hearts with an 89th minute goal.

It meant Southampton stay alive in the competition after they looked certain to go out following an early goal from man of the match Steve Claridge.

The veteran striker and SP columnist looked to have silenced the Southampton boo-boys with his goal to give Millwall their first-ever FA Cup victory over the South Coast side in six meetings.

But Davies - thrown on in desperation by Saints boss Gordon Strachan 12 minutes from time - saved their skin. He lashed home from close range after fellow sub Jo Tessem's shot was blocked.

It was extremely tough luck on the First Division side, who appeared set for their first foray into the fifth round since 1994-95.

And even more so on Claridge, 36, barracked virtually every time he touched the ball because of his player-boss connections at bitter rivals Portsmouth.

It seemed that Lions manager manager Mark McGhee would take the honours against his best man and best mate - opposite number Gordon Strachan - to give the Saints more FA Cup embarrassment.

For the two previous years Southampton have been ejected from this competition by lower League opposition Rotherham and Tranmere. Millwall were odds-on to do the hat-trick until Davies cashed in.

Southampton were sensational when destroying Spurs in the third round here three weeks ago, but they were made to look very ordinary by a committed, well organised side. After going unbeaten all season at home - a 14-game run at fortress St Mary's, Southampton had lost for the first time last week against Liverpool. And Millwall were moments away from a second away win.

The visitors almost took an eighth-minute lead when Saints' cult defender Francis Benali, making his first appearance since September 2001, cleared off the line from Claridge. …

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Football: KEVIN SAVE US; Southampton 1 Millwall 1
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