Millwall made waves in the FA Cup 14 years ago by reaching the final of the competition, becoming one of the few second-tier sides to surge all the way to compete for the trophy. The Lions were beaten with ease by their opponents Manchester United at the Millennium Stadium, with Cristiano Ronaldo opening the scoring before half-time, before Ruud van Nistelrooy notched a second-half brace to secure the win for the Red Devils.
Despite the defeat, Milwall’s players were heralded as heroes by their supporters, while their run to the final and United’s top-four finish allowed the club to compete in Europe for the first time in their history. The London-based outfit were drawn against Hungarian side Ferencvaros in the first round of the UEFA Cup, but were bested over two legs ending their quest on the continent.
However, the journey will live long in the memories of the players and the supporters, with one man continuing their exploits this term, aiming to repeat the feat of Dennis Wise’s men. Neil Harris was an essential part of the Millwall team that cruised into the final of the competition, with the forward scoring a crucial goal in their sixth-round win over Tranmere Rovers. The Lions then defeated Sunderland 1-0 at Old Trafford as Tim Cahill found the net to take them to the Millennium Stadium, becoming the first team outside the top flight since the Black Cats to compete in the FA Cup final.
Harris is now in the Millwall dugout and has guided his team into the quarter-finals of the competition, where they face a tricky task away at Tottenham Hotspur. Harris’ side are backed in the latest FA Cup betting odds at 14/1 to claim a victory at White Hart Lane and advance to the last four of the tournament, highlighting the challenge at hand for the League One outfit. The match will be the club’s first on the road in the FA Cup this term, with the previous five matches having being played at The Den. Millwall have been in the competition since the first round, seeing off Southend United and Braintree Town before the stakes were raised when the big boys entered the fray in the third round.
They powered past an under-strength Bournemouth with ease, securing a 3-0 victory with Steve Morison, Shaun Cummings and Shane Ferguson finding the net. Another Premier League team lay in wait in round four in a local derby for the Lions against Watford, and once again they defeated quality opposition with Morison’s late goal firing his team into the fifth round. Despite being reduced to 10 men when Jake Cooper was dismissed in the second half, the Lions topped Premier League champions Leicester City as another late goal put them through as Cummings put his team into the last eight.
This Millwall side seem to have the same spirit as their 2003-04 counterparts and between Morison and Cummings there is the ability to score goals at crucial times – much like Harris and Cahill 14 years ago.
The challenge of quelling Harry Kane will be great and will require a great deal of resilience throughout the contest at White Hart Lane, but Harris’ men are unbeaten in League One and the FA Cup since December 21 and therefore have the talent and the opportunity to make history once again.