LIONS GRAB LIFELINE
Alan Walker 's insatiable appetite for goal
|QPR (1) 2
|Millwall (0) 1
provided Millwall with a Littlewoods Cup lifeline,
just when it looked as though all the Lions hard
work was going to go unrewarded.
If any further evidence of
as a force to be reckoned with was needed, John
Docherty's new-look team provided it in the
volatile atmosphere of Loftus Road.
Roared on by 5,000 of their own fanatical
supporters, Millwall adapted to QPR's
controversial plastic pitch and made nonsence of
Rangers' proud position at the top of the First
Tony Cascarino had a header brilliantly tipped
onto the bar by David Seaman and George
Lawrence hit a post, as Millwall threatened
to overrun their illustrious opponents.
|Alan's crucial strike
But danger-man Gary Bannister silenced the
Millwall fans when he fired into the roof of the net
after 38 minutes - from Rangers' first worthwhile attack.
And when centre half Alan MacDonald got on the
end of an inch-perfect Kevin Brock cross, it looked
as though Rangers had earned themselves a big
enough cushion for die return leg at die Den on
But Docherty has in-stalled plenty of fighting spirit
into his talented young side and, while their
supporters set up a deafening Zulu style chant,
Millwall's Warriors the Lions roared back into
back into the attack.
Cascarino thought he had cracked Rangers
resistance, but his 20-yard curler went inches
wide and then Seaman got up superbly to tip over
an action-replay effort from
That left the stage set for centre half Walker to
continue his goal happy start to the season with
a header that screamed into the net and sparked
off a wave of celebrations that shook Loftus Road
to its foundations.
It was Walker's third goal of the season and it
could turn out to be the most valuable of his
career with away goals counting double if extra
time in the second leg fails to seperate the sides.
"He's our top scorer now," joked manager
Docherty afterwards. "All the players are trying
to out do Tony
"I thought we adapted surprisingly well to the
pitch and over the 90 minutes it certainly didn't
look as if there was a division between the two
QPR manager Jim Smith paid tribute to Millwall's
players and their supporters.
Golden Goal! Alan Walker powers his header past stranded QPR Keeper Dave Seaman
"I thought they played remarkable well, their
aerial power upset us "Their supporters got
behind them superbly when they were 2-0 down.
"I think I better get in touch with Michael Caine
to help combat the Zulus when we go there."
Horne ****, Salman ***, Coleman ***, Hurlock ****,
Walker ****, Wood ****, Lawrence ***, Briley ***,
Sheringham **, Cascarino ***, O'Callaghan ***.
Sub: Byrne (for Sheringham 76)
Match rating: 4
The Football association may decide to hold an inquiry into the reasons for the delay to the start of the second half of last nights Littlewood's cup tie between Queens's Park Rangers and Millwall at Loftus Road.
Many supporters were forced to flee when Millwall fans ramapaged through the main stand at half time.
Smoke swirls across the pitch (left) as play continues and some spectators left early fearing a repeat at the end of the match, but the fans dispersed quietly
|McLintock predicts problems for Rangers
FORMER Queen 's Park Ranagers captain
Frank McLintock believes that Millwall's twin
strikers, Tony Cascarino and Teddy
Sheringham, could cause his old club major
problems when the two teams continue their
enthralling Littlewoods Cup encounter at
the Den in a fortnight.
Millwall's traditional fighting spirit, revitalised
by the new management team of John
Docherty and his assistant, McLintock,
restricted the First Division leaders to a 2-1
victory in the second round first leg at Loftus
McLintock, who spent four years with
"When we got forward and got our crosses in,
Rangers, playing in the team that finished
First Division runners-up in 1976, said today:
"We had to play a tactical game because
their movement and interchanging is so good,
but for most of the game I felt we were
we gave Rangers problems, and that's what
gives me some optimism for the second leg.
"I think Cascarino and Sheringham could
unsettle them at the back, especially in the,
And they saw last night how good Cascarino
is at turning in a confined area and shooting
"We've obviously got to get at them a bit
more in the second leg, but we've won all
our Second Division matches at home and
they will find our crowd in a very positive
The massive Millwall following provided a
They fought with verve and splendid
intimidating atmosphere at Loftus Road and
the skirmishing by some of their fans in the
main stand, causing the start of the second
half to be delayed, was the only incident to
spoil the evening for the Second Division
commitment to overcome a two-goal
deficit and, after twice hitting the
woodwork, thoroughly deserved Alan
Walker's powerfully headed goal in
the 78th minute.
Rangers enjoyed a lot of possession without
threatening the Millwall goal until the 36th
minute, when Wayne Fereday's deep cross
was headed back into the middle by Dean
Gary Bannister was there to drive past
Brian Horne for his sixth goal of the season.
Even when Alan McDonald headed Kevin
Brock's cross beyond the reach of Horne in
the 65th minute, Millwall retained their shape
and enthusiasm, with Terry Hurlock and Les
Briley bristling with endeavour in midfield
Their persistence was finally rewarded
12 minutes from time!
FANS ARE OKAY SAYS DOC
MILLWALL boss John Docherty today stood by the behaviour of frenzied fans who frightened First
Division leaders QPR to the brink of a Littlewoods Cup upset that turned Loftus Road into a
tinder-box of anxiety.
"I thought our public was fantastic immaculate," enthused Docherty, who went
on to Rangers' plastic pitch after his side's narrow 2-1 defeat last night to give the noisy Millwall
contingent a clenched fist salute.
Docherty 's actions surprised most neutrals and,
certainly all the Rangers' faction, especially after
disturbances during the half-time interval when
smoke-bombs and coins were thrown on to
the pitch and at police.
A gang of Millwall supporters rampaged briefly
through the main stand, causing home supporters
to run for cover.
Luckily, the police were eventually able to
restore order and quell fears of another riot
following the disturbances figured Rangers' game
against Chelsea 12 days ago.
Ironically, the FA will announce the results of an
inquiry into that affair later. today.
Meanwhile, Docherty was unrepentant about his
praise of the Millwall fans. He said "They gave
the team tremendous backing. Just think what
Rangers might achieve with support like that. "
The problems stopped short of full-scale
mayhem, although the police wheeled away a
series of offenders from the crammed corner of
the ground occupied by around 5,000 Millwall fans.
Rangers were clearly unnerved, and manager
Jim Smith admitted: "Obviously, the atmosphere
has a bearing, even though you try to shut out
the noise of the crowd."
Rangers needed two brilliant early saves from
David Seaman, pushing efforts by Tony Cascarino
and George Lawrence against the woodwork.
They seemed to go clear of trouble with goals
by Gary Bannister (38 mins) and Alan McDonald (64).
But Alan Walker's late Millwall reply set up
another suspense night at The Den in two weeks time.