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Southend United 4, Millwall 1
SOUTHEND United stunned Championship club Millwall with a shock 4-1 win in an incredibly eventful FA Cup third round clash at Roots Hall this afternoon.
Goals from Barry Corr, Will Atkinson, Michael Timlin and Ryan Leonard saw the Shrimpers surge through to the next stage of the competition.
But Phil Brown’s side were forced to survive an anxious 15 minute long floodlight failure midway through the first half.
Millwall, who had former Blues striker Neil Harris in charge of their side, could have no complaints about the unexpected defeat.
And they contributed to their own downfall by having striker Jermain Easter sent off just before the break after appearing to stamp on Ben Coker.
That frustrated the Lions and so did a controversial incident after just two minutes when their defender Jack Smith fell to the floor after a clash with Corr.
The Lions felt Smith was elbowed by the Irishman but referee James Adcock opted not to punish the forward.
Smith was able to carry on with his bandaged up and, with nine minutes on the clock, the Shrimpers almost handed the visitors another further blow as they came extremely close to taking the lead.
Anthony Straker saw his initial effort saved by the legs of David Forde before Timlin’s follow up effort was blocked in front of goal by Smith.
But his clearance looped up invitingly for the recalled Corr and his close range header was diverted to safety by Danny Shittu.
Corr was not to be denied for long though and, with 22 minutes on the clock, he put the Shrimpers in front with his first goal in eight games as he climbed high to head a right wing cross from John White in to the bottom left hand corner of the North Bank net.
The effort was Corr’s ninth goal in his last 12 FA Cup games and, just moments later, Atkinson almost doubled Blues’ lead when his header from Ben Coker’s left wing cross was tipped around the left post by Forde.
However, with 27 minutes on the clock the game was called to a halt when the floodlights failed.
Both teams left the pitch for a quarter of an hour before the lights eventually came back on.
But the drama did not stop there as Millwall were then reduced to 10 men in the 44th minute when Easter was dismissed for appearing to stamp on Ben Coker.
The Shrimpers immediately made the most of their extra man when Timlin sent Atkinson running clean through on goal and he kept his composure to chip the advancing Forde from close range.
Blues then extended their lead 12 minutes in to the second half, with Timlin on target for the first time since scoring at Plymouth Argyle in February 2012.
The hard-working midfielder lashed on to a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area and drilled home a low, right footed shot.
Seven minutes later, Millwall got back in to the game with substitute Martyn Woolford neatly controlling a right wing cross from Steve Morison before volleying home from 12 yards.
The Shrimpers hit back and soon came close to extending their lead when Ryan Leonard latched on to a poor defensive clearance and unleashed a stunning 50 yard shot which Forde only just managed to tip over the crossbar.
After that and, with 69 minutes on the clock, Blues made their first change of the game with Marc Laird coming on to replace Conor Clifford.
Freddy Eastwood and Mark Phillips then also entered the action before the Shrimpers wrapped up their win in stoppage time as Leonard charged through before slamming a 16 yard shot in to the top left hand corner of the net.