Quite a good Cup tie, really, though it would have been considerably improved had Luton benefited from an early defensive calamity, rather than conceded from one. There was no shame in this, though, and Millwall's superiority was not as emphatic as the final score might make it seem, though it cannot be argued that the visitors didn't deserve to go through. Millwall aren't a wonderful team, but they are good enough to punish egregious errors, or take advantage of lumbering, ponderous defenders. A place in the quarter-finals is their reward. A good chunk o'cash and some happy memories are Luton's.
Cheers for your company. May I encourage you to follow the 3pm kick-offs in the company of Tom Bryant, who is helming the Saturday Football Clockwatch? Thanks. Bye!
Ronnie Henry is forced to flee the pitch in fear … because a police officer nearby is holding an impossibly angry-looking alsatian who appears to want him for dinner.
It's all over – final score: Luton 0-3 Millwall
90+4 min: A few seconds before the end of the promised fourth added minute, the final whistle is blown.
90+3 min: Chance for Luton! A horribly mishit header from a corner falls to Jon Shaw, whose low shot from an acute angle is saved.
90+2 min: Mark Beevers gets a late booking, for taking out Stuart Fleetwood on the right wing.
90 min: We've just slipped into the first of four minutes' stoppage time.
88 min: Millwall bring Adam Smith on for James Henry, while a handful of other players engage in some pushing and shoving in the middle, involving Luton's captain, Ronnie Henry, and Millwall's Shane Lowry.
GOAL! Luton 0-3 Millwall (N'Guessan 86)
The ball is worked from left to right, Tyler saves Marquis' shot and N'Guessan taps in the rebound. Game totally over.
83 min: Another Luton attack peters out. Meanwhile in Portugal, Ricardo Aguiar is watching the match on German TV and says the fans' cursing is so clear "even the German commentator is laughing about it".
80 min: Lawless shoots wide from 25 yards, but Luton's attacks have been less convincing since they threw on all those extra strikers.
76 min: Unless you're listening to this game on quite good headphones, as I am, there's a chance you won't be able to hear the incredible amount of filthy, filthy swearing that's going on in the background.
75 min: And Millwall head down the other end and damn nearly show them how it's done, Tyler saving well from Keogh. And seconds later he has another chance, meeting Henry's cross from the left but mis-cueing his free header wide from five yards. That's the best chance of the game.
74 min: Luton continue to attack, and still can't do it well enough to score. The latest move peters out when Shaw fins Rendell, whose miscontrol sends the ball to the keeper.
70 min: Another sub, this time for Millwall. John Marquis comes on, replacing Rob Hulse.
68 min: Millwall break, and find Hulse at the back stick with a cross from the left, but the angle is too acute to shoot, and his centre doesn't find N'Guessan. Luton make another change: Jon Shaw is on, and Mendy is off. It's another striker. They're up to four now.
66 min: Nearly another lucky break for Millwall: N'Guessan shoots from 20-odd yards and the ball deflects off a defender into the patch of Keogh, but the keeper comes out well and the striker shoots over the bar.
64 min: Substitution for Luton: JJ O'Donnell is off, and Stuart Fleetwood is on. It's another striker.
63 min: Lovely run by Gray, coming in from the right wing, spotted by Jonathan Smith and picked out with a lovely pass, but Gray's first touch is terrible, and the ball trundles to the keeper.
62 min: Substitution for Millwall: Dany N'Guessan comes on for Liam Feeney.
61 min: Luton continue to labour in a vaguely threatening way. They need, and probably deserve, a break, but Millwall seem disinclined to give them one.
58 min: Millwall haven't done much this half, nor do they need to. Rendell is now in a vicious funk, and may need substituting.
55 min: Luton win a corner on the right, which is swung into the mixer where Kovacs thumps a header high.
54 min: Two minutes later Rendell touches a Millwall player in the back with his fingers – really, his fingers, he doesn't even go the full palm – and the Lions do get a free-kick. This one-two of anti-Rendell decisions are clearly unfair, but he makes the mistake of pointing this out to the referee, and is booked.
52 min: Luton kick the ball up to Scott Rendell, who is sandwiched between two defenders, fouled by at least one of them, and then, on his way down, is hit in the face by the ball. After all that, he doesn't even get a free kick.
50 min: I wouldn't want to swap places with Janos Kovacs right now. Culpable for both goals, and missed Luton's best chance. Luton fans wouldn't want me to swap places with Janos Kovacs either, mind.
48 min: Millwall win a free kick on the left, and James Henry insist on re-lacing his boots before taking it. Humbug. Meanwhile: "Bedfordshire Police have said there have been some scuffles involving fans at the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Luton and Millwall. Two people have been arrested."
46 min: They're off! Again!
The players are back out. Luton still have a chance, but have no further wriggle room. Action imminent.
45+3 min: And that's yer lot, for now.
45+2 min: Great chance for Luton! Howells takes a corner from the right, and the ball curls straight to Janos Kovacs, level with the far post. He might just get a nudge from Karleigh Osborne just before it arrives, but for some reason Kovacs heads away from goal, rather than towards it.
45 min: As David Forde timewastes before taking another goal-kick, three minutes of stoppage time are signalled.
44 min: This is a bit harsh. Millwall haven't created a single good chance, and Luton have done better in their opponents' final third. But a gift-wrapped first and a bolt-from-the-blue second has left them with a very difficult task.
40 min: Increasingly academic-looking historical debate: "If memory serves me right, Luton Town will not be the first non league team to reach the quarter finals since 1914," point-of-informations Dave O'Flaherty. "Bishop Auckland got there in 1955, when they were defeated by fellow giant-killers York City, of the Third Division North, who were then beaten by the eventual cup winners, Newcastle United." You, Mr O'Flaherty, have a long memory.
Update: Dave O'Flaherty emails back, an hour or so later, to say: "York City beat Bishop Auckland in the fourth round, not the sixth, as I previously stated. I think I must be going senile!"
GOAL! Ludicrous-angle overhead-lob goal! Luton 0-2 Millwall (Hulse 36)
Henry crosses from the right to Hulse on the far post. His first attempted header is useless, skimming off his forehead up into the air. Whereupon he turns round, back to goal, and hooks the falling ball over his shoulder, over the goalkeeper, and watches it plop just inside the far post.
34 min: Millwall continue to take as long as possible over restarts. I'm not the only one to notice, either.
32 min: A decent spell of pressure from Luton, during which Alex Lawless's shot is blocked and Scott Rendell's flies high (but just about stays in the stadium.
30 min: Another lost ball, this one stuck in the gutter of the big stand behind the goal Millwall are shooting towards.
28 min: "Is one of the FA Cup's many problems the fact that a lot of the players just aren't very good?" ponders Gary Naylor, as Hulse's athletic (really) bicycle kick flies over the bar. "Back in the day, ordinary players could compensate with a bit (well, a lot) of blood and thunder and who didn't enjoy that? But now the authorities have seen to it that the more skilful players can't be bullied and, if they can be bothered, they should win. It also makes a lot of matches somewhat bloodless (literally and metaphorically)." I agree up to a point. It often makes matches like, say, Manchester United v Reading a bit dull, but only works when the better team is – not being rude – better than Millwall, or the worse team worse than Luton.
24 min: You know when the ball lands at a goalkeeper's feet with nobody else around him, and he just stands there, wasting as much time as possible before returning it to open play. Millwall's David Forde just did that, in the 24th minute, against Luton. Humbug.
19 min: It's been a very decent opening, played at a good old tempo, with Luton perhaps shading it on balance of play. The goal was from nowhere, a defensive horrorshow, but Luton have shown enough to feel confident of creating more chances – they just need to make sure they don't leak any more goals of their own.
17 min: Another great chance for Luton! This time they hoist a free-kick into the penalty area, it's headed back into the mixer and Arnaud Mendy's half-volley from the edge of the six-yard box is struck like a rocket, but too close to Forde, and a follow-up attempt is blocked.
15 min: Good chance for Luton! Howells passes the ball across the edge of the area, and finds Gray completely unmarked. The striker totally misses the ball with his attempted kick, and the chance is lost.
GOAL! Hideous, miserable, disastrous goal! Luton 0-1 Millwall (Henry 12)
A back-header from Ronnie Henry falls between Kovacs and the Luton keeper. Kovacs doesn't even try to run for it, unaware that just to his left James Henry does. By the time Kovacs sees him coming, he's too late – though he tries an outrageous immediate-red-card tackle, which fortunately doesn't make contact. The Millwall forward goes round Mark Tyler and taps into the empty net.
10 min: Kenny Jackett, the Millwall manager, spent his entire playing career at Watford, and a decent chunk of his coaching career as well, and is being regularly reminded of the fact by the Luton fans.
7 min: Feeney crosses from the right, and Keogh wins the ball in the middle, but the header is weak and off target.
6 min: Gray escapes his marker on the left, but tries an outlandish shot from a yard inside the byline, which the keeper bats away.
3 min: Seconds later Hulse outsprints Janos Kovacs into the inside-left channel, but drags his shot across goal with his left foot.
3 min: The first shot on target, a snap-shot from Luton's André Gray that floats straight down the middle of goal into the keeper's hands.
1 min: The first replacement ball is called for, after Greg Taylor's clearance rolls down the roof of the little stand entirely composed of executive boxes and out of the ground.
1 min: It's happening.
The players are out, the coin tosses, to ups warm. It's about to happen.
Kick-off a few minutes away now. The teams are in the tunnel. No reports of any crowd trouble, incidentally, though from the looks of thing the police aren't taking any chances.
Steve Pye has asked me to link to his blog on the 1985 FA Cup fifth round. "A round of snow, TV rows, fixture congestion, a replay marathon and crowd trouble", I'm told. Here's the link.
"We think it'll be quite an intimidating atmosphere here," says Kenny Jackett, who explains that Danny Shittu has picked up a minor ankle injury in training. "We'll have to play the game, not the occasion. It's a decent day, the pitch is slightly cut up. There's no doubt you have to be positive in any situation, and we see this as a fantastic opportunity, one we want to take."
The teams are in!
And they look like this. JJ O'DConnell, on the left wing, and striker André Gray are Luton's big threats, according to Brian Stein.
Luton: Tyler, Taylor, Henry, Kovacs, Howells, Lawless, Smith, Mendy, O'Donnell, Rendell, Gray. Subs: Brill, Shaw, Fleetwood, Lacey, Robinson, Woolley, Longden.
Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Beevers, Osborne, Lowry, Henry, Trotter, Abdou, Feeney, Hulse, Keogh. Subs: Maik Taylor, Wright, Marquis, N'Guessan, Goodman, Adam Smith, Malone.
Referee: Lee Probert.
John Hartson is on ESPN right now, reminiscing about his time at Luton, where his career began. He was back this week, apparently for the first time since he left in 1995. Luton have lost three of four league games since they beat Norwich in round four, drawing the other, but hopefully the Cup and the TV cameras will wake them from their torpor.
Good afternoon world! Looking forward to this one. No non-league side has reached the FA Cup sixth round for 99 years, since QPR did it in 1914. That's a lot of history. I've seen Millwall a couple of times this season and been impressed, though I haven't seen them since Chris Wood left last month. History, and logic, favours the visitors, but…
Simon will be here from 12.15pm.
In the meantime read Sean Ingle's piece on the mayhem at the 1985 FA Cup quarter-final between the two sides.
Even now, nearly 30 years on, the images haunt the mind's eye. Droogs charging across the Kenilworth Road turf, hurling seats and golf balls at policemen in full retreat. A knife thrown at the home goalkeeper, Les Sealey. The soccer special with its ceilings torn off and innards gutted so completely that a British Rail spokesman said: "It was like a bomb had exploded inside some of the carriages." And the copper trying to revive a colleague who had stopped breathing after being hit with a bottle, while being punched and pummelled himself.
Wednesday 13 March was, said the Guardian, "a night football died a slow death", but a fatality was the only thing missing from the roll call of ultraviolence. Luton's stadium was stripped, houses and cars smashed, and the image of the national game – already bruised by a battery of hooligan incidents – given another going over. The following day England, who had been favourites to host the 1988 European Championship, lost out to West Germany. The Football Association chairman, Bert Millichip, blamed the violence, adding: "The scenes at Luton were the most disgraceful I have seen – and I have seen a lot."