Millwall 1-1 Southampton: Daily Mirror match report
Published 21:07 29/01/12 By Ann Gripper
Millwall's match-saver Darius Henderson is reaping the rewards of refocusing on football after a “complete nightmare” season.
The 30-year-old striker moved to the Den last summer after being relegated with Sheffield United and has now scored 16 times for the Lions.
That haul includes seven goals in his last three games, the most recent a cool hook over his shoulder four minutes from time to ensure his side could still play host to Bolton in the fifth round.
Henderson still feels there is room for improvement 10 months on from his return after a long-term injury.
But spending more time with his family and less on the motorway is making a big difference.
He said: “At the start of this season I was determined to turn it around after the worst season of my career.
“My dedication to football and being an athlete has been impeccable this year.
“My lifestyle in terms of dedication to football is a lot better than it has been.
“I’m living back down south, where my children live, so I’m not up and down the motorway all the time.
“It was difficult being away. I’ve got three young boys and they are wanting to see their dad every day and I’m up in Sheffield.
“However, it’s a different circumstance now and I can see them more often. It’s certainly helps me.”
This all-Championship clash may only have attracted 8,278 fans, but the noise created by those who still believe in the Cup’s magic made up for the empty seats.
Millwall hit the woodwork inside two minutes, Liam Feeney’s low shot curving agonisingly away and slamming into the base of the post.
Soon afterwards on-loan Spurs striker Harry Kane was left red-faced after shinning over when it seemed easier to score.
Henderson brought a save from Bartosz Bialkowski before Rickie Lambert signalled his return from a red-card ban by rocketing a free kick off the stanchion.
And Lambert showed his scoring touch had survived his enforced time out when he headed home Dan Harding’s cross.
Millwall, who were so injury-hit they could name only five substitutes, pressed hard for an equaliser after the break and Henderson’s late leveller was no more than they deserved.