SUBSTITUTE Liam Feeney propelled Millwall into the FA Cup fifth round by netting a superb stoppage-time goal in last night’s replay at Southampton.
The 25-year-old’s last-gasp effort proved the difference against the Championship promotion-chasers at St Mary’s and sets up a home tie with Bolton. Millwall broke the deadlock after 17 minutes when Liam Trotter struck home from close range.
Adam Lallana pegged the visitors back with a superb solo goal and after the break substitute Rickie Lambert fired Southampton into the lead.
For all of the home side’s attacking intent, goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski was being called into action regularly and was beaten by former Saints loanee Dany N’Guessan with 11 minutes remaining.
The match looked to be heading for extra time until Feeney cut in from the left to curl in a stunning 3-2 winner in stoppage time.
Nathan Redmond enhanced his reputation with a superbly-taken late volley which fired Birmingham up to third in the Championship.
The highly-rated 17-year-old sub was brought on to bring life to City’s attack and he did just that, with his 86th-minute swivelled volley seeing off Portsmouth, 1-0.
Fellow promising youngster Jordon Mutch had not long gone closest for City with a 25-yard strike which hit the outside of a post, but Blues, who have now found the net 20 times in the final nine minutes of games, produced yet another late show to move within two points of the automatic promotion places.
Pompey, fighting for their financial survival having been issued with a winding-up order over an unpaid tax bill, showed plenty of spirit, especially in an evenly-balanced first half which saw Joel Ward bring a super save from Blues goalkeeper Boaz Myhill.
Birmingham’s last game in hand following their European exertions finally brings them up to speed with the rest of the Championship, this their 41st of the campaign as opposed to Pompey’s 30th.
Using his programme notes ahead of the encounter, manager Chris Hughton wrote: “After tonight’s game we will see a true reflection of where we stand in terms of the other promotion candidates.”
Thanks to Redmond’s late goal, they are now hot on the heels of Southampton and West Ham.