"All good stories deserve embellishment"
A magical cameo appearance from our wizard on the left-hand side secured Millwall's passage to the next round of the FA Cup, after Shane Ferguson's wand of a left foot produced two stunning goals worthy of winning any football match.
Playing in front of a crowd of just over 5,000, the game started slow and was crying out for a spell or two to produce an entertaining and pulsating cup tie. Millwall started the opening minutes as the better side, but it took until the 12th minute for the first real half-chance of the opening 45 minutes. Murray Wallace picked up the ball and delivered a lovely ball in to Aiden O'Brien in the 12th minute, but the winger could not pull a rabbit out of his hat and produce a moment or wonder and could only watch as the ball went away from him.
In the 28th minute, the Lions came close to taking the lead, when Aiden O'Brien got on the end of a ball that was headed down by Tom Elliott and shook off the last man better than Houdini shakes off his shackles. Bearing down towards goal, O'Brien struck, but the grand finale went up in a puff of smoke as the ball went wide of the far post.
Three minutes later in the 31st minute, the Lions came close again to being 1-0 up but Tom Elliott, Jed Wallace and Ryan Tunnicliffe could not convert the ball that bounced and ricocheted around the penalty area and the ball was cleared.
The Lions continued to show The Tigers why they were the King of the Beasts and came close again in the 36th minute when again Aiden O'Brien struck. Some nice interplay from Jiri Skalak and Mahlon Romeo saw the ball land to O'Brien, but even the best slight of hand could not beat the goalkeeper and O'Brien's efforts could only ripple the side netting. This proved to be the last real action of the first half and the two sides went in at half-time all square.
Although dominating the early stages, Hull were still in the game and produced the opening goal in the 52nd minute. Jon Toral picked up the ball before playing a delayed one-two with Nouha Dicko up front. Dicko superbly played the ball back to Toral who slid the ball underneath Jordan Archer from close range. The away fans were in jubilation as their magician and his assistant up front lapped up the applause.
It could have been two for the away side only two minutes later in the 54th minute, but Dicko could not get a good enough connection on Eric Lichaj's pin point accurate cross and the ball could only sail over for a goal kick.
Millwall had another half chance in the 63rd minute when Jed Wallace connected with a half volley outside the box, but like a simple hankies up your shirt sleeve trick, it was a lacklustre effort and didn't get much of a reaction from the home fans.
Aiden O'Brien came close again for the home side with ten minutes remaining and the Millwall supporters in the home stands leapt with joy out of their seats when the ball left the attacker's boot in the 80th minute, but just like a successful magicians who performed in front of Penn and Teller, this effort fooled us and bounced off of the crossbar when it looked destined to go in.
The pressure from the home side finally paid off when substitute Shane Ferguson picked up the ball from a short Jed Wallace free-kick and raced towards goal. Picking up his magic wand in the 81st minute, the Northern Irish International put a spell on the Hull back-line and they were effortless to stop Ferguson's long range effort hitting the back of Long's goal and bringing Millwall level.
Two minutes later in the 83rd minute, our Gandalf on the left-hand side popped up again and showed how he can produce the seemingly impossible that would leave the fans feeling spellbound. Taking centre stage and unleashing a show that would make David Copperfield blush, Ferguson put a gorgeous free-kick into the top corner and sent the Millwall faithful into ecstasy.
This proved to be the last action of the second half and the full-time whistle after injury time signified Neil Harris' side's progression into the next round of the FA Cup. This game may have given off the illusion that this would be a dull affair, but thanks to two wonderful moments from our little Dynamo in the number 11 shirt, the Lions put on a show that will be fondly remembered.
Millwall: Archer, Cooper, J. Wallace, Romeo, Pearce, Tunnicliffe (Morison 63'), Elliott, O'Brien, M. Wallace (Williams 63'), Skalak (Ferguson 64'), Leonard.
Subs not used: Martin, Meredith, Brown, White.
Hull City: Long, Lichaj, Mazuch, Stewart, Dicko (Lewis-Potter 80'), Toral (Sheaf 75'), Milinkovic, Kane, Batty, McKenzie, Martin.
Subs not used: Marshall, Burke, Evandro, Fleming, Ritson.