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Match Report


Posted Tue 22 May 12 at 10:31 AM

A sizzling late leveller

Harry Kane struck a sizzling late leveller as Millwall finished the season unbeaten in seven games - and as the highest placed club in south London.....

Spurs loanee Kane belted home his ninth goal in a Lions shirt to level the score up after Andy Keogh's cracking 11th-minute opener had been cancelled out by an Ian Evatt header (27mins) and Nouha Dicko (71mins).

"We more than matched them, and the game went one way and then the other," said Lions boss Kenny Jackett.

"I was disappointed with the first goal we conceded, but we fully deserved the draw. We are now 17 points off relegation and our fans will be pleased we caught Palace, who were 15 points ahead of us at one stage. It was a very good end to the season and we can take a lot of confidence going forward."

Having kicked off the 2011/12 campaign with a 2-2 draw at Reading The Lions served up another four-goal thriller against a Blackpool outfit with one eye on an immediate return to the top flight via the Play-Offs.

Jackett named an unchanged team for the second successive game whilst Blackpool boss Ian Holloway used the opportunity to rest five key players.

It was no surprise that the new-look Seasiders took a while to settle as they struggled to cope with the pace, power and precision of the lithesome Lions.

A snap shot from Kane produced a fine save from visiting keeper Michael Gilks, who clawed the ball away as Millwall carved out a succession of early opportunities.

James Henry twice hit the target with efforts that were comfortably dealt with by Gilks, as did Liam Trotter in an opening 10 minutes dominated by The Lions - and watched by the third highest home crowd this season.

Millwall didn't have to wait long for a goal that reflected their early promise and possession. Henry's sublime arrowed through ball was inch perfect to the feet of Keogh, who made a difficult curling finish look oh so easy as he placed his shot past the reach of Gilks and into the back of the net.

It could have been 2-0 minutes later, only this time skipper Paul Robinson's downward header from another delicious Henry delivery bounced up and rolled along the top of the crossbar.

However as the half developed, so Blackpool's composure grew and they duly levelled when a fine cross from the left by Stephen Crainey was met by Evatt, whose diving header was just beyond the reach of Maik Taylor in the Millwall goal.

Tom Ince's curling freekick was too close for comfort as the visitors went close to adding a second goal whilst it took some outstanding work by Jimmy Abdou to prevent the same player again. Shane Lowry's back pass was intercepted by Kevin Phillips and he squared to Ince six yards out and with the goal at his mercy. Who should be there but newly crowned Player of the Year Abdou whose challenge not only saved a certain second goal, but won a goal-kick in the process. That, is how you make a tackle!

Abdou was on hand seconds after the restart with yet another impeccable interception from Ince as Blackpool went in search of a second goal.

With both teams clearly enjoying a free-flowing game, helped by the sensible refereeing of Stuart Attwell, you always sensed more goals would follow.

Unfortunately for Millwall, Trotter's curling strike floated over the bar and he then had a header from Henry's corner cleared off the line as the home side were thwarted.

And it was Blackpool who went in front on 71 minutes when Dicko met Crainey's cross and lashed home from close range.

However, urged on by the home fans once again and sparked by the introduction of sub Shaun Batt, Millwall finished strongly and Kane's brilliant strike following an extended period of pressure was no more than the home side - and supporters - deserved.

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