Skip to main content

Match Report


Posted Sat 18 Aug 12 at 18:05 PM

Two clinical finishes from Thomas Ince condemned Millwall to defeat as last season's beaten Play-Off finalists Blackpool took the opening day honours at The Den. 
The game, played in sweltering conditions, marked the official opening of the new Barry Kitchener Stand, a lasting tribute to the former Lions legend who passed away in March. 
But Ian Holloway's Tangerines proved to be the proverbial party poopers, running out deserved winners courtesy of Ince's brace. 
Although Kenny Jackett's side matched the visitors in terms of chances created, the killer instinct shown by livewire Ince proved to be the difference. 
Jackett's oufit spurned two glorious opportunities in the opening 25 minutes. Danny Shittu's powerful far post header from James Henry's third-minute corner was blocked on the line before the ball was cleared for another corner. 
Andy Keogh, back in the team following his return from international duty with the Republic of Ireland, should have scored just past the 20-minute mark. Strike partner Darius Henderson did well to keep the ball in play on the right and slipped a neat pass back to Liam Trotter. The latter's clever cross put Keogh through on goal, but keeper Matt Gilks made a vital block with his shins to avert the danger. 
Midfielder Josh Wright then blasted a sizzling volley narrowly wide as The Lions pressed forward. 
In an open encounter, Blackpool posed a threat too and it took the athleticism of Lions stopper Maik Taylor to keep out a Kevin Phillips thunderbolt as the ball flew towards the top right corner. 
However Taylor could do little to prevent the visitors breaking the deadlock in the 32nd-minute when Phillips played a neat one-two with Ince and the former Liverpool man slotted beyond his reach. 
Keogh was a whisker away from connecting with Henry's invitinmg delivery moments after the break and Henderson was blocked as he bore down on goal as Millwall looked to get an early equaliser. 
But with the back four already re-shuffled at half-time with Shittu replaced by Alan Dunne, manager Jackett was forced to make a further change when Jack Smith limped off clutching his thigh. 
Scott Malone dropped back from left midfield and Liam Feeney came on, but within seconds Blackpool had scored their second goal with another smart finish from Ince, holding off the challenge of Shane Lowry before finding the top left-hand corner with a precision left-foot finish. 
Millwall tried to work their way back in, but struggled to create any real clear scoring chances thereafter, although another cracking effort by Wright rippled the side netting and Henry's deep free-kick flew across the face of goal beyond the reach of a trio of team-mates.

Henderson saw a late header drop onto the roof of the net as Millwall kept plugging away, but against a resilient Tangerines rearguard, there was to be no way through.

Booking: Keogh (63mins) 
Millwall:  M.Taylor, Smith (Feeney, 60mins), Lowry, Wright, Ward, Shittu (Dunne, 46mins), Malone, Trotter, Henderson, Keogh, Henry. Subs not used: Forde, Marquis, Batt, Abdou, Osborne.

Blackpool:Gilks, Crainey, Eardley, Evatt, Gomes (Dicko, 57mins), Phillips (Cathcart, 80mins), Ince, Taylor-Fletcher (Grandin, 61mins), Baptiste, Ferguson, Osbourne. Subs not used: Robertson, Halstead, Barkhuizen, Angel. 
Booking: Osbourne (63mins) 
Scorer: Ince (32, 60mins) 

Ref: O.Langford 
Att: 11.010 (away 756)

    Latest Match Reports