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Match Report

 

Posted Tue 17 Sep 13 at 21:35 PM

Full-time from The Den

Millwall picked the perfect time to record their first win of the season as they stunned table-topping Blackpool with a thumping 3-1 victory.

Tom Ince (16mins) fired the visitors ahead but Liam Trotter kept his nerve to level from the peanlty spot on the stroke of half-time before a couple of corkers from Nicky Bailey (73mins) and Steve Morison (74mins) wrapped up the three points.

It was a night of firsts for The Lions who saw striker Martyn Waghorn make his first start for Steve Lomas' team, a first League appearance for skipper Paul Robinson in 12 months and for Trotter a first start of the season, plus a first goal for midfielder Bailey too.

Having suffered a disappointing start to the season this was a performance that will fill manager Lomas, his players and the fans with real hope as The Lions showed character, cohesion, quality and a killer touch in front of goal to eventually run out comfortable winners.

Lomas made six changes to the team that started against Derby with Robinson, Alan Dunne, Jimmy Abdou, Liam Trotter, Scott Malone and Waghorn coming into the side.

The Lions started brightly, just as they have done in most games this season, and Waghorn forced Blackpool keeper Matt Gilks into a sprawling save with a 30-yarder that was too hot for the keeper to hold.

But unfortunately a weak headed clearance by Mark Beevers fell invitingly for Ince just past the quarter-hour mark and the Blackpool man lashed the ball past David Forde and into the bottom corner to put Blackpool 1-0 up.

Credit to The Lions though as the players, clearly spurred on by the fantastic vocal support of the crowd, responded positively and without any sign of panic.

Slowly but surely Millwall began to turn the screw and they were denied an equaliser when Martyn Woolford's powerful header from a Waghorn cross smashed against the woodwork.

However that relentless pressure paid off deep into first-half injury-time when Isaiah Osbourne palmed the ball away as Abdou prepared to shoot. Referee Stephen Bratt had no hesitation pointing to the spot, and despite a two-minute delay during which the official was surrounded by visiting players, Lions midfielder Trotter kept his cool and calmly despatched a perfect penalty to level the score up.

That goal was all the impetus Millwall needed and rather than go in at the break trailing, Lomas' charges came out looking confident - and like they really meant business.

With The Den faithful now in full voice The Seasiders were rocking and The Lions sensed that if they stuck to their game plan, this was a game they could power on and win.

That is exactly what happened with two superb goals in as many minutes as  the game entered the final 20 minutes.

Woolford’s corner from the left was missed by a host of visiting players and was picked up by Bailey, who hit a crisp volley that left Gilks grasping at thin air.

The celebrations were still in full swing when, straight from the kick-off, Blackpool gave away possession cheaply to Dunne. He in turn dinked the ball forward for sub Morison, who surged forward and hit an unstoppable shot into the top corner for his first goal in his second spell at The Den.

It was a goal worthy of gracing any stage and gave Millwall a two-goal cushion that they looked in no danger of relinquishing.

The closest Blackpool came to reducing the arrears was in the second of six minutes of injury-time, but Lions stopper Forde was more than equal to a volley from Neal Bishop and the points were safe for a most welcome win.

Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Malone, Robinson, Beevers, Abdou, Trotter (Chaplow, 73mins), Bailey, Woolford (Martin, 82mins), McDonald (Morison, 61mins), Waghorn. Subs not used: Bywater, Osborne, Connolly, Henry. 
Booking: Bailey (76mins) 
Scorers: Trotter (pen, 45+1min), Bailey (73mins), Morison (74mins) 

Blackpool: Gilks, Broadfoot, Mackenzie, Harris, Bishop, Basham, Ferguson, Osbourne (Delfouneso, 61mins), Martinez (Dobbie, 77mins), Ince, Fuller (Tyson, 74mins). Subs not used: Halstead, Orr, Chopra, Zeegelar. 
Booking: Fuller (45+1mins)
Scorer: Ince (16mins)

Ref: S.Bratt 
Att: 8,415 (att 423)

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