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Match Report


Posted Sat 29 Mar 14 at 17:40 PM

Millwall 2 Blackburn 2

Millwall moved off the foot of the table but it was another afternoon of agony as The Lions twice let a precious goal advantage slip against the 10-men of Blackburn Rovers.

Shaun Williams (57mins) kept his cool to slot home the opening goal from the penalty spot after Grant Hanley was shown a straight red card for a foul on Steve Morison. That lead lasted just eight minutes as Rovers hit back through Michael Keane.

Sub Simeon Jackson then looked to have secured three priceless points for Ian Holloway's charges when he stepped up to fire Millwall 2-1 ahead from the penalty spot with just two minutes of normal time remaining.

Unfortunately that lead was short-lived and Rovers sub Josh King stabbed home from close range in the 92nd-minute as The Lions once again paid a heavy price for failing to make their domination count.

Manager Holloway has constantly stressed his belief that this group of players can get Millwall out of the relegation mire and they gave it a really good go against a Rovers side still harbouring outside hopes of gatecrashing the Play-Offs.

Holloway made four changes to the side that faced Birmingham City in midweek, bringing in Mark Beevers, Fred Onyedinma, Shaun Williams and debutant Carlos Edwards with skipper Paul Robinson, Martyn Woolford, Alan Dunne and DJ Campbell the men to miss out. The latter was ineligible to play against his parent club, as was Liam Feeney, currently on-loan at Blackburn from The Lions.

Millwall started like a train, only denied an opening goal by the brilliance of Rovers keeper Paul Robinson. Edwards slipped the ball to Ryan Fredericks, overlapping on the right and his deep delivery picked out Scott McDonald, whose bullet header was athletically tipped over the bar by Robinson.

That sparked three corners in quick succession for the home side, the last of which saw Morison's header gathered on the goal-line.

Rovers looked a real threat on the break and could have taken the lead after seven minutes, but David Forde bravely blocked Luke Varney's effort with Williams clearing as the ball bobbled towards goal.

Owen Garvan went close to opening the deadlock on 15 minutes when he whipped in a free-kick from the right that evaded everyone and smacked against the post with Robinson stranded. The ball broke kindly for Rovers, and in a quick counter-attack Jordan Rhodes fired straight at Forde 12 yards out.

Keane gave the home side a scare midway through the first half with a free header that went over the bar whilst McDonald was thwarted by Robinson before the break as the two teams went in level.

Millwall started the second half in exactly the same positive manner that they had the first, except this time their hard work were rewarded when referee Nigel Miller sent off Hanley as he tangled with Morison in the area in the 57th minute. Williams stepped up and sent Robinson the wrong way with a cool finish from 12 yards.

The Lions were a whisker away from doubling their tally when McDonald let fly from 25 yards, but his shot whistled inches off target.

However, Blackburn hauled themselves level seven minutes later when Craig Conway's corner was missed by Forde and Keane was on hand to fire home.

Millwall, with the home fans again trying their hardest to encourage the players with some loud vocal support, should have scored on 74 minutes when Morison played Jackson through on goal, but he scuffed his effort straight to Robinson.

Remarkably with just under three minutes remaining it looked as if Millwall were finally going to get only their second home win of 2014 when Keane brought down Jackson and referee Miller pointed to the spot for the second time.

Jackson stepped up and calmly rifled his penalty into the bottom corner for his second goal in as many games.

Jackson squandered a glorious opportunity to make the game safe moments later when he was played through by fellow sub Stefan Maierhofer, but his crisp shot was parried by Robinson and the danger cleared.

That miss proved to be costly and with one final devastating sting in the tail, a long throw from Tommy Spurr caused chaos in the home defence deep into injury-time and King took full advantage of the subsequent goalmouth scramble, stabbing the ball home from close range to deny Millwall the three points that would have hauled them level with Barnsley and Charlton.

Millwall: Forde, Fredericks, Williams (Malone, 81mins), Lowry, Beevers, Abdou, Garvan, Onyedinma (Jackson, 59mins), McDonald, Morison, Edwards (Maierhofer, 82mins). Subs not used: Bywater, Robinson, Upson, Woolford.
Booking: McDonald (37mins)
Scorers: Williams (57mins, pen), Jackson (88mins, pen)

Blackburn Rovers: Robinson, Spurr, Kilgallon, Hanley, Dunn (Taylor, 59mins), Rhodes (King, 76mins), Varney, Keane, Williamson, Evans, Conway. Subs not used: Kane, Eastwood, Olsson, Dabo, Cairney.
Booking: Spurr (13mins)
Sending off: Hanley (55mins)
Scorers: Keane (65mins), King (90+2mins)

Ref: N.Miller* (*replaces J Linington)
Att: 8,840 (away 392)

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