Report: Blackburn Rovers 2-0 Millwall

MILLWALL missed the chance to close the gap on relegation rivals Rotherham as two late goals consigned them to defeat at Blackburn.

The visitors had the Lion's share of the goalscoring opportunities but after failing to make their dominance count, they were punished by clinical strikes at the other end.

Magaye Gueye had gone close with a ferocious volley in the first half before Martyn Woolford's header was cleared off the line in the opening stages of the second.

But with only 12 minutes to go, Rudy Gestede lashed home at the far post after a cross into the box glanced off Sid Nelson's head.

And with Millwall pushing forward in stoppage time – during which they contrived to miss two more excellent chances – Jordan Rhodes slotted in a second.

With just two games left to play this season, both of them against teams vying for play-off places, the Lions' Championship status is hanging by a thread.

All eyes are now on the Football League who are deliberating whether to dock three points from Rotherham for fielding an ineligible player.

A deduction could keep the Lions' survival hopes alive – but failing to take their chances as they did at Ewood Park, a common theme this term, could ultimately send them down.

Following Saturday's goalless draw at Cardiff, Neil Harris opted to make two changes to his starting XI.

Lee Gregory, who has run himself into the ground in every game since Harris' appointment, was rested, with Ricardo Fuller coming in up front.

And Gueye, scorer of vital goals against Charlton and Wigan in recent weeks, made his first start since February, replacing Lee Martin on the wing.

It took Millwall just four minutes to carve out the first chance of the match, Fuller's right-wing cross finding Woolford on the edge of the box but the winger dragged his shot wide.

Alan Dunne almost scored an unlikely opener moments later but his cross-shot, struck with the outside of his foot from the corner of the area, drifted just beyond the far corner.

Fuller's flick almost played in Abdou but Jason Steele was quick off his line to smother the danger, before opposite number David Forde was called into action for the first time to deny Paul Taylor.

In the 17th minute, Dan Harding pounced on some hesitant defending to win possession near the byline and his cut-back was met by O'Brien, whose first-time effort was blocked at source by a defender's boot.

O'Brien did test Steele in the 32nd minute after being teed up by Woolford, but the 'keeper was able to make a comfortable save low down at his near post.

Millwall's best opportunity of the half then fell to Gueye, who volleyed over from ten yards when he had more time than he realised to measure his finish.

Steele held another Woolford drive on the stroke of half time but Rovers almost edged in front, against the run of play, when Taylor's sweetly-struck effort was saved at full stretch by Forde.

The Lions were fast out of the traps at the start of the second period and were denied the opening goal by a last-ditch clearance in the 47th minute.

A high cross into the box broke kindly for Woolford who managed to prod his shot past Steele, only for Tommy Spurr to head the ball away from danger on the line.

Fuller then did superbly to get the better of Markus Olsson as the visitors broke quickly from a Blackburn attack, but there was nobody on the end of the striker's teasing pull-back across the face of goal.

Harris' men were given a scare when Chris Brown looped a header against the bar in the 54th minute, with Dunne in the right place at the right time to hook the rebound to safety.

Gueye fired tamely into the arms of Steele from Harding's pass before being replaced by Paris Cowan-Hall, with Gregory also coming on for Fuller.

And Cowan-Hall, making his first appearance since returning from an ankle injury, almost bagged his first Millwall goal when he went clean through, only for Steele to thwart him in a one-on-one duel.

Ten minutes later, Blackburn took the lead through Gestede's emphatic finish at the far post – his 20th goal of the season.

Tom Cairney should have made it 2-0 soon after but he fired wide of Forde's post from 10 yards with the keeper rooted to the spot.

Millwall came forward again, however, but when sub Gary Taylor-Fletcher flicked the ball on for O'Brien, the youngster was unable to convert and fired straight at Steele.

Taylor-Fletcher then chested down Dunne's diagonal pass but dragged his effort wide of the far corner as yet another good chance went begging.

And Rhodes made sure of the points for Blackburn on the break, running into acres of space behind the Lions' defence before finishing cooly past a stranded Forde.

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

13 thoughts on “Report: Blackburn Rovers 2-0 Millwall

  • April 21, 2015 at 21:59
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    Firstly look how far we have come in such a small space of time. Even blackburn fans saying they didnt deserve it. Much like brentford. Hope one jumps on gueye. Cant have a brilliant game every week, has saved us many times give the bloke a break. Bomber has sorted us out very well.. but as we all know just not consistent in front of goal which is the long term problem. If we can solve this then millwall willl be a constant threat for the future.

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    • April 21, 2015 at 22:07
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      @SLloyd23: at least we are creating plenty of chances. Keep doing that and we might just pull of another survival miracle.

      It's a tall order and we need a Rotherham losing streak with pt deduction but let's wait and see what happens before giving up.

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  • April 21, 2015 at 22:10
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    Robbed! I actually felt sick when it came up on sky sports that we went 1 down. And as for the second goal, what was fordey doing...Narrowing the angle or giving Taylor-Fletcher support up front? Mind you the second goal didn't matter any way.

    Bomber done a fantastic job and if he was given 2-3 more games, we might be more comfortable...he wouldn't have come home with nothing from Rotherham!

    We will wait and see. All we need is the FA and Jackett on our side now!

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