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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  • April 21, 2015 at 22:10
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    Ongoing problem that has happened all season,just haven't got a finisher,it goes to show tonight,Blackburn were never at the races but had two front men that have scored over 30 between them.let's hope we can keep hold of Gregory and cowan-hall for next year coz they'll be a handful if we do go down to div 1.

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  • April 21, 2015 at 22:23
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    We haven't beaten Cardiff or Blackburn ,two sides who have nothing to play for,what will cost us is our forwards, if you don't score you deserve this result, personally I think we're down,now ambition by the board to bring in a marquee signing, do you think Easter and fuller we're going to worry the other champ sides? We went for the cheaper option,fuller,greggs and it didn't pay off, Harris to his credit has got the best out of a poor average side,good luck to him.

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  • April 21, 2015 at 22:27
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    Facts are facts. Blackburn have nothing to play for, nothing to gain. We have everything to play for with so much to gain! We have been beaten by a half hearted team who couldn`t care less whether they won, lost or drew. Bomber has come in and transformed the team from what they was under Holloway. If he was still manager, no doubt we would be below Blackpool! But facts are facts, if we can`t beat teams that have nothing to play for then we don`t deserve to be in this league!
    I had a bet with a work colleague 3 weeks ago that we would stay in the Championship, he gave me odds of 10/1, I bet 10 quid at the time! We have shown some right heart and grit and clawed our way back from 8 points away from safety to being within touching distance of staying up. Yet again the players have let us down! Not the fans, the players... Night all!!

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  • April 21, 2015 at 23:12
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    True .. Players have let us fans down all year... Do they give a s### .. Me think not.. I have been here before, millwall relegated. Such a bitter pill to swallow . We can't say the writting was not on the wall ...

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  • April 22, 2015 at 00:25
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    Unbelievably, we now have, under Bomber, a very good chance of beating Derby and finishing the weekend above Rotherham by 2 points after the deduction.

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  • April 22, 2015 at 00:35
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    And I'm very bloody tempted to like my own comment.

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  • April 22, 2015 at 13:39
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    Please not foreget that Rotherham regardless of three point deduction or not still have three games to play two at home one away and Wigan are still in with a shout of catching us. We have to be practical and as a club learn from our mistakes that includes our off field staff as well as the playing staff and management. Div 1 has improved since we last played there and if our fate is to be in that league next season lets not be supprised if it takes a couple of seasons to come to terms with it.

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