Report: Millwall 2-2 Blackburn Rovers

MILLWALL fought back from two goals down to draw with ten men on a night of high drama at The Den.

Lions manager Ian Holloway and assistant Marc Bircham were sent to the stands after Andy Wilkinson was shown a red card in the 61st minute, with Blackburn leading 1-0.

The Stoke loanee's dismissal, for a studs-up challenge on Ben Marshall, prompted a mass brawl on the touchline in which both benches were involved.

Rudy Gestede then headed Rovers further ahead, adding to Shane Duffy's first-half opener, as tempers continued to flare in a poisonous atmosphere.

But the Lions regrouped and Lee Martin's low strike reduced the deficit to one in the 72nd minute.

And 90 seconds before the end of normal time, Shaun Williams arrowed a powerful drive beyond Jason Steele and into the far corner to spark wild scenes of celebration.

Seven minutes were added on by referee Darren Deadman, who was booed off at the end, but Millwall withstood a late flurry of Blackburn chances to claim a point.

As expected, Danny Shittu and Mark Beevers were back in Millwall's starting line up having sat out Saturday's 3-1 defeat at Watford.

The rest of the team was unchanged, although strikers Lee Gregory and Mathias Ranegie were passed fit to return to the bench. Scott Malone was missing through injury.

Blackburn had the first chance of the game in the sixth minute when Jordan Rhodes picked out the advancing full back Alex Baptiste, who lashed the bouncing ball into the side netting.

Millwall started the game poorly and their only sight of goal in the opening 20 minutes was a speculative Matthew Briggs drive that drifted well over.

Rhodes then spurned a good opening for the visitors when he beat David Forde to Markus Olsson's cross only to head wide of the target.

With the Lions struggling to break down a well-drilled Rovers defence, Shaun Williams took the direct route to goal when he blasted a 35-yard shot at Jason Steele, who tipped over.

Scott McDonald also saw an effort kept out by Steele but it was the visitors who took the lead in the 37th minute when Marshall's free kick was put in by Duffy.

Tom Cairney could have made it 2-0 on the stroke of half time but his strike, intended for the bottom corner, flew narrowly past the frame of Forde's goal.

Having been booed off at the break, Millwall came out with renewed energy at the start of the second period.

Williams and Upson both had efforts on goal from the edge of the box before Martin's goal-bound effort was deflected over by Ryan Tunnicliffe.

But when Wilkinson slid in with Marshall for a 50-50 challenge, ref Deadman brandished the red card after encouragement from the Blackburn bench.

Holloway and his staff were furious with the away dugout and a huge melee ensued, with Bircham given his marching orders.

Back on the field, and with the hosts in a temporary state of disarray after going a man down, Gestede headed in a free kick to make it 2-0.

But after excellent hold up play from Ricardo Fuller, Martin dragged a low shot into the corner to pull one back.

Holloway was then ordered to leave the touchline after making one complaint too many to the fourth official and took a seat in the directors box.

He quickly disappeared again, though, and revealed afterwards that he watched the closing minutes of the match on a monitor in his office.

And he "hit the ceiling" when Williams blasted in from the edge of the box to draw Millwall level.

Gestede wasted a guilt-edged opening in the fifth of seven additional minutes as a pulsating match was brought to an end with the score at 2-2.

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

20 thoughts on “Report: Millwall 2-2 Blackburn Rovers

  • November 4, 2014 at 22:08
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    THAT ONE IS FOR THE FA AND THE REFEREE'S ASSOCIATION!

    COME ON YOU LIONS!

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  • November 4, 2014 at 22:08
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    I honestly feel that this team are better than our results and league position suggest.Great spirit being shown BUT the tactics and team formations are letting us down.

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    • November 4, 2014 at 22:13
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      @the verminhater: no doubt our clown of a boss will start with 1 up front again Saturday and only change it if we go a goal down .

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      • November 4, 2014 at 22:30
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        @southstandview: please explain why he is a clown ??? And please tell me who could do better ???

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        • November 5, 2014 at 14:32
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          @cmj23: we are one point better off this season at the same stage as under lomas , he plays a lump like fuller up front on his own and only puts another striker on when we go a goal down , oh and one win in eleven matches , you clearly are taken in by his buffoonery but I'm not , as for another manager , anyone who knows that playing 2 up front at home is the way forward , literally .

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  • November 4, 2014 at 22:13
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    Delighted to see us come back to get the draw but we need to sort out our defending during set pieces asap

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  • November 4, 2014 at 22:17
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    10 men vs 12. What a come back. No one likes us we don't care!

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  • November 4, 2014 at 22:19
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    Sure will get abuse for this

    Still not convinced by holloway I really ain't

    Great point but too often we are starting from behind with one up front and hands tied behind back

    Will add his comment about keeping cool heads to his various other where he says one thing does another

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  • November 4, 2014 at 22:22
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    I wasn't there tonight, but it sounds like the ref was a proper d******* again. And that's no surprise, coz I remember that Huddersfield game in the playoffs when the same ref as today missed 2 or 3 blatant penalties, but managed to see harris handball it in in a crowd. Anyway, does it cost much to take our refereeing problems to higher authorities? I can imagine it does, and I can imagine we've done so already, but why don't we take these inbreds to some kind of court?

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    • November 4, 2014 at 22:25
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      @mfclions: because not only do they ruin the game, but people pay so much money and time to watch these shams. It's like theft really.

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  • November 4, 2014 at 22:26
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    I would say IH is the only person who thinks we should play one up front. It fails every time, for all our sakes play with two up front.

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  • November 4, 2014 at 22:28
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    In the pub .yet again we get a t***** of a ref.but could deny the lions a share of the points..turn around happened when olly was sent away..blackburn & there ref lucky to get out alive..slags

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  • November 4, 2014 at 22:31
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    NO ONE LIKES US WE DONT CARE! F*** refs , F*** the FA. WE ARE WHAT FOOTBALL IS MEANT TO BE ABOUT!

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  • November 4, 2014 at 22:37
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    Ollie LISTEN TO THE FANS Play 2 strikers....stop changing the team ...and stop talking b*******....Blackburn are rubbish

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  • November 4, 2014 at 22:39
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    Obviously not playing 2 up top is not the problem, if we sort out defending from set pieces we statistically have enough goals to win us the points to climb the table

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  • November 4, 2014 at 22:43
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    Did the ref miss two defensive headers and cost us two goals?

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  • November 4, 2014 at 22:44
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    Firstly,brilliant fightback....but what about the usual deja vu issues,lots of possesion but no cutting edge in the last 3rd,the inability to defend set pieces,the need to go behind before we get fired up and the diabolical officiating we face every week!

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  • November 4, 2014 at 22:57
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    Yet another brilliant comeback.
    Superb Millwall.
    That's what Woolford meant when he said we were a million miles away from where we were last year.
    Maybe the same sort of points in comparrison but we would never of had these comebacks at this stage last season. It shows a great team spirit and tells me that the players like playing for the manager.

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  • November 4, 2014 at 23:16
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    Martins goal was good and Williams even better. The ref was a disgrace tonight. A 50/50 challenge by two committed players and because their player rolls around ours gets sent off. Notice he was up again a few minutes later. Our team is so vulnerable at the back it's a real concern. We need two up front and a bit of belief. When we played and passed tonight we looked good but then kept reverting to type by lumping the ball up to Fuller who won 2 headers all night and falls over at the slightest touch. I hope Olly plays two up front and there is similar passion from the fans and players as our tribute to the armed forces will bring media and troops to the Den. It'd also be nice if the FA could perhaps select a ref who doesn't want to make a name for himself and refs properly. Coming back from 2 down with 10 men was a good way to stick two fingers up at that cheating mug. COYL.

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