Millwall 3 Blackpool 1 match report: Thomas Ince overshadowed as Steve Morison helps Millwall off bottom


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The Independent Football

Blackpool missed a chance to pull clear at the top of the Championship as Millwall eased the pressure on under-fire manager Steve Lomas with their first victory of the season.

Millwall move off the bottom with three points that, in front of watching American chairman John Berylson, might just have saved under-fire Lomas – who replaced Kenny Jackett in the summer – from the sack.

Yet to be fully accepted by Millwall fans because of his West Ham connections, he desperately needed this after Saturday's 5-1 home drubbing by Derby County.

Thomas Ince had Blackpool on course for a fourth straight win but Liam Trotter's penalty and goals from Nicky Bailey and Steve Morison stunned the in-form Seasiders. A first defeat in seven sees Paul Ince's side drop out of the automatic promotion places and below Leicester and Queen's Park Rangers, who host Brighton tomorrow night.

Blackpool went ahead on the quarter-hour when Ince pounced on a weak header from Mark Beevers before thumping his third of the season past goalkeeper David Forde from 16 yards.

In response, Martyn Woolford's header hit the inside of the post before bouncing off a motionless Matt Gilks and away from danger. Things have not gone for Lomas since he replaced Kenny Jackett in the summer and the Northern Irishman desperately needed a break.

He got exactly that in first-half injury time, when Isaiah Osbourne was adjudged to have handled in the area and Trotter levelled from the spot.

Ince, who again showed why he is considered the brightest talent outside of the Premier League, curled over before Bailey took advantage of some generous Blackpool marking to volley home from a corner after 73 minutes.

Morison, the former Norwich striker who was returning from over a month on the sidelines with a hernia injury, came off the bench to score a superb third a minute later.

Despite this defeat, the future still looks bright for Blackpool but the outlook is looking a lot less bleak for Lomas and Millwall, who climb out of the relegation zone.

Millwall (4-3-3): Forde; Dunne, Robinson, Beevers, Malone; Abdou, Trotter (Chaplow, 72), Bailey; McDonald (Morison, 60), Waghorn, Woolford (Martin, 82). Substitutes not used Bywater, Osborne, Connolly, Henry.

Blackpool (4-3-3:) Gilks, Basham, Broadfoot, MacKenzie, Harris; Ferguson, Osbourne Delfouneso, 59), Angel (Dobbie, 76); Bishop, Ince, Fuller (Tyson, 72). Substitutes not used Halstead, Orr, Zeegelaar, Chopra.

Referee S Bratt (West Midlands)

Freedman still without win as Foxes go top

Pressure is mounting on Bolton manager Dougie Freedman as his side failed to record their first win of the season at the seventh attempt. They needed an equaliser from Chris Eagles after Jonny Russell's double for Derby to earn a point that leaves them bottom of the Championship table.

Elsewhere, Leicester went top after a penalty from David Nugent set up a 2-1 win over Blackburn, while goals from Matt Derbsyhire and Darius Henderson salvaged a point for Nottingham Forest against Middlesbrough. Burnley recorded a comfortable 3-0 win over struggling Birmingham City while Watford's Lewis McGugan scored twice in their win over Doncaster. Meanwhile, a Marc Pugh goal for Bournemouth nine minutes from time was enough for them to beat Barnsley.

Ed Aarons