Report: Millwall 0-2 Blackpool

MILLWALL made a sluggish start to the new Championship season as they were beaten 2-0 by Blackpool on the opening day.

Former Liverpool midfielder Thomas Ince scored either side of half-time to condemn the Lions to their first league defeat in eight matches on a sweltering afternoon at The Den.

Kenny Jackett’s side made a bright start to the match and spurned two-guilt edge chances before Ince put the visitors ahead against the run of play.

The first of those opportunites came in the third minute as Danny Shittu’s towering header from James Henry’s corner was blocked on the line and cleared behind for a corner.

Striker Andy Keogh, back in the side after returning from international duty with the Republic of Ireland, should of scored the opening goal moments later when Liam Trotter’s clever cross put him through, but keeper Matt Giks parried his close-range effort.

Josh Wright then blasted a long-range volley narrowly wide as Millwall looked to make the breakthrough, but they were hit with a sucker punch at the other end as Ince exchanged passes with Kevin Phillips before curling a shot beyond Maik Taylor in the 31st minute.

And after a quiet start to the second-half, Ince brought the game back to life with another smart finish, holding off the challenge of Shane Lowry before placing a shot into the top left-hand corner just after the hour mark.

The Lions struggled to carve out many clear-cut chances thereafter, although a fine individual effort from Wright flew narrowly wide and Darius Henderon’s header dropped the wrong side of the crossbar.

But Blackpool held on for what was ultimately a comfortable three points, leaving Jackett’s men without a win in their first two competitive matches of the campaign.

Millwall: M.Taylor, Smith (Feeney, 60mins), Lowry, Wright, Ward, Shittu (Dunne, 46mins), Malone, Trotter, Henderson, Keogh, Henry. Subs not used: Forde, Marquis, Batt, Abdou, Osborne.

Blackpool: Gilks, Crainey, Eardley, Evatt, Gomes (Dicko, 57mins), Phillips (Cathcart, 80mins), Ince, Taylor-Fletcher (Grandin, 61mins), Baptiste, Ferguson, Osbourne. Subs not used: Robertson, Halstead, Barkhuizen, Angel.