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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 10 Jan 15 at 17:00 PM

Report: Blackpool 1 Millwall 0

Peter Clarke's first goal since his Blackpool returned helped secure three crucial points over relegation rivals Millwall at Bloomfield Road.
 
The defender met Jamie O'Hara's free-kick midway through the first half to settle a scrappy affair the way of the hosts.
 
The victory brought in 2015 on a positive note in the league, and closed the gap between Pool and both The Lions and Wigan Athletic at the bottom of The Championship.
 
In a game of few chances it was the result which mattered most, as Ian Holloway endured another disappointing return to Bloomfield Road.
 
In bitterly cold conditions The Seasiders warmed to the contest quicker, Andrea Orlandi's low drive ensured David Forde was on his toes early on, before O'Hara lashed a strike over.
 
David Perkins, still yet to score for Pool, then bobbled an effort off target, before Darren O'Dea finally succumbed to an ankle injury and was replaced by Grant Hall, who was making his debut for the club.
 
And the hosts were thankful for some brilliant positional sense from Clarke minutes later, who was on hand to clear Martyn Woolford's header off the line, with Joe Lewis beaten.
 
Nonetheless Pool were the better side, and debutant Connor Oliver shot at Forde moments later. At the other end Lewis did well to cling onto Scott McDonald's low drive.
 
However with the next attack Blackpool took the lead, and it was fitting for a scrapping first 34 minutes. Clarke rose above his marker to meet O'Hara's free-kick and squeeze his header between Forde and the post.
 
Millwall cranked up the pressure on Pool from that point to no avail, and were then grateful when Hall headed O'Hara's corner off target in first-half stoppage time.
 
Half Time: Blackpool 1 Millwall 0
 
Desperate for the second goal Blackpool continued their positivity into the second half, and after O'Hara's halfway-line shot sailed over Steven Davies blasted his strike off target.
 
At the other end Ricardo Fuller blazed over on his return to Bloomfield Road, before Connor Oliver was replaced by Alex Henshall for the hosts.
 
Millwall substitute Stefan Maierhofer then shot over, before Davies was replaced by Saer Sene, the fourth debutant of the afternoon.
 
Millwall's Scott McDonald wasted their next chance, before Maierhofer sliced wide with the goal gaping. The momentum was certainly with The Lions going into the last ten minutes, with Magaye Gueye was next to shoot over.
 
The visitors were lining up to shoot, with Lee Gregory adding to the collection with a wild effort.
 
On 80 minutes the vanishing spray was used for the first time at Bloomfield Road, but unfortunately O'Hara's free-kick didn't create the same excitement in the stands.
 
As the board went up for four added minutes Andy Wilkinson's overhead kick sailed harmlessly over Pool's bar and while Orlandi shot over at the other end it mattered little, as Blackpool held on for victory.
 
Full Time: Blackpool 1 Millwall 0
 
By Mark Ridgway

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