Millwall 0 Blackburn Rovers 2 – Lions suffer first Den loss since November

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Millwall’s four-game unbeaten run was ended as Blackburn Rovers struck late on in an instantly forgettable Championship clash.

The Lions looked the side more likely to break the deadlock in a game that was ultra low on quality but a hugely fortunate 86th minute opener by Joe Nuttall was quickly followed by substitute Adam Armstrong extending the Lancashire outfit’s lead.

Armstrong’s low cross was met by James Meredith but he could only divert the ball onto centre-back Shaun Hutchinson – the ball then skidding off the head of Nuttall on its way into the back of the net. The Rovers frontman could claim zero intent.

A second quickly followed to slam the door shut on any hopes of a comeback.

Blackburn broke with purpose and it ended with Armstrong cutting inside on to his right foot and driving a low shot in via the foot of the post.

The first 45 minutes were devoid of chances.

The Lions were not helped when they lost Tom Elliott inside the opening two minutes as the big striker suffered an injury to his left arm. Steve Morison was on a whole lot earlier than expected.

Not for the first time at The Den this season there was also a change of official. Robert Jones went off with an injury on 24 minutes to be replaced by fourth official Gavin Ward for the remainder of the first half.

The first effort of note came in the 52nd minute as Aiden O’Brien headed a Jed Wallace cross from the right wide of the upright. It never looked like going in.

The wait for a shot on target ended just after the hour mark. Ryan Leonard got a good connection on his effort and it was batted away by David Raya in the Rovers goal.

Blackburn had managed to create even less. Jack Rodwell looped a near-post header over from a Harrison Reed corner on 65 minutes.

Millwall boss Neil Harris opted to bring on Lee Gregory for O’Brien in the 68th minute in an attempt to find that extra bit of quality in the final third.

Raya was needed again to foil Mahlon Romeo at his near post with 11 minutes remaining and then Ryan Tunnicliffe sent a strike sailing over from Leonard’s nod-down.

Blackburn have scored in their last nine matches at The Den. And the late double inflicted a first home loss on Millwall since November 28.

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