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Sky Bet Championship

The Den (ATT 9,877) 30th August 2014 - Kick off 15:00

Millwall Millwall vs Blackpool Blackpool

Millwall 2

S McDonald (33)
S Malone (51)


Blackpool 1

N Ranger (71)

Sky Bet Championship: Scott McDonald stars as Millwall beat Blackpool 2-1

Last Updated: 01/09/14 11:41am

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Scott McDonald: Made the difference for Millwall

Scott McDonald: Made the difference for Millwall

Scott McDonald scored one and set up another as Millwall made it three wins from their opening five Sky Bet Championship games by beating crisis club Blackpool 2-1 at the Den.

The Australia international converted Jack Powell's free-kick after 33 minutes before setting up Scott Malone to make it two just after the break.

Substitute Nile Ranger got Blackpool back into the game but they were unable to grab an equaliser.

The result means the Tangerines remain pointless in the Championship, while the Lions continue to sit pretty in the top half of the table.

Blackpool goalkeeper Joe Lewis had to be quick off his line to punch Lee Martin's free-kick away in the seventh minute, with Ricardo Fuller poised to head home from 10 yards.

John Lundstram set his sights from well inside his own half after 10 minutes but, despite David Forde being outside of his penalty area, it lacked the distance to trouble the Lions stopper.

Two minutes later Blackpool had a goal ruled out for a foul by Nathan Delfouneso after he unfairly beat Carlos Edwards before crossing for Ishmael Miller to turn home from six yards.

At the other end, Malone poked Martin's cross a couple of yards wide as he arrived late into the box in the 14th minute and McDonald then made himself space on the edge of the box but his shot lacked the power to extend Lewis.

Andrea Orlandi latched on to a loose ball after 27 minutes and eluded Alan Dunne, only to see the Millwall defender deflect his shot behind for a corner.

The Lions went in front with a well-rehearsed free-kick routine. Debutant Powell sent a low free-kick into the box and McDonald, who had peeled away from his man, fired into the corner.

Blackpool almost responded immediately but an unmarked Orlandi could only turn Lundstram's set-piece well over the crossbar after 35 minutes.

Five minutes after the break Shaun Williams sent a fizzing drive towards goal for Millwall but Lewis got himself behind it. Just a minute later, the Londoners did extend their lead when McDonald sent the ball across goal and Malone popped up to smash in from four yards.

Mark Beevers headed a cross over in the 56th minute from Millwall's impressive debutant Powell.

Ranger reduced Blackpool's arrears 20 minutes from time when he controlled Francois Zoko's centre before shooting coolly into the corner. Three minutes later the controversial forward reached the byline and picked out Steven Davies but his fellow substitute could not find the target from eight yards.

Zoko shot into the side-netting after 82 minutes, before Forde saved Davies' 18-yard strike in stoppage time, but Ian Holloway's Millwall held on to record a deserved three points.

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Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Watford 12 24
2 Derby County 12 23
3 Middlesbrough 12 23
4 Norwich City 12 21
5 Nottingham Forest 12 21
6 Ipswich Town 12 20
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 12 20
8 Charlton Athletic 12 19
9 Bournemouth 12 18
10 Brentford 12 18
11 Sheffield Wednesday 12 17
12 Cardiff City 12 16
13 Blackburn Rovers 12 16
14 Leeds United 12 15
15 Rotherham United 12 15
16 Reading 12 15
17 Huddersfield Town 12 15
18 Millwall 12 13
19 Wigan Athletic 12 11
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 12 11
21 Birmingham City 12 11
22 Fulham 12 10
23 Bolton Wanderers 12 8
24 Blackpool 12 6