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Benik Afobe hits winner for Millwall against Blackpool

Millwall v Cardiff City – Sky Bet Championship – The Den
(Image credit: James Manning)

Benik Afobe’s second-half strike earned Millwall a 2-1 victory over Blackpool at The Den.

The hosts took the lead early in the first half when Dutchman Zian Flemming’s header squirmed agonisingly past Blackpool goalkeeper Daniel Grimshaw and in for an own goal.

The visitors pulled level before half-time when Dom Thompson teed up Arsenal loanee Charlie Patino, who slotted his first league goal calmly past George Long.

But Millwall dominated after the break as Afobe’s effort proved enough to secure a much-needed triumph for Gary Rowett’s men.

The result moves Millwall – who had lost four of their previous five league games heading into the encounter – up to 13th in the table, while Blackpool drop to 19th, just two points outside the bottom three.

The first chance of a scrappy start to the game fell to the hosts when George Honeyman teed up Flemming, with his header forcing a save from Grimshaw.

Millwall scored soon after when Flemming connected with Scott Malone’s corner with a diving header.

It looked as though Grimshaw had made another smart save, but the referee’s watch soon revealed that the ball had just about crossed the line.

Blackpool responded by scoring with their first clear sight of goal when Jerry Yates combined with Thompson before teeing up Patino, who struck sweetly from close range.

Millwall flew out of the blocks in the second half and Flemming almost put them back ahead after the break when he collected the ball inside the Blackpool box and beat two defenders only to see his low-driven shot cannon off the post and across the face of goal.

The hosts continued to apply the pressure and were rewarded in the 60th minute when Afobe pounced on Callum Styles’ deflected effort to rifle past Grimshaw for his second goal of the season.

The visitors struggled to create any clear chances in their pursuit of an equaliser, with their best chance falling to Kenny Dougall, who struck the ball well over the bar from outside the box.

Millwall looked the likelier to score even after pulling ahead, with Styles almost grabbing a third after latching on to a whipped cross from substitute Danny McNamara, but he could not direct his header on target.

Millwall comfortably saw out the game to stop the rot after recent defeats against QPR, Burnley, Reading and Norwich and claim their fourth win of the campaign.

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