Blackpool relegated from Championship after defeat to play-off hopefuls Millwall
Blackpool were relegated from the Sky Bet Championship after a 3-2 home defeat to play-off hopefuls Millwall
The Seasiders twice hit back from a goal down to level in a real thriller, but even a point would scarcely have been enough as they went down with a game to spare.
Millwall, meanwhile, fired themselves back up to fifth in the table as they remain firmly in the play-off shake-up, with Tom Bradshaw notching a terrific brace.
Blackpool’s hopes suffered an early blow at a packed Bloomfield Road as Millwall struck after less than two minutes.
It was a slick move down the right that led to the goal, with Ryan Leonard eventually fizzing a low cross perfectly into the path of Bradshaw, who neatly slid the ball home from 10 yards.
Buoyed by their early strike, the Lions had a clear spring in their step and they almost struck again 10 minutes later.
This time Bradshaw found plenty of space in the Blackpool box, but his shot on the turn drifted inches wide.
The Millwall frontman then fluffed a great chance on the break as he fired wastefully off target after latching onto goalkeeper George Long’s punted clearance.
The hosts were struggling to make any significant inroads, and Millwall struck the woodwork in the 25th minute.
Duncan Watmore lashed in an effort from inside the box that thumped the post before going behind.
Blackpool had been second best, but they levelled matters from the penalty spot nine minutes before the break.
CJ Hamilton was clumsily tripped by Jamie Shackleton, leaving Jerry Yates to slam home the penalty and give the hosts a lifeline.
Millwall threatened first after the restart, with Zian Flemming heading disappointingly off target from inside the six-yard box.
At the other end Rogers charged towards the Blackpool area before curling a shot wide.
Rogers then met a tidy pass from Yates before a shot from the edge of the box only just cleared the crossbar.
The home fans were stunned into silence again just before the hour mark, however, when Millwall went back in front as Bradshaw did the business again, clipping home coolly after he had raced onto Watmore’s perfectly weighted through-ball.
Blackpool were beginning to look down and out, but back they came with a brilliant second equaliser after 66 minutes.
Lewis Fiorini took a short pass from Keshi Anderson before arrowing a 25-yard strike home past Long’s despairing dive.
However, Blackpool’s hopes of going on to force victory were ended when as the Lions regained the advantage for a third time, courtesy of another penalty.
And Flemming slotted home to notch what proved to be the winner in a pulsating clash after Watmore had been tripped by Fiorini, consigning Blackpool to the drop.