Ince Brace Ensures Perfect Start
A brace from Tom Ince saw Blackpool start the new Championship season in perfect fashion with a 2-0 win away at Millwall, leaving them top of the league at this very early stage.
The Seasiders have a reputation for triumphing in adversity, and so it proved again today - putting aside the saga of Matt Phillips handing in a transfer request with a clean sheet and three points.
Ian Holloway made a few changes to the side that disappointed against Morecambe last weekend, with Isaiah Osbourne, Tiago Gomes and the fit again Kevin Phillips all handed starts. Nouha Dicko was named amongst the subs.
The hosts had the first chance of the game; ex 'Pool loanee Danny Shittu coming close with a header. Andy Keogh then beat the 'Pool defence, but was denied by Matt Gilks when through on goal.
'Pool's first chance fell to the evergreen Kevin Phillips, but he could only fire straight at another old-timer - Millwall keeper Maik Taylor.
Kenny Jackett's side went close again through a long range strike from Josh Wright before a Neal Eardley slip let in Keogh again, but he was thwarted once more by Gilks.
Phillips then tested Taylor again before a cute flick from Tiago Gomes found Tom Ince who made no mistake: 1-0 'Pool.
Millwall made a sub at the break - Alan Dunne replacing Shittu, whilst Dicko replaced Gomes for the Seasiders ten minutes into the second period.
The Seasiders soon doubled their advantage after Gary Taylor-Fletcher sent Ince scampering clear, and the winger finished with aplomb again.
GTF was then replaced by Elliot Grandin as 'Pool began to dominate proceedings in the middle of the park.
However, a wake-up call from Wright with ten minutes to go (the midfielder hitting the side netting) saw Ollie opt to keep things tight at the back; replacing Phillips with Craig Cathcart, who played just infront of the back four.
Full time: Millwall 0-2 Blackpool