On this day

May 8, 2021 | News

On this day in 1993 a crowd of 15,821 saw Rovers beat Millwall 3-0 in what was the last ever league game at The Den.
John Ward’s Rovers side, bottom of the First Division table and already relegated, pulled off one of the day’s surprise results as they beat a Millwall side that ended the campaign in seventh place.
Rovers took the lead in the 35th minute when the ball was worked out to Lee Archer, who was making his first start of the season, by John Taylor and Marcus Stewart and he drilled a shot into the bottom corner of the net. Stewart scored the second Gas goal in the first minute of the second half when he latched on to a Justin Channing pass and slipped the ball past goalkeeper Kasey Keller who had advanced off his line in an attempt to save.
Millwall were awarded a penalty in the 68th minute when referee David Artell spotted an infringement in the box after Brian Parkin had saved from Tony Dalby. However, the keeper saved Malcolm Allen’s spot kick to preserve the two goal lead.
A pitch invasion on 78 minutes saw play held up for 11 minutes, and when the game restarted Rovers added a third goal through Mike Davis, who had been sent on from the bench for his league debut in the 62nd minute. With nine minutes of the game remaining the 18 year old Davis dispossessed Gavin Maguire 40 yards out and advanced on goal before sidefooting a shot past Keller.
At the 90 minute mark there was another pitch invasion during which lumps of turf were dug up and hurled into the stands. Advertising hoardings were ripped up and seats stolen as souvenirs. The goalposts also went missing!
Rovers boss John Ward said; ‘Millwall had a lot of early possession but it’s what you do with it that counts and we defended against it very Well. Lee Maddison had the best game I have seen from him so far.’
Seventy three years earlier, on the same ground, Rovers had provided the opposition for the first ever league game for the clubs.
Rovers: Parkin, Maddison, Tillson, Yates, Clark, Mehew (Reece, 74), Channing, Archer, Taylor, Stewart (Davis, 62), Waddock.
Photos: Lee Archer, Marcus Stewart, Mike Davis, Programme Cover
Keith Brookman