The Vital View
This week SeasideEssexXile gives us his take on the 2-0 win away at MK Dons.
Before the game the question was would we miss Wes? In all honesty yes, but nowhere near as much as I thought we would. Although his direct replacement in Claus had a steady game, for me Fox and Southern both put in excellent performances and our midfield looked strong.
I was pleased that Claus got Wes` place in the team. Rumours were abounding that Larry was going to tinker with the team, but in the end it was the expected eleven that started.
I think people forget that Fox is still a relatively young player, and does not have all that much league experience behind him, but on Saturday he gave arguably one of his best displays in a Pool shirt.
The NHS stadium doesn`t offer fantastic views of the far goal, but Pool had at least a couple of good chances to take the lead before they eventually did. Parker was causing problems and Forbes had one of his best games that I have seen. He finally looks to have gained his full fitness, and for a little bloke he is a fantastic header of the ball. Indeed his flicked on header sent both Parker + Morrell beyond a static Dons defence and Parker coolly finished with aplomb. Well actually it was the outside of his right boot, but going in at half time it was just reward for our performance. In truth Dons managed two real attempts at goal, one squirming wide, the second met with grateful cheers as Scott Taylor blazed over when 3 yrs ago he would have buried it for fun. They say forwards have exceptional seasons in their careers, for me Scott had his when playing for us. He has never reproduced his scoring form after leaving us, and on Saturdays display he looks like he never will again. The programme noted he has 1 goal in 22 games this season, annus horribilis would be the best way to sum Scotty`s time at the Dons up.
The game was killed when Parker set up Morrell for the second early doors. Pool never looked like they were going to give the game away, and despite the expected pressure from a home side in a cup match it was a comfortable day for players and fans alike.
Parker was my MOTM. He has 'grown up` this year, and I hope he continues in the same vein of form. Yes he misses some chances, but his all round game has improved, along with his temperament. The team look stronger than in recent seasons and with a home draw against non league opposition in the 3rd round here`s hoping we are in the bag on the 7th January, and we get a big name as a reward for winning the first 2 rounds away at ground where a lot of teams will come unstuck this season.
Onwards and upwards.
So Blackpool`s reward for seeing off the Milton Keynes Dons is a home draw against one of Hampshire`s finest non-league outfits, either Aldershot or Basingstoke! Although hardly a mouth watering prospect it really is a game we should win in a proverbial canter.
Saturday`s second round tie was a strange affair. Firstly the suspension of hot shot Izale McLeod meant that former Tangerines favourite Scott Taylor got a rare start for the home side. And the performance he gave was so embarrassingly poor that the announcement of his substitution was greeted by jeers from the same fans who only a couple of seasons ago were singing his praises.
The layout of the National Hockey Stadium makes it one of the least attractive grounds in the football league, and a crowd of less than 4,000 hardly made it feel any more inviting. Thankfully the Seasiders contingent was large and in good voice throughout the game.
The match itself was a stroll in the park for Blackpool. Up against a team bereft of ideas they were certainly not flattered by the 2-0 scoreline. On another afternoon Keigan Parker could easily have bagged a hat-trick, as time and time again his blistering pace caused problems for a leaden back four.
Having safely negotiated the FA Cup hurdle our thoughts now turn to the League and two very winnable home matches this week. With Wes Hoolahan back we should hopefully start tomorrow by overcoming our evening kick-off hoodoo - at the seventh attempt!