Date:Sunday December 17 2006
LanerossiVicenza gives his take on Blackpool's 3-1 win away at high flyers Scunthorpe United on Friday night.
At 6:30pm on Friday night I turned to my mate, as we ground to a halt in yet
another traffic jam on the M62, and said "We must be mad". Three hours later as we came out of Gland ford Park, the reason why we all follow teams such as Blackpool was clear.
A fantastic performance from both the team and the Blackpool faithful, made it all worthwhile. Its amazing isn`t it how you can forget all the years in the doldrums and those usually thankless visits to places like Scunthorpe when the team is playing like this.
Whilst I don`t want to get carried away, it`s hard not to heap praise on this current bunch. Visiting Scunthorpe, a team lying second in the division and with the country`s leading goal scorer in their ranks was never going to be an easy task. But in the end that`s what it was
Scunthorpe came out of the blocks like greyhounds and Blackpool were slow to
Debutante Wilkinson had a debut of fire against the very useful looking Taylor, and for the first half an hour Scunthorpe showed that their league position did not lie. They are a very useful and workmanlike team. The defence was magnificent in those opening few minutes, and gradually as the half wore on the pace of Parker began to trouble them and openings began to
Shaun Barker once again was to be the provider, and his cross was perfectly met by Morrell at the near post, whose delicate touch put the ball firmly into the net. Morrell for me is such a clever player both on and off the ball, and you can see how he got all those goals at Wrexham.
Just before half time Hoolahan produced a magnificent save from the Scunny keeper, and at the other end Evans made an equally good stop from Sharp, who in that brief cameo showed why he currently tops the goal scoring charts.
Scunthorpe again came out after the break at 100 miles an hour but by now the Blackpool side was looking more composed. The ball was being passed around again, with Fox and Southern looking comfortable in midfield and it was to be Southern who found himself one on one with the goalkeeper after a neat passing move between Parker and Hoolahan, and despite it looking easier to score than miss, the Scunthorpe keeper Murphy went down low to his left, as Gnashers went for placement rather than power and saved it, albeit at the second attempt.
Blackpool by now were beginning to dominate the match and once again Parker broke through on goal and as he rounded the keeper, he was brought down. Hoolahan stepped up to take the penalty and despite Murphy trying to tell him where to put it (pointing to his right side) Wes calmly stepped up, smashed it into the left hand corner, leaving the hapless Murphy floundering somewhere on the right hand side of his six yard box.
In the ensuing celebrations Hoolahan received a yellow, when the referee adjudged his celebrations to be to much and a few minutes later this petty decision would be a deciding factor in Wes getting his marching orders.
Complete domination was the name of the game, and Scunthorpe were clearly upset by Blackpool`s work rate and determination, and minor scuffles broke out between a number of players, as tackles flew in thick and fast.
Parker through on goal once again was scythed down by Foster, who in my book would have been off, but only got a yellow. Minutes later Hoolahan was booked again for rather innocuously kicking the ball away after a bizarre offside flag against Keigan Parker, and off he trots.
This shows the inconsistency of refereeing decisions and its what really annoys both supporters and players alike. Within minutes we had seen both ends of the spectrum.
I wonder whether today Mr Ilderton has cause to look back and wonder about Wes`s first booking. Has he never had cause to celebrate something like that - probably not. The laws and interpretation of them really are pathetic sometimes.
From then on and despite Scunthorpe huffing and puffing they were not a threat and Parker, following some fine hold up play from Scott Vernon, marked a fine nights work with a well taken, individual piece of skill, by rounding the goalkeeper and slotting home.
Scunny got a late consolation goal from a free kick, which Barraclough
headed past the keeper, in a rare lapse from our defence.
All in all another outstanding performance from a Blackpool team who never seem to know when they are beaten, and for whom the season surely holds great things.
Hard to pick out a man of the match because there were some great performances from a number of the team but from a personal viewpoint I am going to nominate the perhaps unsung hero of the team, our captain Michael Jackson.
His determination, organisational strengths, experience and overall gritty performances are I believe a major factor in our defence this season.
Date:Sunday December 17 2006
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