The Vital View
After the disappointment of New Year`s Day the last few days have been something to saviour for Blackpool fans. First it was well deserved monthly awards for Wes Hoolahan and Larry Grayson. Then it was the fantastic news of Ian Evatt`s permanent signing. And finally on Saturday we progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time in seventeen years.
Against the last non-league side in the competition the Seasiders were always on to a hiding to nothing. However the playing of what was presumably the Latvian National Anthem just before the start of the game clearly struck a chord with the players as they swept to a two goal lead inside eight minutes.
But this is still our beloved Blackpool Football Club and instead of going on to run up a cricket score we soon found ourselves pegged back by an impressive Aldershot side that included players such as John Grant and Ryan Williams who would grace any League One side.
The loss of two key players in Keigan Parker and Wes Hoolahan was always going to be a cause for concern, as no-one in the starting eleven possessed their ability to run past players at will. However that does not excuse the lack lustre displays of both Paul Tierney and Gareth Farrelly in rare starts for the Tangerines.
In fact until the introduction of Kaspars Gorkss for Tierney with thirty minutes to go the match could easily have been drawn, or worse still lost. However Larry deserves credit for remedying the imbalance on our left by also substituting Farrelly with Burgess and moving Andy Morrell back into midfield. So much so that the ever impressive Morrell got his second goal of the game, and was unlucky not to get the opportunity to net a hat-trick from the penalty spot.
So job done for the Seasiders and I for one will be glued to my radio tomorrow at 1.30 in the hope that we get the mouth watering Fourth Round tie our endeavours so far this season deserve.
A new experience for me: Blackpool FC in the 4th round of the FA Cup. Finally, I`ve seen The Seasiders progress through this far and with a bit of luck today with the draw; we could well be mixing it in the 5th as well.
When Aldershot came out of the hat, supporters were rubbing their hands with glee and to be honest, we got the best possible draw. But it is that special trophy that can throw up a surprise or two, and the calmness around the ground prior to kick off was alarmingly complacent with predictions of 5`s and 6`s, and that Town would just roll over when we (note not if) scored. Well, these fans looked to be correct after ten minutes when Grayson`s men were 2-0 through two excellently grafted goals by Vernon and Morrell who looked good all afternoon together - albeit against a shaky defensive line.
Then came that buzz around the ground that occurs when supporters lose interest in the game (common place throughout Hendry`s reign due to a probable heavy defeat!). This must have drifted through to the players as they switched off and allowed Aldershot back into the match as they passed their way through the Blackpool team. Former Hull City winger, Ryan Williams (the stocky number 11) was causing Tierney and Farrelly (have we seen the last of those two players after that dismal display?) lots of trouble and it was only when Kaspars the friendly Latvian came on did Williams quieten.
Adrian Forbes gives 110% every game but to me doesn`t possess the basic footballing skills or know-how to make a mark on Aldershot Town, let alone League One. His aimless running and hoofing of the ball was puzzling to say the least as he drew harsh critics from the west stand.
Overall, the side played poorly, but that doesn`t matter as The Seasiders are through and could well be pulling up a few trees in the next round.