'Pool succumb to Saints
Simon Grayson was forced to make changes to his Blackpool side as Keigan Parker was absent for family reasons and Wes Hoolahan returned from International duty with a chest infection so took up a place on the bench. Loan signing 'Bart' (Bartosz Slusarski) made his debut as a result of Parker's absense, up front alongside Andy Morrell while Andy Welsh made his first league start (finally!) for the Seasiders as he replaced Wes Hoolahan on the left hand side. Captain Michael Jackson returned from suspension but had to be content with a place on the bench following on from the victory last time out against Scunthorpe United.
'Pool were forced into a change very early in the game as Middlesbrough loanee, Tony McMahon, hobbled off with an injury after just 14 minutes being replaced by Stephen Crainey with Danny Coid switching to right back, Crainey to the left.
Andy Morrell missed a golden chance to put the visitors ahead as Bart's shot was rebounded off the 'Keeper into the path of Morrell who's shot somehow rebounded off the post and to safety.
That would prove costly as on 35 minutes, Stern John put the hosts into the lead, latching onto a pass from Bradley Wright-Phillips.
The Saints struck the bar after the half time break through Stern John before they were awarded a controversial penalty after Kaspars Gorkss was deemed to have brought down Jason Euell inside the area. Euell stepped up to take the penalty, however Paul Rachubka was equal to it and pushed it away to his right hand side to keep the Seasiders in the game in spectacular fashion.
Shortly before the hour mark, Wes Hoolahan was brought on to replace Andy Welsh to provide a different dynamic to the 'Pool attack and it almost paid off as David Fox (also on as a second half substitute, replacing Jorgensen) saw a rasping effort fly over the bar from 25 yards.
Once again, it was a referee's decision that would ultimately cost 'Pool at least a share of the points. Danny Coid sprinted down the right and, as he crossed the ball in, he was fouled by the Southampton defender. Taylor-Fletcher nodded the resulting cross into the back of the net, but had the goal ruled out because the referee had already blown the whistle to bring play back to the freekick because - as he confessed in his post-match interview - he thought the ball was going out of play. Surely a referee should wait to see what comes of the attack before committing to a decision like that?? Either way, Simon Grayson was rightly livid with the decision, as were the Tangerine faithful who made the long trip to the South coast!
Andy Morrell then blew another great chance as he was sent clean through, but hesitated before blasting an effort clean over the bar, further dashing hopes of a Blackpool revival.
Taylor-Fletcher went close twice late in the game as Southampton defended frantically, however it wasn't to be and 'Pool failed on their travels once again and slipped to 21st position in the division.
A win on Tuesday night against fellow strugglers Norwich City, is vital.
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