Writer: Eamonn Moore
Date:Tuesday October 27 2009
This was a big game. A big, big game. Swansea needed to win to sneak into the playoffs, whilst if we won and Bristol City and Nottingham Forest slipped up, then automatic promotion was ours.
As it was, Swansea missed out on the playoffs and we were forced to go through the playoffs, and the rest, as they say, is history.
This will be a game remembered for a long time... a game that people will regret not going to, heck, even a game that people will say they went to when they didn't! I was there though, and the Wembley win against Yeovil aside, it's the best game I've ever seen... all for a tenner as well (that's nearly £1 a goal - great value for money!), and with a Madness tribute band thrown in as well... what more could anyone want?!
In the first of a new feature, Vital Blackpool relives that game.
The Swansea line-up is rather unrecognisable from their line-up today: Gueret, Amankwaah, Austin, Iriekpen, Lawrence, O'Leary, Britton, Robinson, Craney, Trundle, Duffy.
Indeed, the same can probably be said for the Seasiders, who lined up thus: Hart, Williams, Jackson, Evatt, Barker, Hoolahan, Jorgensen, Southern, Forbes, Morrell, Parker.
Both teams have changed (and improved) dramatically (on and off the pitch) since that afternoon in May 2007 as both sides look to establish themselves in the Championship, but make no mistake: this was a match of real quality.
The atmosphere within the ground was electric; both sides had something to play for and were intent on attacking.
Blackpool had the first chance of the afternoon; Andy Morrell firing just wide. At the other end, Craney forced Joe Hart into a save from long range. The game was to be Hart's last for the Seasiders as his emergency loan came to an end, and his contribution to our promotion from League One was a vital one.
Hart was beaten on 14 minutes however: Lee Trundle crossed to Iriekpen who headed home from six yards.
Swansea thought that they'd gone 2-0 up five minutes later, but Lee Trundle's effort was chalked off for offside. I seem to remember that being quite fortunate as he was actually onside, but my memory might be playing tricks on me.
On 25 minutes, the Seasiders equalised. Jorgensen and Parker combined to present Andy Morrell with the opportunity to slot home, and the former Wrexham man made no mistake.
On the half hour, Willy Gueret tipped away a Keigan Parker freekick as the Seasiders looked to take the lead. Parker was in fine form in the closing weeks of the season, and this was illustrated just a minute later after he curled the ball home past a stranded Gueret following great build up play from Adrian Forbes, looking to impress against his former club. 2-1 Blackpool.
Just before the break, Parker could have made it 3-1 after racing onto another through ball but his finish failed to hit the target.
Half time: Swansea 1-2 Blackpool
Half time was spent discussing the fact that whilst Bristol City were winning against Rotherham, Forest were only drawing. There was still a chance of automatic promotion.
Swansea made a change at the break; Tom Williams came on for O'Leary and the Swans switched to a 3-5-2 formation.
The changed reaped immediate dividends as on 47 minutes, the home side equalised despite 'Pool protestations regarding a handball in the build up. The Seasiders couldn't clear a corner, nd the ball fell to Darryl Duffy who squared it to Lee Trundle who tapped in from a matter of yards. Game on.
Two minutes later, and the Seasiders' afternoon and dreams of automatic promotion appeared to be in tatters as the Swansea were awarded a penalty for a contentious Keith Southern foul on Lee Trundle. Trundle sent Joe Hart the wrong way from the spot, but saw his penalty hit the post and rebound clear. The smug so and so got everything he deserved if you ask me!
10 minutes after the break the Swans did take the lead however; Iriekpen getting his second of the afternoon, bundling the ball home following a Joe Hart error. 3-2 Swansea.
Before the hour mark though, the Seasiders made it 3-3; Andy Morrell headed home... and this was when things started to get really crazy!
Just a minute later it was 4-3 to the 'Pool, with Morrell completing his hat-trick. The Swans failed to clear the ball after attempts by Parker and Hoolahan, and Morrell was on hand to guide the ball home.
With 15 minutes remaining, Adrian Forbes departed to a rousing round of applause from both sets of fans as he was replaced by David Fox.
A minute later, it was 5-3. Andy Morrell bagged his fourth of the afternoon, firing home after a pass down the left had released him.
Morrell was then replaced along with Wes Hoolahan as Simon Grayson looked to rest players ahead of the playoffs. Scott Vernon and Simon Gillett were the two players to enter the fray.
The match wasn't over though, as just before the final whistle, Keigan Parker smashed home from outside the area to make it 6-3.
FT: Swansea 3-6 Blackpool
After the game, Karl and Owen Oyston could be found outside the away end celebrating with the fans despite the news that 'Pool were in the playoffs where they would face Oldham.
As we left the ground via the Park and Ride coaches, the Swansea fans applauded us and wished us well for the playoffs; I think even they knew that they had witnessed something incredible that May afternoon.
Date:Tuesday October 27 2009
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