Pulsating Lancashire Derby Ends All Square
Judging from the texts that I've received tonight, Blackpool are really making people sit up and take notice. The only shame was that yet another fine home performance was not followed up with three points, three points that would have seen us shoot up to 4th. Still, we'll take 6th.
In what was a great advert for Championship football, Blackpool dominted a pulsating encounter at Bloomfield Road, but were unable to find the cutting edge in front of goal despite peppering Andy Lonergan's goal with 25 shots.
The game started perfectly for the Seasiders when after just 23 seconds Billy Clarke curled home an absolute pearler. How this supremely talented young man does not start every week is beyond me.
Two minutes later 'Pool scored again, but this time Hamuer Bouazza's strike was correctly ruled out for offside.
After a terrible start, the Nobbers started to come into the game, urged on by an apathetic away following. Ross Wallace forced Matt Gilks into a very good save as the Seasiders allowed the Lilywhites too much time on the ball by backing off far too much.
Billy Jones entered the book for a clear foul on Bouazza as the Seasiders pressed forward for a second. Charlie Adam forced Lonergan into a good low save, whilst Ben Burgess squandered a good chance.
Ten minutes before the break, Billy Clarke was denied a second by the outside of the post with Lonergan beaten. On another night the Seasiders would have won this game comfortably.
Three minutes later though, Preston were level. Keith Southern gave away a freekick on the edge of the area and Ross Wallace stepped up to curl home. A man on the post would have made all the difference... when will we learn?
'Pool went straight up the other end from the restart and rattled the woodwork again, again through Billy Clarke. The forward hit a Zidane esque shot from the edge of the area that hit the underside of the bar and bounced clear.
The second half started at the same frantic pace with Charlie Adam missing two chances early doors. The first he put over the bar after slipping just before hitting hit shot, whilst the second he narrowly headed wide when he should have done better.
I, and nearly everyone inside Bloomers, then thought that Hamuer Bouazza had scored, but unfortunately his finish went into the side netting with Lonergan floundering.
Ben Burgess then missed a sitter. Cue abuse.
Burgess was then replaced by Euell as 'Pool searched for a winner.
Meanwhile the Nobbers were forced into a change when Wallace limped off. Paul Parry replaced him and nearly set up a winner for Preston, crossing for Neil Mellor who somehow slammed wide. A worse miss than Burgess' incredibly.
Brett Ormerod then replaced Billy Clarke before Barry Bannan replaced Charlie Adam with ten to go.
Bannan looked class during his cameo and nearly set up the winner with a great cross from a corner, but Ian Evatt headed straight at Lonergan.
Ian Holloway will want his side to reproduce that kind of performance on Saturday against Barnsley, but to show greater ruthlessness infront of goal.