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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Connolly Cracker Denies 'Pool Three Points

In his pre-match interview Ian Holloway commented that he felt incredibly lucky to be Blackpool manager - whether he'll be feeling as lucky after the two goals the Seasiders conceded yesterday is another question.

Ollie made three changes for yesterday's game, with Ian Evatt, Stephen Crainey and Barry Bannan all returning to the side as the Seasiders looked to get back to winning ways at Bloomfield Road.

It was Bannan who had the first effort on goal of the afternoon, curling a shot straight into the arms of QPR keeper Carl Ikeme from the edge of the area as the Seasiders made a promising start.

That promising start was converted into a lead after just nine minutes. Brett Ormerod turned his marker inside out before sending over a beautiful cross for Charlie Adam to thump home at the back post.

QPR started to come into the game after that point, with midfield playmaker Adel Taarabt obviously having a point to prove and pulling the strings. Despite Rangers looking dangerous in the final third however, the Seasiders defence held firm.

Just before the break, Gary Taylor-Fletcher nearly doubled the Seasiders' advantage, but just failed to connect with the impressive Neal Eardley's cross.

Minutes into the second half, the easy on the eye Taarabt hit both posts with a low drive from the edge of the area as QPR looked to level the game. The Hoops also threw on striker Hogan Ephraim for midfielder Akos Buzsaky.

Meanwhile, at the other end, Charlie Adam fired just wide after a clever corner routine with Barry Bannan that was reminiscent of a similar routine by David Beckham and Paul Scholes for Manchester United against Bradford a few years ago.

Ten minutes after the break though, QPR were level after being awarded a highly contentious penalty after the referee adjudged Alex Baptiste to have handled the ball following a shot. Despite 'Pool protests, Taarabt stepped up to chip the ball home.

Ian Holloway then brought on Ben Burgess for Barry Bannan as he looked to regain the initiative. The Villa youngster had put a workmanlike display in, but looked like he'd picked up an injury just prior to the change.

With ten minutes to go, the Seasiders did regain the initiative when Keith Southern's low drive from the edge of the area was flicked home by Gary Taylor-Fletcher.

Five minutes from time though, Hoops defender Matthew Connolly took two touches to control the ball before volleying home from twenty five yards. His dipping effort left Paul Rachubka with no chance in the Blackpool goal, and was a strike that would grace any level of the game. In truth, it also meant that QPR got a point that they probably deserved as well.

In the closing minutes, Wayne Routledge was booked after some petulent behaviour and at full time stormed off down the tunnel immediately... something tells me that Middlesbrough scout Gordon McQueen will not have been impressed with the behaviour of one of Gordon Strachan's targets!

The Seasiders now turn their attention to the second of their three home games in a week against Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday night.




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The journalist

Writer: Eamonn Moore  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday January 17 2010

Time: 5:29PM

Your Comments

Good report - very balanced and a decent game as well. Wayne Routledge is that type of player, but when on form he is unstoppable, not a good day for him yesterday.
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