Writer: Eamonn Moore
Date:Sunday January 31 2010
The Seasiders went into this game looking to build on last weekend's victory against Watford, but were forced to settle for a point after a late Coventry equaliser.
Despite having had Brett Ormerod sent off in the early stages of the second half, the 'Pool were the better team and can count themselves unlucky not to have returned to Bloomers with all three points.
Ian Holloway made one change to the side that had beaten Watford - Neal Eardley missing out through injury, Rob Edwards coming into the side with Alex Baptiste switching to right back.
Coventry had the first chance of the afternoon - Michael McIndoe scampering clear of the 'Pool defence, only to be denied by a good save from Paul Rachubka.
Keith Southern missed a great chance to give the Seasiders the lead on the half hour. A raking ball from Charlie Adam caused chaos in the Coventry area, but Southern could only slide his finish wide under pressure.
Despite being an open game, chances were at a premium in the first forty-five minutes.
The opening stages of the second half saw Keiran Westwood in the Coventry goal save brilliantly from Gary Taylor-Fletcher, and 'Pool skipper Charlie Adam head wide as the Seasiders grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck.
Adam then blasted a freekick into the wall, and from the rebound, Barry Bannan crashed a shot against the bar. Coventry eventually scrambled the ball away for a corner, and it was at this set piece that Ormerod was shown a straight red card.
We haven't had the benefit of any tv replays of the incident yet, but Ormerod and many others are adamant that the striker did not touch Coventry's Gunnarsson who ended up pole-axed on the ground. Indeed, several people have suggested that it was infact Coventry's keeper Westwood that knocked out Gunnarsson! Perhaps the scuffle that developed immediately after shows that something untoward had occured?
Personally, I saw Gunnarsson pulling Brett's shirt and Brett trying to free himself by yanking his arm away. Whether contact was made I don't know, but even if it was, I certainly don't think it would have been enough to knock the lad out. Interestingly, the ref was looking straight at the incident. We'll just have to see if any replays have picked it up, and if so, whether or not we have grounds for appeal.
Charlie Adam then picked up his ninth booking of the season for a poor challenge. He is now just one booking away from a two match ban.
It was the Seasiders who took the lead though despite being down to ten men. I'm not even going to try and describe the goal, just watch it. It's brilliant, sheer brilliance. Take a bow Barry Bannan, take a bow son.
Bannan was surprisingly subbed with ten minutes to go though for Ben Burgess. The young lad was running Coventry ragged, and I'd have thought that replacing the quieter Taylor-Fletcher was the obvious change. After this sub, we lost all momentum... personally I think we'd have won 2-0 had Bannan stayed on.
Just a minute later and Coventry were level. One time 'Pool target Carl Baker waltzed through the Seasiders' defence, before a Coventry shot cannoned into the goal off Alex Baptiste.
Charlie Adam then burst through the Coventry defence, but was denied by a last gasp tackle. He was substituted immediately after, for Ishmel. Again, another strange change.
The Seasiders survived the seven minutes of injury time to earn a point, and now switch their attentions to a big week of action that sees them face West Brom and Leicester.
Date:Sunday January 31 2010
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