Writer: Eamonn Moore
Date:Sunday May 23 2010
How do you convey what happened yesterday in a match report? The answer is that you can't.
No matter what words I use, none of them will do justice to the unbelievable feat that occurred yesterday and what it means to each and every one of us.
As I sit typing this report, I still don't think that yesterday's game and what it means has sunk in yet... I feel like I'm in some kind of twilight zone, and that this has all been a dream.
But it hasn't. Next season, Blackpool FC will be playing in the Premier League. An outstanding achievement whichever way you look at it, and an achievement which could well transform our club.
But before we start looking towards next season and the future, we need to pay tribute to everyone at the club for what has been an incredible season... a season beyond our wildest dreams, and a season capped off perfectly yesterday afternoon at Wembley.
Ian Holloway stuck with the same starting eleven and subs that had dispatched Forest with such aplomb in the playoff semi-final.
But like both legs of the semi-final, the Seasiders found themselves a goal down early doors - Michael Chopra (who had earlier hit the bar) sliding the ball home after a Peter Whittingham through ball.
However, less than five minutes later, the Seasiders were level. David Vaughan's pass was handled by Stephen McPhail, and from the resulting freekick, Charlie Adam scored one of the truly great Wembley goals. Like with the result, I'm afraid that any description of mine of the goal will not do it justice.
Cardiff's plans were messed up shortly after when Jay Bothroyd was forced off through injury, Kelvin Etuhu replacing him.
It's perfectly fair to say that the Seasiders dominated the first half exchanges as their passing game came to the fore whilst Cardiff wilted in the Wembley heat.
However, the Bluebirds hit the Seasiders with a sucker punch on 37 minutes when Joe Ledley slotted home Whittingham's through ball.
But this Blackpool team don't know when they're beaten, and were level again just minutes later.
A stunning Gary Taylor-Fletcher effort came back off the post and was cleared for a corner, from which a mixture of terrible defending and dogged attacking saw Taylor-Fletcher able to head the Seasiders level at the back post.
But the first half drama didn't end there. Oh no.
A minute into first half injury time, DJ Campbell's slip in the box saw the ball roll to Brett Ormerod who guided the ball home through David Marshall's legs. It just had to be Brett to score the winner didn't it?!
Despite the second half featuring no goals, there were still chances for both sides: Michael rattling the woodwork again.
Chopra was then joined in the Cardiff attack by Ross McCormack, whilst the Seasiders brought Ben Burgess on for Taylor-Fletcher who appeared to pick up an ankle injury courtesy of the much-maligned Wembley playing surface.
Cardiff were beginning to get a hold on the game as they pressed for an equaliser, and they nearly found it through Ledley, but his header went just wide.
In a bid to freshen things up, Ollie replaced Ormerod with Stephen Dobbie, but Cardiff were still having the better of the second half chances: Matt Gilks forced to parry a powerful Etuhu effort, before Gilks nearly dropped the ball into his own net, McCormack hit the side-netting, and Darcy Blake fired straight at Gilks.
However, despite Cardiff's pressure, the Seasiders were looking relatively solid and looked dangerous on the break. However, poor passing and poor control often let the Seasiders down in the final third.
That didn't matter though as after just over four minutes of injury time (and a cameo appearance by Barry Bannan), Andre Marriner blew for full time and Blackpool were promoted.
This match report, as I expected, doesn't do yesterday justice. Then again, we've got all summer for it to sink in... enjoy!
Date:Sunday May 23 2010
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