Writer: Eamonn Moore
Date:Saturday January 22 2011
What a weird game today was. The crowd were strangely subdued I thought, as indeed were the Seasiders for the large part.
Although Sunderland got revenge for our victory at The Stadium of Light, you can't help but feel that it was only through our own failings that they won the game; in the few instances that we did turn on the style, we were by far the better team.
Sadly Blackpool never do things the easy way, and you can't help but feel that we should be all but safe from relegation by now, but instead find ourselves peering nervously over our shoulders.
The second half of the season's going to be tougher, make no bones about it and today proved just how desperately the Seasiders need some fresh legs, especially with the injuries to keeper Richard Kingson and left back Stephen Crainey.
Hopefully today's defeat will force KO to get his finger out and make some much needed signings this week, else our season is in danger of running out of steam at a key time.
Anyway, to the action...
With DJ Campbell out through flu, Matt Phillips came into the side whilst Marlon Harewood was welcomed back onto the bench.
Sunderland with all their striker problems were forced to switch to a 4-5-1; Asamoah Gyan leading the line on his own.
Both teams made a slow start to the game, but it was an injury to 'Pool right back Neal Eardley that enabled Sunderland to open the scoring around the quarter hour mark.
With Eardley being stitched up off the field, Sunderland broke, and Gyan played in Kieran Richardson to slide home. Mind you, despite being down to ten men, the Seasiders should have still dealt with the situation better.
It took until the half hour mark for the Seasiders to create their first chance of the game; Craig Gordon saving at point blank range from Luke Varney after some great build up play.
Varney should've scored however, and it's a reflection of his performances of late that he didn't.
Minutes later Gordon tipped over a powerful Adam strike after a surging run from the 'Pool skipper.
At the other end though, 'Pool's defensive frailties reared their ugly head again; poor defending allowing Richardson in again to make it 2-0.
Craig Gordon tipped over another Adam effort as the first half drew to a close.
'Pool were forced to make a change early in the second half when Stephen Crainey went down with what looked like a horrible knee injury.
With the Scot quite clearly in pain, Brett Ormerod (bizarrely) replaced him.
Minutes later another 'Pool player was forced to leave the game through injury; a trailing leg from Bolo Zenden opening a big gash on 'Pool keeper Richard Kingson's head. It was a shame for Kingson who perhaps looked his most confident since establishing himself in the team. Paul Rachubka was his replacement.
'Pool made their final change of the game when Marlon Harewood was thrown on for Elliot Grandin.
In his half hour cameo Harewood impressed and showed a lot more urgency than the rest of the team put together.
He was unlucky not to score this afternoon; dragging a shot agonisingly wide after a clever turn.
However, in the closing minutes 'Pool did pull a goal back; Charlie Adam slamming home a penalty after David Vaughan had been tripped in the area.
And with six minutes added on at the end, the crowd urged the Seasiders on in search of a dramatic equaliser, but alas it wasn't to come.
Four defeats in five league games now and Manchester United to come on Tuesday... cause for alarm, or just a wobble?
Date:Saturday January 22 2011
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