Blackpool - Fleetwood 1 - 5 Blackpool
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Fleetwood 1 - 5 Blackpool

It isn't a particularly well-known derby, but the Fylde Coast encounter between Fleetwood and Blackpool had all the makings of a classic but turned into a damp squib for the hosts as they went down 5-1.

Goals from Lomana Lua Lua, Tom Ince and a second Matt Phillips hat-trick in a fortnight were too much for Fleetwood in front of a sell-out crowd at Highbury. Phillips' manager Ian Holloway is adamant that he will keep hold of him during the January transfer window, even after Premier League interest.

Despite possessing all the attributes of a top flight winger, Holloway says that they are in no need to sell the 20-year-old, who took his season`s tally to seven.

'People will be looking at Matt Phillips now. Well, we've got him. If a top five club wants to come and offer us a lot of money for him fair enough but if you're not we can catch you lot,' he said.

'That's my attitude and that kid trusts me. We`re working hard together and why not play in a team instead of sitting and rotting in somebody's reserves and never get a look in?

'We've managed to get in a situation where we don`t have to see anyone and I hope that happens for Fleetwood.'

After upsets in the previous two rounds of the cup, tackling the Championship side proved a bridge too far for Micky Mellon`s Cods as they struggled with the pace and fluidity of the Seasiders' front three.

Holloway paid a big compliment to the Blue Square Premier side by making just three changes to the side that swept Middlesbrough aside on Monday, starting both flying wingers Tom Ince and Matt Phillips while giving Danny Wilson his debut following a loan move from Liverpool.

It was Lomana Lua Lua to open the scoring on 24 minutes as he finished off a superb Blackpool move. Starting in their own right back position, a one-touch pass-and-move sequence found its way to Bob Harris, clipping a ball through to the striker who beat the onrushing Scott Davies.

The goal woke the home team up. Sought-after front man Jamie Vardy was a thorn in Pool's side, immediately drawing a smart parry from Mark Howard. The goalkeeper then got up to tip Peter Till`s follow up header over the bar.

The Cods were in the ascendency until the break, but the tie looked to be out of Town's reach within seven minutes of the restart. Phillips saw his curling effort deflected in to double the score before Tom Ince smashed in a Neal Eardley cross following neat build up.

However, as in the first half, Micky Mellon's side reacted well and got a goal back with 20 to play. Jamie Vardy had the beating of Alex Baptiste before thundering an effort past Howard to set up a possibly tense finish.

Vardy is another youngster who will almost certainly attract interest this month but Mellon refused to respond to speculation surrounding his future.

'I'm not going to be drawn on that [Vardy's future]. He's a top player and it was a terrific finish - that's what he's capable of,' said the manager.

Any Fleetwood hope of a comeback was diminished when Phillips scored his second and third goals within a few minutes. Firstly he finished off a counter attack after Ince was thwarted by Davies and he completed his hat-trick by finishing off a mazy solo run by poking home to make it 5-1.

And that delighted Holloway, who realised the potential for one of the biggest FA Cup upsets in history. 'My lads managed to realise what this meant to this club and what it meant to the Fylde Coast. We have played our part in a fantastic performance and so have they. Vardy was sensational,' he said.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The journalist

Writer: Editor Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday January 8 2012

Time: 12:08AM


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