Writer: Eamonn Moore
Date:Sunday January 22 2012
Given that I'm writing this nearly twenty four hours after the game, I'll keep it brief...
'Pool got out of jail yesterday as goals in the dying minutes from Elliot Grandin and Chris Basham saw them record a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace.
The Eagles had made nine changes to their side with their Carling Cup semi final second leg with Cardiff in mind, but Dougie Freedman's side nearly left Bloomfield Road with all three points as 'Pool struggled to move through the gears until the closing minutes of the game.
'Pool also made changes; the fit again Matt Gilks replacing Mark Howard, who, as of today, is a free agent having failed to agree a new contract with the Seasiders. Ian Evatt, Craig Cathcart, Barry Ferguson and Gary Taylor-Fletcher also returned to the team, whilst new loan signing John Fleck was given his debut.
Despite being subbed after about an hour, Fleck enjoyed a good debut. When given time and space on the ball he stretched Palace with a great range of passing, and was unfortunate not to score in the first half with a 25 yard drive that bent just wide.
On 25 minutes, Palace took the lead from the penalty spot - Barry Ferguson being penalised for handball, despite it clearly not being deliberate. Owen Garvan just about beat Gilks from 12 yards.
Tom Ince then fired just wide, before stand-in keeper Lewis Price tipped a fierce Sylvestre strike over the bar.
The second half saw 'Pool bomb forward looking to get back in the game. As a result Palace hit us on the break several times, but woeful finishing prevented them from wrapping the game up.
With an hour gone, 'Pool made a triple change: Basham, Grandin and Kevin Phillipds replacing Cathcart, Sylvestre and Fleck.
Phillips had a rasping low drive turned away by Price, whilst Basham couldn't quite bundle the ball home from close range.
But with five minutes left, 'Pool finally equalised; Taylor-Fletcher's run setting up Grandin for a powerful close range finish.
And minutes later the comeback was complete; Kevin Phillips saw his powerful header hit the bar, and the rebound bounced in off Basham, trickling over the line.
Date:Sunday January 22 2012
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