Bournemouth 1 – 1 Pool
The Fitness First Stadium
18/02/06 - 15:00
Simon Grayson set out his team today in search of a draw and that's what he got. With a bit of thanks going to James Hayter's right foot.
Grayson made four changes from the side that lost out to Huddersfield on Tuesday. Out went Blinkhorn (ankle knock), Wilcox (suspension), Warrender (stomach bug) and Predergast. Replacing those four were, Neil Wood in the centre of midfield, Sean Taylor and Andy Taylor in the full-back positions. Keith Lasley also made his first start for the Pool, which means that Pool lined up 4-5-1.
The returning Tony Butler from suspension had to settle with a place on the bench along with Keigan Parker who was not deemed fit to start the match.
Bournemouth visited Bloomfield Road earlier this season and they showed that they were one of the best ‘passing' teams in the league, despite not winning in five games it didn't take the Cherries long to stamp their authority on today's game.
On three minutes James Payter, who was marked out as the danger man picked up the ball in the middle of the park and drove towards the centre of Blackpool's defence his shot was well saved by Jones but the ball popped up off the big welsh man and Brett Pitman was able to nod in, to give Bournemouth the lead and get his first league goal of his career.
On ten minutes a quick free kick found John Murphy who was able to control and shoot with his weaker left foot, Gareth Stewart in the Cherries goal was able to turn it behind for a corner from which Bournemouth were able to clear from easily.
Bournemouth managed to control the rest of the second half but took them a while to create any opportunities to note. One did come just before the half time break. Pitman was given a chance to double his account for the afternoon, but he fired just over the bar following good play from Stephen Cooke on the wing.
The Seasiders came out in the second half all ‘bright and breezy' as Grayson likes to see his team to play, and it took two minutes for the Seasiders to create their first opportunity. A clearance from Stewart found Lasley who side-stepped Aaron Brown, as the midfield man was about to shoot Brown managed to recover and block Lasley's shot.
The Cherries made the first change of the afternoon with the ‘Hulk' like figure of Steve Fletcher replacing the goal scorer Brad Pitman. The Seasiders made a double change with Parker and Wiles replacing Wood and Sean Taylor.
And the double substitution worked when two minutes later a pass from Parker found John Murphy and the big man fired in the equaliser for his seventh goal of the season.
Murphy had a golden opportunity to give the Pool the lead a teasing ball from Ian Morris was just too far away from the big man to slot home and his attempt was sliced wide.
Ian Morris had a change to grab a winner when he shot left-footed from all of 20-yards but Stewart was able to block the loanee's shot.
Daryl Fordyce replaced James Coutts as the Cherries went on the charge for the winner, with Hayter being at the forefront of the play. Daryl Fordyce was replaced by James Coutts to bolster the attack.
But it was the Seasiders who came the closest on three occasions, Parker set up Southern but his shot was well blocked. Simon Wiles tried a wonder goal, with a cross-come-shot hitting the woodwork and going behind for a goal-kick. Finally Parker's shot was well saved by Stewart in a five minutes passage of play which saw the Seasiders squander three golden opportunities to take the lead.
Bournemouth made their final change of the afternoon Stephen Cooke was replaced by Jason Tindall. Butler came on for Edwards for Blackpool's final change of the day.
Going into the last ten minutes either of the seaside town team's could have won the game and the best chance fell to Bournemouth.
Substitute Jason Tindall's shot was blocked by Marcus Bean, but Bean blocked with his hand and the Cherries were awarded a penalty, Bean was shown a yellow card for the offence.
Hayter stepped up but he cannoned his shot on to the bar and then cleared for a corner. For once in recent games some luck was on the Seasiders' side. Peter Clarke picked up a booking for decent, obviously having something to say about the penalty decision.
A poor first half performance was cancelled out by a fantastic second half, Keigan Parker being the major influence in the turn around. Murphy could have had a winner along with his equaliser, but the Pool will feel fortunate to take home the point with Hayter missing the late penalty. It's obvious to see that if Pool are to survive this season the services of Keigan Parker will be vital to the cause.
Jones, S Taylor (59 S Wiles) , P Clarke, R Edwards (84 T Butler) , A Taylor, K Lasley, K Southern, N Wood (58 K Parker) , M Bean, I Morris, J Murphy
Subs: L Pogliacomi, S Vernon, K Parker, S Wiles, T Butler
Stewart, S Purches, N Young, A Brown, C Hart, S Cooke (82 J Tindall) , B Rix, M Browning, D Fordyce (72 J Coutts) , J Hayter, B Pitman (58 S Fletcher)
Subs: J Coutts, J Tindall, S Fletcher, K Broadhurst, W Cummings
** Clarke didn't booked at the end, it was just Marcus Bean picking up a booking, his 7th of the season. **
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