Spoils Shared At Sixfields
4th November 2006
A cold November afternoon saw mid table battlers Northampton Town and Blackpool share the spoils at Sixfields with an engaging 1-1 draw in front of just over five and a half thousand, with an impressive six hundred from the North West. The Seasiders gained a point, but still managed to drop into the bottom half of League 1. At one point in the afternoon, The 'Pool were eighth.
I for one didn`t manage to get to the game, so this report is taken mainly from Radio Lancashire, where Ian Chisnall and Steve Canavan commentated.
Simon Grayson showed faith in the side that swept Bradford aside last week, but was able to recall loanee, Simon Gillett to the squad for his final appearance in a tangerine shirt before heading back down to Southampton. Despite scoring two in the midweek penalty defeat at the hands of Accrington Stanley, Ben Burgess had to be content with a place on the bench. The five sat next to Larry didn`t include a goalkeeper, even though Lewis Edge travelled with the team. A bold move by Grayson, and thankfully it didn`t cost.
S.Barker M.Jackson(c) I.Evatt C.Dickinson
A.Forbes K.Southern D.Fox W.Hoolahan
Subs: Joseph, Burgess, Vernon, Jorgensen, Gillett
At the start of the game, the visitors were the stronger side with Carl Dickinson trying his luck within a minute, only for his shot to be fired straight at the hosts` keeper. This was followed by a string of good moves that eventually came to nothing.
Northampton had a real chance just after, when a long throw came into the box, meeting the head of defender Luke Chambers (who scored the winner against Swansea last week), but his effort was wide of the post. This tactic was employed throughout the game, and the defence were looking shaky every time.
Two good chances interrupted The Cobblers inroads into the Blackpool defence, with Ian Evatt and then Keigan Parker both going close, and maybe should have done better. Not to worry, a sweeping Seasiders move involving Southern, Hoolahan, Parker and ultimately Morrell saw the former Coventry forward stroke home. The score came about with a great break up of the play by Southern, and then two superb balls by Parker and Hoolahan saw Morrell being gifted a goal after 20 minutes.
Andy Morrell was the hero at the other end seconds later when he cleared off the line from an Ian Taylor header. The former Aston Villa and Derby man was given a free role, and never really got a firm grip on the match.
The under performing Wes Hoolahan then had a super attempt from all of thirty yards fly just over the top, with Mark Bunn the Cobbler`s keeper losing the flight of the ball also.
Full Back Jason Crowe forced Rhys Evans into action with a stunning save.
Andy Morrell blazed over just before the break on the edge of the box.
Half Time - Northampton 0 - 1 Blackpool
John Gorman made two changes at the break, taking off the ineffectual Ian Taylor and former Seasider James Quinn, replacing them with Jerome Watt and Andy Kirk. I was surprised Kirk didn`t start the game, and bringing him on so early was probably an admission by Gorman that he had got the line up wrong.
Wes Hoolahan picked up his fourth booking of the campaign early on, for a tangle with Bojic. Another silly booking for the Irishman.
The goal that changed the game came on 62 minutes. Wes Hoolahan lost the ball in his own half trying to take on two men, with the ball being picked up by Eoin Jess - whose curling effort beat Evans.
Simon Gillett replaced the below par Adrian Forbes.
The goal was the instigator for a serious spell of pressure on the Blackpool goal, with veteran striker Scott McGleish hitting the bar, and Andy Kirk almost scoring after disarray at the heart of the Blackpool defence. Arguments were brewing, especially between goalkeeper Evans and Ian Evatt.
David Fox then joined Wes in the book.
Parker then wasted a great chance with fifteen left, where the Scot should have squared the ball to Andy Morrell. The Blackpool scorer was than subbed for Big Ben Burgess, who didn`t have enough time to make an impact on the game.
The Seasiders withheld heavy pressure at the death, and could have won it when Burgess flicked wide in stoppage time.
By the reporting on Radio Lancs, it sounded a point was a great result, and Simon Grayson`s men could have easily come away with nothing.
Blackpool now lie in 14th place, five points behind the playoffs, and eight off the automatic spots.