Date:Saturday December 30 2006
30th December 2006
Two goals from substitute Scott Vernon and one from Shaun Barker late into Blackpool`s game with Doncaster Rovers ensured the Seasiders picked up nine points from a possible nine over the Christmas period.
Before the match, supporters were locked out of the ground, as the match officials inspected the pitch due to heavy rain and standing water. Nine youth team players were sent on with forks - trying to help the drainage. This must have worked, as the pitch was passed playable soon after, despite serious protests from Sean O`Driscoll.
Blackpool manager, Simon Grayson made one change from the side that won against Carlisle United on Boxing Day with Claus Jorgensen replacing Adrian Forbes on the right hand side of the midfield four. Andy Wilkinson was passed fit to play after coming off injured on Tuesday and took up his place at left back.
Shaun Barker - Ian Evatt - Michael Jackson - Andy Wilkinson
Claus Jorgensen - Keith Southern - David Fox - Wes Hoolahan
Andy Morrell - Keigan Parker
The Seasiders, kicking towards the vacant South stand (surely work must start there soon?) soon had the first decent opportunity of the play off clash when Keigan Parker`s cross was met by Andy Morrell, who pulled out a brilliant save from the Donny keeper.
At the other end, the impressive Paul Green had his goal-bound freekick blocked by the Blackpool wall, with the ball spinning for a corner.
The home side then had two hand ball claims turned down by the referee in the box.
With 25 minutes gone, Andy Morrell had a golden chance to open the scoring when David Fox threaded a gem through to the former Coventry man, only for his first touch to let him down as he was dancing around the Donny keeper, one on one. The ball squirted away and Rovers could clear.
Blackpool goalkeeper, Rhys Evans looked stable throughout the first half. The best example of this was when he claimed a Doncaster corner under heavy pressure from behind.
The home team had played well in patches, but in my view weren`t penetrating enough in the final third.
Half Time: Blackpool 0 - 0 Doncaster Rovers
Whatever Simon Grayson said at half time must have sent out the wrong messages to his players as they looked like a totally different side in the second period.
Around ten minutes in however, on loan full back, Andy Wilkinson rose highest at the back stick from a Shaun Barker cross, only for his header to miss the target.
Some sections of the Pool crowd could sense an away goal, as the visitors were allowed time and space (much like Carlisle on Boxing Day). The noise level inside Bloomers lifted, and this must have given the players that bit extra going into the final twenty minutes and the focus of the game changed completely.
Scott Vernon came on for Andy Morrell who himself had had a very quiet game. This change was to be the defining factor of the result. Soon after Vernon had come on, Keigan Parker saw a tame, weak and all too predictable free kick easily saved from a promising position on the angle of the box.
With 12 minutes remaining, Pool scored. It was that man, Vernon who got it. Wes Hoolahan (how much is this lad worth?) kinked his way around three Donny defenders before firing the yellow ball across the box for Vernon to take it first time and place Blackpool 1-0 up.
Moments later, The Seasiders found themselves 2-0 to the good. A poor corner by David Fox (can this lad be trusted with a dead ball?) rebounded back to him, and his cross on the edge of the box found its way to Shaun Barker who powered his header home. The goal not being too dissimilar to that of his away at Crewe, the game that got our season going for me.
In this mad ten minutes, the mighty Seasiders scored another when "Super" Scott Vernon dispossessed the stupid away goalkeeper on his goal line just outside the penalty area. Vernon collected the ball and then proceeded to roll the ball into the unguarded net with precise precision - a quality finish.
Rhys Evans soon proved his worth in goal for Pool a few minutes later as a rasping drive was tipped wide.
A minute later however, Doncaster scored after a goalkeeping error as Evans spilt a cross and gifted Paul Heffernan a consolation goal.
Another great win for us, and below par performance. Who cares? These results are the ones that make championships…
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Date:Saturday December 30 2006
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