Best Of 'Pool Since '78
22nd December 2007 - 15:00
The manager signs a new contract (well, a contract, not necessarily a new one!) on the Friday, and his side then go out on the Saturday and hammer an established Championship side 4-0; any correlation?
Simon Grayson - who penned a contract until 2010 - picked a near unchanged side to the one who were outclassed at home to Stoke last week, and it worked a treat with the boys in tangerine overcoming a 'star' studded Coventry City side, thanks to goals from Wes Hoolahan, Scott Vernon and the two new heroes of Bloomfield Road - Kaspars Gorkss and Michael Flynn. The only change to the side was former City man Andy Morrell in for the out of sorts Bart Slusarksi, who dropped to the bench.
Barker © - Evatt - Gorkss - Crainey
GTF - Jorgensen - Flynn - Hoolahan
Morrell - Burgess
Konstantopoulos (yes, I've spelt it right!)
Borrowdale - Ward - Turner - McNamee
Misfud - Hughes - Doyle - Tabb
Kyle - Best
Kicking towards the heavily populated South Stand, The Seasiders started at a high tempo, much like last week, with Flynn stamping his authority on the game early on as he saw a freekick cannon off the post and deflect clear, which was unfortunate as the ball almost found its way to an onrushing Burgess.
The 'Pool kept pressing in the opening encounters, as Andy Morrell headed in past the 'keeper but the whistle had already gone for offside.
Despite not immediately scoring, we looked far more confident in possession of the ball today throughout, which I thought was refreshing to see, especially as our ball retention has been poor all season. The inclusion of Michael Flynn in the midfield seems to have not only bolstered us in terms of attacking runs from the middle of the park, but we seem to be using our heads more, and having a look to see what's on, instead of aimless balls 'out of harms way'.
In what was a fast and furious start to the match, City were crunching into challenges, with Burgess being dumped on his preverbal numerous times as Ward tried (albeit in vein) to ruffle the big man up.
Elliot Ward was lucky not to have given away a penalty in many Blackpool fans' eyes, as he looked to shove Andy Morrell in the back inside the box, but referee Taylor waved away the appeals - quite rightly for me, I felt Morrell went down far too easily.
Only minutes after that incident, City shot themselves in the foot from a Wes Hoolahan corner. The ball was whipped in, and as it broke to Kaspars Gorkss - who was laying Hoolahan off for another cross - David McNamee came storming in carelessly and tripped the big Latvian: a stonewall penalty.
The little Irish winger stepped up confidently and placed home to give the home side a 1-0 lead, one that was well deserved, after 28 minutes.
Obviously aggrieved at losing a goal, Kevin Kyle then got himself stupidly sent off just after the half hour mark. Iain Dowie's side had a thrown in on the halfway line, and Shaun Barker got into a tangle with Kyle, which looked to be a fair tussle, and as Kyle tried to fling himself free, his elbow caught the face of Blackpool's skipper. Mr Taylor was quick on the scene, and from his angle I can see why he went for a straight red for Kyle. However, I felt the decision was harsh, and judging by Kyle's reaction, so did he.
The sides exchanged bookings and at the break it was Blackpool 1 - 0 Coventry City.
At the break, Grayson was forced into making a change to his side, as Gary Taylor-Fletcher - who had felt the full force of an Elliot Ward tackle - was taken off to be replaced by David Fox, who slotted in the centre of midfield, meaning the flexible Jorgensen would play on the right.
To be fair to Dowie's side, they came out and gave it a real go in the second period. Leon Best was showing why City paid so much money for him as his power and pace were causing problems for Gorkss, albeit problems that were overcome by the international with ease, thus showing why he's such a key asset to the club (and to think that some fans thought he was a clown when he joined!).
Ten minutes into the second period, Andy Morrell had another penalty appeal (although less of a case than the first) turned down by the referee as a cross from the lively Hoolahan just evaded him as he tangled with the lanky Ben Turner.
The game seemed to then go a bit stale, and it looked like The Seasiders were to settle for a narrow victory (something they don't do very well is seeing out games, so that wouldn't have been a very smart move!) but an incredible flighted ball from Jorgensen found soared over the top of the hapless Turner, right into the path of Flynn, who blasted home his third Blackpool goal in the month and immediately shared his delight with the adoring Kop end.
That goal was after 65 minutes and just seven later 'Pool were in complete dream land as from a corner taken by David Fox you could hear a loud THUMP! Kaspars Gorkss had arrived! Jorgensen's ball in and Kaspars' header straight into the net: 3-0.
A certain former Gillingham captain was brought off with about ten minutes to go as he left to a heroes standing ovation as he beamed his way off the pitch to be replaced by Welsh.
However, Flynn's ovation wasn't half that of Andy Morrell's! The front man did everything but score (as did Burgess) and the whole of Bloomfield road was on its feet, whilst Andy trudged off dead on his after such a shift leading the line. Super Scott Vernon was given just six minutes to show what he could do.
Guess what? He showed us all what he's about, and full credit to him. Ward was caught dallying on the ball, Vernon robbed him and was off clean through on goal. To be honest, there was never any doubt about the outcome - there never is when he gets himself in a scoring position; the former Oldham man just caressed the ball home with his instep, oozing class. The scoring was finished with two minutes left and every single Blackpool fan will now have a smile on their face as the team battled against a very physical City side to hammer them - the biggest win for The Tangerines in the second flight of English football since 14th January 1978 when Charlton were demolished 5-1 at Bloomfield Road.
Who needs Christmas? Boxing Day is more important!