Date:Tuesday March 3 2009
3rd March 2009 - 19:45
Was it a local derby tonight then? Certainly didn't feel like one; the most low key Lancashire derby ever perhaps, but that's insignificant. What's important is that we're slipping down the league at an alarming rate - who's going to sort it?
Owen Coyle's efficent Burnley side overcame Blackpool 1-0 at Bloomfield Road tonight to leave Tony Parkes' men just two points off the drop zone, and if Southampton were to win their game in hand, The Seasiders would drop into the bottom three for the first time this season - couldn't have timed that better, could we?
An 85th minute goal from The Clarets' left back Christian Kalvenes was enough to seal victory in front of a woeful 7679 crowd.
Both sides struggled in the first half to get to grips with the windy (understatement of the week) conditions, which reared to a head midway through the opening period when Brian Jensen couldn't take a goal kick without the ball moving away from its spot, which ended in the match almost being called off.
And 'Pool found themselves very unfortunate shortly after that brief stoppage in play when an away defender clearly handled a Stephen Crainey cross inside the box, but referee Lee Mason (who officiates in the same manner as his pompous exterior) waved away the appeals, somewhat remarkably.
There was little in the way of chances, which was hardly surprising, all game. 'Pool looked dangerous for spells, especially in the second half, but only really tested Jensen once, from 30 yards by Roy O'Donovan, who had replaced the awful Gary Taylor-Fletcher. There was a half chance shortly after that for DJ Campbell, as he pounced on shocking handling from the big goalkeeper from a Jorgensen soft shot, but the on loan striker couldn't muster a shot whilst closing down the fumble.
The visitors had switched to a 4-5-1, happy with a point for the meantime, as 'Pool pressed on, winning five corners in a matter of moments, but again not carving out a single chance from them. This seemed to spur the Clarets on, and they immediately threw Jay Rodriquez to partner Steve Thompson up front, and within a minute, they'd won the game.
Kalvenes was allowed far too much time and space as he roamed forward from the back, and as he ventured into the Blackpool penalty area still Danny Coid and co backed off, before the Norweigan slotted home the winner, past Rachubka's left arm, to send the 1000 or so travelling supporters wild.
This, in a nutshell, typifies our season as a whole. Time and time again have teams come here for a point and suddenly realised they could quite easily get all three and come away with the jackpot. Burnley obviously felt that after they'd rode the 15 minutes of home pressure, there was no reason why they couldn't go and snatch the win. The same went for Doncaster, and indeed Watford.
Parkes made strange substitutions again this evening. He hauled off the impressive Brett Ormerod with half an hour left as well as taking Charlie Adam off with similar time remaining. Although fairly ineffectual tonight, Adam is the type of player that needs to stay on all game, just in case he provides a moment of magic, and frankly, that's what we're missing at the moment. Striker Nick Blackman replaced Brett and made his tangerine debut, but he is just a kid - a kid who scored just one goal in 12 games whilst at Macclesfield for three years. This again typifies us - at the end of the game we had Owens and Blackman playing key roles, and neither could cut it in League Two when they had the chance - what makes Parkes/Oyston think they can affect The Championship?
It's time for change at the top; I know, I sound like a broken record after saying it since New Year, but it's true. Parkes, even if he were to keep us up this year (which is looking increasingly unlikely), is not the man to take charge next season, so why not get a new manager in now and let him stamp his authority ahead of the next campaign?
Jim Gannon would put some fire up the backsides of the players, would provide the motivation to keep us up, and would sustain our Championship status and build on that for years to come; we know it and Oyston knows it. Action needs to be taken, now.
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Date:Tuesday March 3 2009
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