Tinkerman Ollie Nearly Masterminds Villa Draw
10th November 2010 - 19:45
Blackpool 'B` team went down 3-2 at Aston Villa on Wednesday night after a late James Collins winner.
DJ Campbell and first Marlon Harewood had twice equalised for the Seasiders, the former coming in the 87th minute - moments before Collins` header to seal three home points.
Pool boss Ian Holloway has been widely condemned for making 10 changes to the team which drew with Everton at the weekend, leaving the likes of Charlie Adam, Matt Gilks and goalscorer Campbell on the bench.
That decision left Rob Edwards, Brett Ormerod and Jason Euell all starting, whilst Ludovic Sylvestre and Keith Southern manned the midfield. The pair saw to it that former Bloomfield Road loanee Barry Bannan was largely ineffectual.
The away side started the better with their fluent passing game (described as continental after the game by Ollie) and movement off the ball. David Carney was influential at left back and Matt Phillips was proving why he was given a start with his incisively direct running.
Blackpool did have their chances but were hit on the counter attack for Villa`s opening goal. Caught short at the back allowing the home side to build an attack, Pool were all over the place by the time they had enough men back, meaning Stewart Downing could take his time on the ball, dummying onto his right foot, before seeing his deflected shot fly into Richard Kingson`s top left hand corner.
With the supporters still in fine voice, the Seasiders still roared forward with a naive vigour. Sylvestre was a calming influence in the mayhem and it was his clever pass which set up a move which ended in Matt Phillips backheeling into Harewood`s path before the former Villan settled himself and slid home on the stroke of half time.
But after the break Blackpool, as seems normal, needed a few minutes to re-settle themselves. This was time they didn`t have: Carney cleared off the line from a corner and Kingson made a couple of smart stops.
It was only a matter of time before Gerard Houllier`s team edged ahead again; they thought Nathan Delfouneso had done but he was adjudged to have fouled Dekel Keinan as he scored.
He didn`t have to wait long for his goal though as he raced onto an Ashley Young pass to confidently stroke home and Pool were on the ropes.
Three changes were made, with Charlie Adam, DJ Campbell and Ian Evatt coming on to replace Harewood, Euell and the injured but very impressive Keinan.
Oddly enough that saw Blackpool slow the game down, which suited Aston Villa. Urged on by the travelling support, Charlie Adam played a lovely ball around the corner to emergency striker Rob Edwards who had the ball taken off him by DJ Campbell. The former Villa Park trainee jinked his way around a sixpence before finding room to strike from 18 yards. His shot took a huge deflection and looped over Brad Friedel to make it two apiece.
Criminally (and after a ridiculously long celebration) the scoring wasn`t done there. After giving away a cheap corner, Ian Evatt failed to pick up James Collins properly and the defender`s header evaded Chris Basham on the line to give Villa all three points.
Football is a cruel game but losing concentration when it matters most is what Pool do best seemingly. If games were 88 minutes long, Blackpool would be fifth.