HAMMER IT! Poor Finishing Cost 'Pool Three Points
13th November 2010 - 15:00
Blackpool finished a tricky week with a 0-0 draw at West Ham United.
Ian Holloway made 11 changes to the side that lost 3-2 at Aston Villa on Wednesday, noticeably welcoming back the midfield trio of Charlie Adam, David Vaughan and Elliot Grandin.
In what was an end to end fixture from start to finish, both sides traded blows throughout in an expansive 90 minutes of attacking football.
It did take the Seasiders a while to get going at the start of both the first and second halves which the Hammers attempted to capitalise on in vain, finding the Pool defensive determination difficult to break.
West Ham were hurting Pool in the wide areas, as they managed to get Lars Jacabsen into the game at will but for all their neat interplay, were unable to finish moves off.
Pablo Barrera was guilty of missing the best chance of the opening period as he raced clear on the counter attack on the right hand side before deflecting his shot off Stephen Crainey with the goal at his mercy.
But the away team were always threatening on the break, with Gary Taylor-Fletcher finding pockets of space in front of the Irons defence and drawing central defenders out of position to play Grandin and Varney in.
However, a tangerine final ball was never forthcoming and the first half ended 0-0.
What the second half lacked in quality it more than made up with excitement. Like in previous weeks, Blackpool abandoned defensive instincts in search of a fourth away win this season.
But they had a combination of luck and Richard Kingson to thank for gaining a point in the capital. The Ghanaian - who replaced the injured Matt Gilks at half time - pulled off a stunning one-handed save to thwart the impressive Mark Noble.
However, how Blackpool failed to win the game later in the half only Marlon Harewood and the linesman will know. Harewood, who came on for the tiring DJ Campbell, missed from a matter of inches as Luke Varney's pullback reached him in front of goal.
That looked offside and wasn't given whilst the striker found the net moments before but was flagged off. In the second phase of a Pool attack, which had started as a set-piece, the ball was put back into the danger zone and with another attacker offside, Harewood poked home whilst in an onside position. Yet another incident that puts the offside rule into question...
Charlie Adam came so close to scoring from the halfway line when he saw Robert Green (who was given a torrid time by the visiting supporters) off his line but his effort just landed on top of the Hammers net.
Carlton Cole came on for Avram Grant's men (replacing Luis Boa Morte, who was roundly booed) and almost made an immediate impact but could only hit the post from close range.
Craig Cathcart had a volley saved from a corner whilst Ian Evatt was heroically throwing himself in front of every flying ball at the other end.
Gary Taylor-Fletcher missed a six-yard half volley and from then on it looked as if the game would stay 0-0. Shocking finishing all round, but a brilliant draw nevertheless and what could prove to be a crucial point come the end of the season.