Resolute Blackpool Win Away AGAIN
Stadium of Light
28th December 2010 - 15:00
Blackpool lie eighth (EIGHTH) in the Barclays Premier League and six points behind Chelsea (CHELSEA) with a game in hand (GAME IN HAND)! Quite remarkable given we are to embark on 2011 in a matter of days.
And all this comes after a, let's say, gritty 2-0 win at Sunderland.
The Seasiders were helped by large portions of luck throughout, with Steve Bruce's Sunderland having more than 30 shots at goal - hitting the woodwork and missing guilt-edge chances in the process.
But all that is mere meat on the bare bones that Pool have won yet again on their travels at a Premier League fortress, keeping their third clean sheet away from Bloomfield Road in the last four away trips. That in itself is an astounding fact.
Two well-crafted goals from the in-form DJ Campbell were enough to seal the three points at the Stadium of Light in the second half.
The first goal came on 50 minutes when the striker seized on a wicked delivery from Neal Eardley from the right hand side which evaded defenders with its bend; DJ stole a march on the defenders in red and white and ghosted in to guide home from just outside Craig Gordon's six-yard box.
The winner came in the final moments when the home side, roared on by a feisty crowd, were pushing for the elusive equaliser. Matt Phillips latched onto a long ball before driving in between two defenders and marauding into the box. He had the intelligence of mind to look up and find Campbell drifting in at the back post before slotting the ball around the corner to the front man, who in turn poked home for the points.
In between those goals, Pool were seriously on the back foot. The midfield were unable to keep hold of the ball whilst the usually calm Craig Cathcart nearly gifted the Black Cats an equaliser as he sliced a clearance right into the path of Darren Bent. Luckily the striker couldn't beat Richard Kingson one-on-one from 10 yards.
Kingson himself had an up and down day. He made a couple of excellent stops, which is what the Pool support have come to expect from Ghana's number one. But equally, he flapped at a few crosses and looked genuinely uncomfortable in spells - also expected!
But to knit-pick too much after such a superb defensive display would be wrong. Ian Evatt was an absolute rock at the back yet again, typifying his performance with a headed block on the line from rocket of a shot - which was definitely flying in.
All said and done, today was always going to be a test of character and the players came through it (without a certain Charlie Adam no less) with flying colours. They rode their luck, as mentioned, but what were you to expect against a team who have only lost once (ONCE) at home this calendar year beforehand?
Magnificent, I couldn't be a happier Blackpool fan now. Four more wins and the Seasiders are safe; or are we now looking slightly further up the tableÖ?