Ormerod stars in Pool's Bristol comeback
February 25, 2012, 15:00
There are very few Blackpool supporters who thought Brett Ormerod would get a chance to affect a promotion charge, let alone positively nudge the Seasiders towards a playoff place.
And when Ian Holloway looked at his bench at half time during the 3-1 win at Bristol City, with his side trailing and playing appallingly, he might've been forgiven for sticking with the ramshackled eleven rather than twisting with his ageing striker.
He stuck initially, but twisted following a Pool equaliser, and they never looked back. Ormerod supplied a superb cross for Tom Ince to score his, and the team's, second before Kevin Phillips added a third with five minutes to go.
It is yet another stunning comeback from a side who simply do not know when they're beaten. And today it was thanks to the old guard coming off the bench - Ormerod and Lomana Lua Lua - who added a spark going forward that was so desperately needed.
Holloway had made six changes - some enforced and others through choice - from the side that lost embarrassingly at home to West Ham United in midweek.
Craig Cathcart wasn't in the squad and his central defensive compatriot Ian Evatt had to be content with a place on the bench.
Despite all the changes, Pool were at their ineffectual worst during a poor opening 45 - incapable of injecting enough pace or incisive fluidity that is so often associated with this side.
They had a spell of early pressure but were sluggish in possession, with the likes of Ludovic Sylvestre culpable.
That spurred the Robins on and they took the lead after 29 minutes. Albert Adomah picked out Jon Stead inside the area and struck home beyond a helpless Matt Gilks, and it was no less than the home side deserved.
Derek McInnes had loanee Sean Davis holding his midfield - which is how an increasing number of teams set up against the Seasiders - which stifled any real attacking threat.
They could have doubled their lead before the break when Chris Wood's rasping drive was unbelievably saved by Gilks, who continues to turn in match-winning performances which have been needed on a regular basis.
However, there was no spark until well after half time. With Lua Lua and Ormerod readied to join the action, Tom Ince had a freekick deflect past David James in goal for a fortuitous equaliser after 55 minutes.
Ollie had a decision to make - to keep things as they were or to continue with his planned substitutions. His side were still playing relatively badly and needed that extra touch of quality going forward; the strikers entered the fray just after the hour mark.
From then on there was only one winner. Ince should have scored moments later but fired over the bar and Lua Lua's jinking solo run ended in a stinging effort being saved by James.
The goal was coming and even though they had to wait until the 84th minute, it was fully deserved from the visitors.
Ormerod, who looked fitter with an injection of pace, laid on a perfectly flighted cross for Ince to head home inside the six-yard box, with James probably looking back with regret that he couldn't cut out the assist. Nevertheless, a great move from the Seasiders, which gave them a platform for victory.
That victory was assured three minutes later when Stephen Crainey's cross made its way to Phillips who stroked home for all three points that see Pool sit in fourth in the Championship - quite an astonishing end to a trying week.
Positives included the reintroduction to first team football for Keith Southern provides a welcome boost as he joined Ferguson in the middle of the park for the final 20 minutes.
What will please the 816 travelling Blackpool support is a reprieve to the Ashton Gate hoodoo, but more importantly a hero returns to put in a shift to secure the points. With message boards rife with talk about what needs to change going forward, the key ingredient off the bench might just have been under their noses all along.
If Ormerod was not to affect the run-in as much as he would like, it is well worth noting that cameos from Hamuer Bouazza (Scunthorpe away) and Jason Euell (Ipswich at home) won crucial points in the quest for promotion last time around. Crucial wins after coming from behind, much like today. Maybe the cameo of Super Brett will be held in similar regard come the end of the season.