Crystal Palace v Blackpool
The proverbial game of two halves appears to be coming a full integrated part of the Michael Appleton lexicon during his Blackpool tenure. Appy himself sort to down play this particular fixture as having any additional significance. 'Honestly I can look you in the eye and tell you that facing Holloway means nothing more than any other game. It's just three points'
Welsey Thomas though had made it clear he had a point to prove, revealing that he had been released by Ollie whilst a QPR youth, subjecting him to a long haul claw back via non league football. The longer established players kept their counsel in the build up, Appy clearly wishing to keep the feet on the ground.
The first half was the mouth waterer as far as 'pool were concerned, dominating Palace. Cathcart, Osbourne and Thomas all going close before Nathan Delfouneso headed home form a Wes Thomas cross. Thomas then went close himself just before the break heading Fonz's cross wide
Second half, well it was clear Ollie had fired up Palace and it was backs to the wall time. First Garvan then Murray scoring as Blackpool were well and truly on the ropes. It could have been 3-1 but Gilks saved the day.
But cometh the hour and our very own 'Super Sub' Noha Dicko equalised in the last minute. To say he was pleased was perhaps an understatement as he raced like a gazelle, whipping off his top,sporting a physique not exactly matched by the writer, before plonking himself firmly in the middle of the travelling tangerine fans.
And Appy? That calm man of few words? just another game? Well he went ballistic, jumping around like an untethered kangaroo. And so a crucial point gained and Appleton remains unbeaten.
Ollie's usual thin skinned emotions showed in his post match press conference, seemingly being upset by the tame banter of 'Ollie, what's the score?' When Blackpool were winning. Presumably he wasn't intending celebrating if Palace had won?
Both managers commented to the BBC as follows, with Ollie again being a little emotive, but likewise Appy, just another game? pull the other one.
Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway: 'They were delighted at the end but I didn't like the reaction of one of the men on their bench.
'One of the new fellas looked straight at me when they equalised. It's a war out there and I carried my shield very proud.
'It was not easy to play down the emotion, I was at Blackpool a long time and had great times, but you have to move on.'
Blackpool manager Michael Appleton: 'I'm sure some players get themselves up for different games, former managers or clubs, and I thought we dealt with them reasonably well.
'I would have been desperately disappointed not to take anything out of the game after having played so well in the first half.
'Just before we got an equaliser, you could see a bit of momentum building. And once we got that, I thought we could have gone on and got the winner.'