Gills 2 - 2 Pool
The Seasiders went into today`s game away at mid table Gillingham looking to build on their fantastic win at Oldham on Tuesday night. Simon Grayson`s men didn`t pick up all three points, but came away with a valuable one.
The team read the same as it did of that on Tuesday with Claus Jorgensen again being overlooked and only Adrian Forbes on the bench able to play in midfield.
The highly rated Dean McDonald opened the scoring for The Gills after only 9 minutes. The 'Pool defence was all at sea as the former Hartlepool loanee nodded home unopposed from just six yards. McDonald - who The Seasiders were after at the back end of last season - was closely pursued by a number of League One sides in pre season following his release from Ipswich Town. I for one led a clamour for the 'pool to sign him up after he turned in some good performances for 'The Tractor Boys` but he was overlooked by the management and chose Andy Morrell instead it seems, which to be fair, wasn`t a bad choice!
So, The Tangerines had fallen one behind inside ten minutes - not exactly the response everyone expected after the midweek win. Good teams have that knack of bouncing back however, and Blackpool did through big Ben Burgess` first league goal for the club. After good understanding between the front two, Andy Morrell then had his shot cannoning off the bar, only for it to fall to Burgess who slashed home and break his league duck, much to the delight of the travelling fans.
Andy Morrell had the best chance (bar the goals) of the half when his left footed curler sailed wide much to the annoyance of Burgess in the box, as he wanted the ball crossing.
Blackpool FC and goalkeepers - what is the problem? Paul Rachubka was found wanting underneath a Gills cross and Andrew Crofts had the simple task of scoring. Simon Gillett was then booked (yet again) for a niggly challenge on Nicky Southall.
Half Time - Gills 2 - 1 'Pool
Ronny Jepson`s half time team talk seemed to have done the trick as within five minutes of the restart Michael Jackson brought down Danny Spiller and the referee`s assistant waved his flag across his chest to signal penalty - much to Jacko`s dismay. Michael Flynn was the man who took the pen (another player I wanted to see at the seaside, but Matt Williams - club secretary - said he would have cost the club far too much money for what he is) and promptly missed, although that`s being a trifle unfair on Rachubka, who did brilliantly to save the spot kick and more than made up for his earlier mistake. Turning point in the match maybe?
The two ineffectual wingers for 'Pool - Gillett and Hoolahan - (again they were both poor) were withdrawn and replaced by Forbes and Parker.
David Fox (I`d now like to say doing what he does best - but I`d be lying!) hit a fabulous free kick into the top corner to salvage a point for the mighty. Hopefully Foxy can produce this now on a regular basis, something your creative centre midfielder should be doing!
Keith Southern picked up an injury soon after (hopefully not serious) and was replaced by Scott Vernon and the Blackpool formation was a very attacking one with four forwards on the pitch.
The final quarter of the game however passed along without incident, apart from the home side being denied a stone wall penalty. This evened itself out though, as the pen that was given was a ludicrous decision by the same linesman - a nice balancing act?
Overall, this was a good result in all honesty after the start and conceding a spot kick. A win on Tuesday and we can really make inroads into the playoff mix.