'Pool Go Cherry Picking
6th March 2007 - 19:45
Before I start, apologies for this report being a tad late.
Simon Grayson`s men made it seven points out of a possible nine with a comfortable 2-0 victory against lowly Bournemouth at Bloomfield Road, which prompted supporters making their way out of the west to pontificate about the lack of a game 'The Cherries` gave 'The Seasiders`. Some people, sadly, will never be pleased!
In the pre match warm up, club captain Michael Jackson was struck down by illness and was replaced by Latvian international Kaspars Gorkss at centre half, something I had wanted to see for weeks anyway. This also meant the forgotten man (well, one of the double act, the other player being Marcus Bean who didn`t even make the bench) of Bloomfield Road, Marc Joseph was drafted in as a substitute. I must admit when I saw Joseph warming up I thought Coidy had been injured again, thankfully it wasn`t him yet again. Wes Hoolahan and Keigan Parker occupied sub seats with Forbes and Burgess being preferred. Claus Jorgensen replaced the injured Keith Southern.
The visitors kicked off and booted the ball far away towards the North West corner, where stand in captain Shaun Barker and Ian Evatt were waiting, and they quickly got an attack going. The ball found its way out to Adrian Forbes on the right and the midfielder cut inside brilliantly, beating a couple of players, before his shot cannoned back of the post, much to the amasement of many around me that Forbesy was capable of doing that!
Straight after - this all being in the first five minutes - Andy Morrell`s drive brought out a good save from Neil Moss who tipped wide for a corner. From the set piece, the ball was only half cleared, with Claus Jorgensen waiting on the edge of the box, and he hit one that just missed the Cherries left hand post.
Mid way into the first half, a David Fox corner (all his set pieces have improved significantly in recent games - have we actually been working on them I wonder?) found its way to Shaun Barker who had the simple task of nodding home from two yards, but failed to do so as Moss again made a fantastic save.
Marcus Browning was replaced shortly after Barker`s chance by Danny Hollands through injury. Browning from what I could see was the only cherry in midfield that was trying to compete: the perfect quote on a message board today was that the away midfield "rolled over and died"!!
The main threat from the visitors was David McGoldrick but he was intent on winning the game all by himself, much to the annoyance of skipper Steve Fletcher (who never wears a shirt that fits!) who was being closely marked by Evatt and Gorkss, with the long balls being food and drink for them.
Adrian Forbes broke his 'Pool duck on 36 minutes when he was put through by Ben Burgess and just as the person next to me screamed "don`t do it!" Forbes rapped his foot around the ball and struck it into the far corner to give The Seasiders a much deserved lead, and one that they needed with being so dominant. If Bournemouth had kept it tight until half time, they may have come away with something as the side on top has got to score when they`ve got all the ball: luckily we did.
The home side went a bit quieter towards the end of the half, but with a couple of half chances, could have extended the lead.
Half Time: Blackpool 1-0 Bournemouth
The second period was overall drab in my opinion compared to the first and this was apparent from the signal to start the second 45, as the first note taking point came ten minutes in when big Ben Burgess slammed in his second goal in two games on the volley whilst on the turn from a Shaun Barker cross: a real moment of class. The celebration however, is even better! Flapping his arms like a bird (possibly a seagull!) is certainly better than the normal ones we`re used to, and showed a bit of character. I`m just wondering if Burgess` idol is Henrik Pedersen, the Bolton front man, as he had the same bizarre celebration!?
It was becoming more and more obvious that Gorkss in central defence was to be a very good move by Grayson as he, despite his dithering on the ball, grew into the match and won nearly every one of his headers and is a giant along with Evatt.
Fox was then booked stupidly (these stupid bookings are adding up), before Andy Morrell was bizarrely yellow carded for something he said to the referee. The man in black was doing very well until he booked Fox, and his performance dropped significantly after that, which is a shame.
The Seasiders, as they always do when in front, sat back and invited pressure and whilst James Hayter was dancing clear, just stood and watched. Thankfully for all concerned, Hayter`s strike went over.
Three changes near the end slowed the game down when Parker, Hoolahan and Vernon replaced Gillett, Forbes and Burgess. Parker was booed when he entered the pitch, and his time at the seaside at this moment in time looks to be coming to an end with alleged antics out in town along with Hoolahan. However, no player deserves to be booed, and I thought the jeering from the North wasn`t needed.
Credit to the 100 (a figure quoted on a Bournemouth website, I`d think it was more 50!) or so Cherries fans who sung their hearts out and had to endure the Gene Kelly weather all night (why weren`t they placed at the end of the west?).
Full Time: Blackpool 2-0 Bournemouth
Let's keep this up!