Town 2 – 0 Blackpool
The Galpharm Stadium
Once again after promising so much in a previous game the Seasiders suffer another defeat, this time to hands of Huddersfield Town.
Grayson shuffled his pack, from a dire first half performance from debutant Dean Gordon, Grayson must have thought he’d picked a joker. A changed formation to 4-4-2 allowed for the shuffle, Gordon started at left-back with Morris ahead of him, Joseph came in for his first start at right-back instead of Warrender. In the middle of midfield was Southern and Wilcox, with Parker partnering Murphy up front.
Town, looking for their first win in 2006 started of brightly, easily finding space behind the new Pool full-backs, Gordon all afternoon had trouble in distributing the ball to any player in a tangerine shirt. With the paring of Abbot and Booth up top for Huddersfield it was always going to be an physical battle for Clarke and Butler.
The first chance of the match fell to the home side, a free-kick from Danny Schofield saw Jones having to punch clear. The Seasiders didn’t have to wait long for their first chance; John Murphy wasn’t able to get any direction and power on his header from a Parker cross which allowed McIntosh to clear easily.
The first clear cut opportunity fell to Huddersfield’s Polish striker, Abbot was sent clear from a Booth flick on, but the six-footers touch was poor and Jones was able to collect the ball safely in his area.
Moments later, Town took the lead from a corner which was conceded by Butler after he deflected a shot wide. The corner went to the near post where a flick on from McIntosh found Tom Smith who controlled and then fired in the opener from close range.
Town nearly doubled the lead when Schofield managed to create a shooting opportunity for himself following some great close control, fortunately Peter Clark was on hand to block the shot.
The Seasiders then had two chances to get a goal back, both falling to John Murphy, first his header was tipped over the bar from a Parker cross. The second chance, the easier of the two saw the big man only managing to guide his header in the arms of Rachubka following a Gobern free kick.
Town had some more opportunities to double the lead before the half-time break but the best chance fell to Keigan Parker. The young Scot raced clear of Town’s defence but was only able to guide his shot the wrong side of the post.
Half time saw the first change for the Seasiders, Donnelly came on for Morris, Wilcox moved to the left of midfield and Donnelly slotted into the middle with Southern.
The first minute summed up the whole of the afternoon for the Seasiders when from a Blackpool kick-off Huddersfield managed to gain position and then create an opportunity all within thirty second of the restart. Gary Taylor-Fletcher, a half time substitute, shot narrowly wide from the chance.
Now if it wasn’t bad enough that the game and the Pool were pretty dire the referee C Oliver from Northumberland (more like Numptyland) decided to make the affair even worse. He’s been trying his best to ruin the game in the first half but he managed to ruin the second half. He first booked Marc Joseph, and then continuously made several poor decisions, regarding fouls and the distribution of his cards in a fair manner.
Donnelly and then Abbot picked up booking for late challenges. Abbott’s challenge was a late tackle on Clarke, so late that most of the 12,000 supporters in the ground missed it. Clark went off for treatment but was back soon and then proceeded to try and behead Brandon, Clark was fortunate to get away with just a booking for what looked like an elbow.
Schofield and Holdsworth went close with shots over the bar, but on 73 minutes Worthington was tripped in the box by Joseph who had been moved to centre-back following the substitution of Warrender for Butler.
Danny Schofield took the penalty which was saved by Jones diving to his left, but Schofield was quickest to react and slotted the ball home in the opposite corner.
The last twenty minutes saw Town kill the game, and with that, the spirits of the away support also died.
A very dire affair indeed, the Seasiders were stretched by a decent Huddersfield team who never really had to sweat to earn the three points. Gordon who made his first start in a Seasiders shirt lacked match fitness and also a pair of shorts that fitted him. Once again Pool lacked a creative element with the midfield unable to retain possession and create any decent chances.
Before the transfer window closes a top priority has to be a player with a touch of class, the ability to create opportunities and keep possession, we were suppose to have one in the form of John Doolan who didn’t even make the bench today.
I would do players rating, but today’s performance didn’t deserve it, with no Pool player standing out to earn the man of the match award.
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