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Match Report


Posted Sat 10 Sep 11 at 14:57 PM


Two second-half goals were enough for Blackpool to beat Town 2-0 at Bloomfield Road.

Despite an encouraging first-half display from Town, goals from Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Barry Ferguson were enough for the home side to take the three points.

Town handed a debut to new signing Danny Collins, who partnered Ibrahima Sonko at the heart of the defence, with Damien Delaney dropping to the bench.

Lee Bowyer was also recalled to the starting line-up after returning from injury and he was joined by Jimmy Bullard and Keith Andrews in the centre of Town's midfield.

Meanwhile former Town man Billy Clarke was named in Ian Holloway's starting line-up.

The game started at a fast pace with an early Andrews cross almost reaching Michael Chopra before Ian Evatt got a strong block in.

Almost immediately the Seasiders responded through Brett Ormerod who whipped in a cross to the near post that Town 'keeper David Stockdale did well to hold on to.

Town striker Chopra was looking lively up front on his own and he almost broke the deadlock after six minutes after his shot was headed off the line by Craig Cathcart after he had turned away from Evatt and Matthew Gilks in the box.

Carlos Edwards was looking assured at right-back and he found space in the Blackpool half before unleashing a long range effort that sailed over Gilks' bar.

A counter attack from the hosts created an opening for Ormerod down the left hand-side after 16 minutes, but the striker's shot only found the side netting after finding himself through on goal.

Both sides were looking dangerous on the counter and Town came close to opening the scoring after 26 minutes.

A Bullard corner to the back post evaded Gilks but Sonko failed to connect with the ball after rising above Evatt. Blackpool responded five minutes before the break with veteran striker Kevin Phillips testing Stockdale with a long range effort that the 'keeper gathered at the second attempt.

The teams returned for the second-half with the rain lashing down and Town were soon behind. Good control by Clarke after a slip from both Aaron Cresswell and Edwards saw the Irishman find space in the box and his mishit shot fell kindly to Taylor-Fletcher who tapped home from close range after 48 minutes.

Town went further behind on the hour mark. Good work by Ormerod on the right hand-side saw him cross for Ferguson and the Blackpool skipper slotted past Stockdale to double their lead.

The hosts were suddenly playing with confidence and Clarke tried his luck from distance on 63 minutes, but his curling effort was always rising and sailed over the bar.

Paul Jewell responded by bringing on both Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Jason Scotland in an attempt to find a goal and Scotland made an immediate impact by releasing Bullard but the midfielder's strike from distance failed to trouble Gilks in the Blackpool goal on 72 minutes.

The best chance of the game fell to Daryl Murphy on 78 minutes after he was sent through on goal thanks to an Andrews pass, but with just the 'keeper to beat the striker failed to hit the target from just inside the area.

Soon after Murphy had the chance to make amends for his earlier miss after he was again released in on goal by an Andrews through ball, however the on-loan forward again failed to test Gilks in a similar position to where he was before after 83 minutes.

With Town looking for a way back into the game they were almost caught on the counter attack by the Seasiders after 87 minutes. Sonko gave away possession in the middle of the pitch and substitute Matty Phillips slipped in Alex Baptiste who forced a smart save out of Stockdale before Kevin Phillips fired the ball over the bar from the rebound.

Murphy came close to pulling a goal back for Town in injury time after his fierce drive forced a save out of Gilks but in the end Town couldn't find a way back into the game and left Bloomfield Road empty handed.

The defeat sees Town fail to close the gap on the Seasiders and Paul Jewell's side are next in action against Coventry at Portman Road a week on Monday (19th September).

Blackpool: Gilks, Baptiste, Hill, Cathcart, Evatt, Southern, Ferguson (Sylvestre 76), Clarke (M.Phillips 69), Taylor-Fletcher (Bogdanovic 80), Ormerod, K.Phillips. Subs not used: Halstead, Hurst. Booked: Ferguson.

Town: Stockdale, Edwards, Cresswell, Sonko, Collins, Andrews, Leadbitter (Scotland 65), Bullard, Bowyer (Emmanuel-Thomas 65), Murphy, Chopra. Subs not used: Lee-Barrett, Delaney, Ainsley. Booked: Collins.

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