Emphasis on the word lucky, despite what the score-line suggests. Just what we needed, a bit of luck. Blackpool were bossed out of the game for long periods at Bloomfield Road today, but held out for a flattering 3-0 victory against early relegation contenders, Leyton Orient. Martin Lings side can count themselves extremely unlucky that they didn`t walk out of Bloomers with a point at least.
Blackpool started very brightly and after just eleven seconds, Andy Morrell nearly squeezed a shot past the Orient keeper, which seemed to spark the visitors into life. Gary Alexander and former Mansfield winger, Wayne Corden came closest for The O`s in a spell of superiority. Morrell then had a further two excellent attempts at goal before he finally made the break-through. Pool scrapped their way down the pitch before a beautiful ball to Ben Burgess presented a great chance for the big man to score, but he missed, with the ball ballooning up in the air to Morrell, and he made no mistake with his header looping over the despairing defenders on the line.
Then The Seasiders showed why they have been struggling. A fairly innocuous set piece wasn`t dealt with by Michael Jackson, which gifted a brilliant chance to the visitors, only for them to hit the post. Halt Time – Blackpool 1 – 0 Leyton Orient.
The second half was a non entity up until the moment Keigan Parker came on for Simon Gillett (although Ben Burgess missed an open goal, but we wont delve into that!!). The Scot provided the extra bit that Pool needed and when he burst through on goal after 81 minutes, there was only going to be one outcome (no, not a goal!!), a penalty! O`s defender Andy Tann the guilty party who was left with his deserved marching orders. Wes Hoolahan emphatically hit home the spot kick to put the home side two up.
Then after a good move from The Seasiders, Ben Burgess slipped Parker in for him to fire home the third and final goal after eighty-six minutes.
Rhys Evans – 8
Some very important stops today, and claimed a few crosses very well. People must stop moaning at him.
Shaun Barker – 8
Good display from Shaun today. Looked at home playing in the centre of defence – his best position, Simon take heed!!
Danny Coid – 5
Had a shocker, but was ill, so we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.
Michael Jackson – 7
Solid, I’m still not sure about his defensive attributes however.
Simon Gillett – 6
Fairly ineffective, will have better days.
Wes Hoolahan – 7
Did Ok. Did his job. Cracking penalty.
Keith Southern – 8
After a poor first half, he came out with visible passion and upped his game.
David Fox – 6
Pity, game passed him by. That was his chance today.
Ben Burgess – 8
Howling miss, but won every header. His goal will come.
Andy Morrell – 8
Fantastic. Was brilliant and full of running all game, even when he switched to right midfield.
Parker And Joseph – 8s
Good performances by both. Parker changed the game.
First of all, it`s three points, which we were desperately in need of. I`m mighty pleased we`ve managed to secure our first win at home, but the writing is on the wall for Simon Grayson, and Saturday`s victory just prevented the inevitable.
We played some neat stuff at times, but the performance was disjointed and lacked passion. The defence with Michael Jackson still looks weak and the midfield were abysmal in the first half. The front two however, we excellent. Ben Burgess is winning every header and Andy Morrell is a willing runner, who likes to have a shot, which is never a bad thing!!! Keigan Parker changed the game when he came on and that leaves me asking why he doesn`t start games? If it`s because of this Wellens Syndrome he has, it is down to the management to actually manage him and get the best out of one of the hottest properties in lower league football. Opposing teams must love it when Parkers name is read out as only a substitute.
One thing I am getting increasingly annoyed about is the Rhys Evans boo boys and moaners. He is an excellent goalkeeper at this level and being booed because he doesn`t throw a ball out to a fullback (who was in no position to receive the ball) isn`t going to help anyone. I find it pointless, especially after he`d kept us in the game at 1-0.
The performance wasn`t great, but it is a win. Hopefully we can turn the corner now. Grayson has bought himself three games on Saturday I think. Although a heavy defeat on Sky may prove to be his fall from grace.