Date: 11th December 2010 at 5:59pm
Written by:

Blackpool strengthened their survival credentials with a brilliant defensive display at Stoke City.

A DJ Campbell strike moments after half time was enough to seal the 1-0 win in front of 26,879 at the Britannia stadium.

The win moves Pool up to ninth in the Barclays Premier League – six points clear of the drop zone.

And with the Seasiders now sitting on 22 points, it could be that five more wins see them plying their trade in the top flight in 2011/12.

Ian Holloway’s team had to dig deep for the three points throughout the 90 minutes, with the obvious and much talked about Stoke pressure evident from the off.

The Potters were guilty of wasteful finishing, with 11 shots off target. Kenwyne Jones was the biggest City threat as his physical presence presented plenty of opportunities, but the home shooting saw more balls fly into row Z than towards Richard Kingson in the tangerine goal.

The visitors did have the Ghanaian to thank in the second half however, with a couple of superb stops from set pieces – most notably from a Robert Huth header which he somehow flung a right hand at and diverted away.

To say that all of the Stoke finishing was poor would be unfair. They hit the bar twice, with Matthew Etherington the unluckiest, after seeing his 25-yard freekick within a whisker of levelling the game as it crashed off the woodwork.

This all came after the move of the match though. Charlie Adam picked up on a loose ball in the middle of the park before delaying playing Campbell through on goal. In the end, the Scottish international decided to find Luke Varney on the left hand side, where the on-loan star drove at goal before picking Adam out again; he struck at goal but his shot only served to land at Campbell`s feet before the striker poked home ahead of the sluggish Danny Collins to give Pool the lead.

As said above, Stoke have to be credited for their endeavour in trying to notch an equaliser. What was extremely heartening from a Blackpool point of view was how the back four threw themselves in front of everything, won crucial headers and above all, didn’t lose concentration in the last few moments.

A marvellous defensive display and one which sees Pool just two points away from a European place.

Full match report to follow in the morning.