So here we are – League Cup third round, and the Seasiders travel to Premiership Stoke City looking for another scalp. But how has this fixture panned out historically?
Stoke wins: 28
Blackpool wins: 21
The first meeting between the two sides came in 1907 at Victoria Park, in what is now The Championship. The fixture finished 3-1 to the home side but ‘Pool got their revenge later that season with a 1-0 win. Both ended up midtable finishers that year.
Looking into the much more recent past, The Potters have generally had the upper hand over Blackpool. The 2007/08 season – when City were promoted to the Premiership – saw a 3-2 home defeat for Simon Grayson’s side after two goals from former Preston striker Ricardo Fuller and one from centre back Leon Cort. Incidentally, Cort was playing in one of his first games for Stoke after being deemed not good enough to play in Neil Warnock’s Crystal Palace defence because he hadn’t been booked enough in his career!
But there have been some good performances at the Britannia (since 1997 when City moved from the Victoria Ground) along the way. In ’98 a Martin Aldridge (RIP) brace helped Nigel Worthington’s side to a 3-1 win.
And in 2008, Grayson’s side recovered from their 3-2 defeat at home to record a credible draw thanks to a Ben Burgess goal which helped seal Championship survival in our first year back in the second flight for three decades.
Looking at games in the cup competitions, ‘Pool don’t have a great record. In eight cup games (FA Cup and LDV) Stoke have come out on top in five with one draw and just two seaside victories. Let’s hope this pattern doesn’t repeat itself tomorrow night.
However, along their way to LDV success in 2002, Steve McMahon’s Blackpool overcame Stoke 3-2 in that competition before beating Mansfield, Chesterfield, Oldham, Huddersfield (remember ‘that’ goal from Martin Bullock?) and eventually Cambridge at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. At Bloomfield Road in the first round game against Stoke goals from Gary Parkinson, Steven Caldwell and big John Murphy raced ‘Pool into a 3-0 lead before Chris Iwelumo and Lewis Neal made it an interesting finish.
Kick off is at 7:45 at the Britannia.