Happy Birthday, Larry!
And what a birthday present for the Blackpool gaffer, a fantastic win away from home at 2nd placed Scunthorpe United which means he will be looking at the table today, on his 37th birthday, to find Blackpool in 7th place, only 2 points off Yeovil in 6th – of course, only until 3pm this afternoon depending on results today.
Blackpool were forced into one change following Carl Dickinson’s recall to Stoke City, resulting in his team-mate from Stoke, Andy Wilkinson, stepping into the left back birth for his first start since joining on loan on deadline day back in November.
The boys didn’t get off to a great start, with the hosts forcing 4 corners inside the first 5 minutes, showing the visitors that they were in for a tough night. However, Blackpool got the breakthrough on 27 minutes through Andy Morrell – who was a doubt prior to the game with a back strain. Shaun Barker exchanged passes with Adrian Forbes on the right hand side, before whipping in a low cross into the 6 yard box for Morrell to get a touch on and put the Seasiders 1-0 up and send the visiting fans into raptures.
Tricky winger, Wes Hoolahan saw a drive from 18 yards spectacularly saved a couple of minutes later after some neat trickery. However, the score remained 1-0 to the visitors at the half time break.
On 55 minutes, central midfield engine-room – Keith Southern – nearly grabbed a rare goal thanks to some fantastic skill from Wes Hoolahan and a great lay-off from Keigan Parker. Unfortunately, “Gnashers” opted to round the ‘Keeper, only for him to block bravely at his feet to deny him of his moment in the sun.
Not long after, however, ‘Pool were awarded a penalty. Keigan Parker was clean through the defence and tried to round the ‘Keeper but stumbled over his outstretched arm as he dived at his feet. Wes Hoolahan stepped up confidently and tucked away the penalty low to the ‘Keeper’s right after sending him the wrong way. He celebrated by running over to the away fans and was subsequently booked – apparently.
Moments later, Parker almost made it three to the Seasiders, but fired wide from an acute angle. On 72 minutes, Blackpool found themselves reduced to 10 men. Wes Hoolahan – already booked for his celebration following his penalty – kicked the ball away and received his 2nd yellow card of the night and was given his marching orders. This now means he misses the away trip to Bournemouth on the 23rd.
Claus Jorgensen was brought on to replace Andy Morrell in a tactical substitution – as a result of the Hoolahan sending off – and with 8 minutes remaining, last saturday’s goal hero Scott Vernon was brought on to replace Adrian Forbes.
With around 3 minutes remaining, ‘Pool put the game beyond doubt when Keigan Parker burst through the defence again, rounded the ‘Keeper and slotted the ball home to send the Blackpool fans home happy.
Gareth Farrelly was brought on to replace David Fox in the 89th minute, only to see Scunthorpe grab a late consolation goal from a header from Ian Baraclough following a freekick from the left hand side of the penalty area.
What a time to be a Seasider, 7th now and 2 points off the playoffs – up until 3pm this afternoon – and on a fantastic run, with just one loss since the 26th September, coming away at Tranmere. The Christmas period is coming up and a vital game on Boxing Day sees us face up against Carlisle United. A team well up there with the playoff contenders this season. Given our home for as of late and confidence levels being the highest the club has seen for some time, it will be vital that we come away with the three points to go into 2007 in the playoff places.
Here’s to the last 3 games of 2006, and a very prosperous 2007 down at Bloomfield Road!
Up The Mighty!
‘Pool up to 7th
Happy Birthday, Larry!