Date: 13th February 2008 at 1:12pm
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Midfield general Keith Southern made his return to first team action in place of Michael Flynn – who incidentally didn’t even retain a place on the bench! – to make his first start for the first team since picking up his ankle injury against QPR at the start of December.

Captain Mike Jackson also returned to the fray in the wake of Kaspars Gorkss’ suspension picked up against Hull on Saturday.

Coid, McPhee, Morrell, Green and Gerrard made up the substitutes bench – meaning no place in the squad for the likes of Andy Welsh, David Fox and the aforementioned Michael Flynn…oh and that Keigan Parker (who??).

The game started off at 120mph with both sides looking like they were really up for it, despite playing only 3 days prior, and it looks like it would become a very interesting fixture.

‘Pool played the brighter football for most of the first half, as Wolves did what they could to keep the forwards at bay – shirt-tugging a-plenty, it has to be said. However, despite their best efforts, poor set-pieces and trying to walk the ball into the net did the Tangerines no favours and so inevitably, the scores were level as we went into the break.

Wolves started the brighter in the 2nd period as the tempo slowed down once more as both sides tried to suss each other out. The visitors had a few chances to break the deadlock, however most of them were either straight at Rachubka in the ‘Pool goal, or wide of the mark.

Blackpool’s best chance of the game came mid-way through the 2nd half as Gary Taylor-Fletcher picked up the ball on the edge of the penalty area to the right hand side and forced a chance from nothing, somehow getting a rasping shot off while surrounded by Wolves defenders, forcing a great stop from Hennessey as he tipped the shot – destined for the top-right corner – onto the corner of the woodwork and back into play before being cleared by a defender.

A little under 2 minutes later, the visitors also struck the post. A long ball over the top eluded Jackson as it bounced and he mis-judged his header back, instead sending it looping into the air. Ebanks-Blake used his pace to get beyond the veteran defender and as he rounded Rachubka, let rip with a shot which crashed against the upright and out into open play. A massive let-off.

Taylor-Fletcher was then booked for his part in a confrontation between himself and Wolves defender, Ward. The two squared up on the edge of the area after Ward took exception to ‘GTF’ going to ground to stretch for a through-ball from Claus Jorgensen and in the process accidentally catching Ward’s standing foot. After squaring up, Ward seemed to motion his head towards that of GTF, which GTF reacted to – Arjen Robben stylee – by putting his hands to his face indicating a head-butt (whether he was caught, I couldn’t tell from the angle which I saw it at).

When the referee, Lee Mason, took ‘control’ of the situation, he decided to show Fletch a yellow card….yet let Ward – the main antagonist and the one whom seemed to go to head-butt another player – off scott free, much to the anger of the ‘Pool support.

Paul Dickov was replaced by Stephen McPhee just after the 70 minute mark, but he couldn’t force an opening either.

In the dying moments, Keith Southern was replaced by Stuart Green to wind down the clock and it ended up a fair result at 0-0.

 

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