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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 28 Aug 10 at 18:44 PM

REPORT: BLACKPOOL 2-2 FULHAM

Blackpool were unlucky to come away with just a point as they drew 2-2 with Fulham in their first top-flight game at Bloomfield Road in 39 years.

New signing Luke Varney was handed his debut in place of the injured Marlon Harewood, while Ian Evatt returned to the starting eleven after missing the midweek trip to Milton Keynes.

And Varney nearly made a dream start after just four minutes, receiving Charlie Adam's diagonal pass on the left wing before cutting inside and firing a vicious effort that stung the palms of David Stockdale.

Roared on by a vociferous home support the Seasiders continued to dominate possession with the midfield trio of David Vaughan, Elliot Grandin and Charlie Adam orchestrating the midfield.

And on 17 Blackpool were rewarded for their early endeavour when Brett Ormerod headed home Adam's fizzing cross, only for the linesman to raise his flag for offside.

Varney's pace was a constant thorn in the Fulham defence, the striker evading the attentions of Paintsil down the left hand side of the box and firing a shot narrowly wide of the right-hand post on 20 minutes.

But Bloomfield Road was stunned into silence when the Cottagers took the lead against the run of play.

With 34 minutes on the clock Moussa Dembele found room to fire a cross into the box from the right-wing and his delivery found the head of the in-form Bobby Zamora to head home the opener.

The Tangerines may well have levelled just moments later when Adam unleashed a fierce drive with his right foot from fully 25 yards out, but his shot bent just past the top right-hand corner.

Neither side made changes at half-time with Ian Holloway no doubt more than content with his side's first half showing.

And it was Blackpool who created the first opening of the second period, with the ball breaking to Evatt inside the box but the centre-back could only prod a tame effort at the Fulham goalkeeper.

The home side were dogged in their pursuit of the equaliser and had a second goal disallowed on 62 minutes, Grandin firing home from 10 yards only for the referee to blow for a foul by Ormerod on Stockdale.

Ormerod was in the thick of the action again on 69 minutes, heading just wide of the bottom right-hand corner with a delicate glancing header.

It is often said the harder you try the luckier you get and that old adage proved true when Blackpool equalised on 71 minutes.

Grandin burst from midfield and laid the ball into the path of the onrushing Varney down the right who hit a shot that looked to be drifting wide of the left-hand post before taking a wicked deflection and flying into the back of the net.

The Seasiders were rampant as the home support roared themselves hoarse; Adam bursting through the Fulham midfield and firing a superb effort that had the keeper worried.

But there was nothing Stockdale could do moments later as Varney struck for a second time and fired Blackpool into a 2-1 lead on 76 minutes.

Ormerod played a delicious through ball to Varney whose speed took him beyond the Fulham back four and with only the keeper to beat the debutant fired clinically home.

With the wind swirling on the Fylde Coast the visitors appeared shell-shocked and Adam nearly made it 3-1 on 84 minutes, bending a trademark free-kick just wide of the post from 30 yards out.

Remarkably, as Blackpool searched for a third, it was Fulham who hit back on 87 minutes, Dickson Etuhu racing clear of Alex Baptiste and lifting the ball over Matthew Gilks to make it 2-2, against the run of play.

With 90 minutes on the clock the Tangerines continued to press and Adam was again unfortunate not to grab the winner with another thunderbolt from the edge of the box; the ball flying a whisker over the right-hand upright.

The Cottagers had a final chance of their own in the dying stages when Simon Davies unleashed a stinging drive that Gilks did well to keep out.

The Seasiders will no doubt be delighted with a point which makes it four out of a possible nine, from the opening three Barclays Premier League games, but it could easily have been more.

Attendance - 15, 529

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