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Match Report


Posted Sat 25 Sep 10 at 18:12 PM


Sam Allardyce made a victorious return to Bloomfield Road as Blackburn grabbed a 92nd minute winner to deny Blackpool a deserved point.

Rovers took the lead in bizarre circumstances when Charlie Adam was caught in two minds in his own six yard box and headed past Matthew Gilks.

The Tangerines toiled for much of the opening hour, but were sparked into life when Matt Phillips marked his debut with a jinking run, followed by an exquisite finish, to make it 1-1.

But with the Seasiders pushing for a winner, the visitors produced a sickening, sucker punch, as Brett Emerton fired past Gilks from just inside the area to ensure Big Sam's return to the Fylde Coast was a happy one.

Ian Holloway rang the changes for the visit of Blackburn, with Craig Cathcart, Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Brett Ormerod and Marlon Harewood returning to the starting eleven in place of Dekel Keinan, Elliot Grandin, Luke Varney and the injured Alex Baptiste.

In blustery conditions at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool started the brighter of the two sides as Ian Evatt's header crashed against the cross bar with just two minutes gone.

But the Seasiders found themselves 1-0 down, against the run of play, as Rovers took the lead with a fortuitous goal.

El-Hadji Diouf swung a cross into the penalty area that was met by Nikola Kalinic eight yards out, but with Charlie Adam underneath the flick-on, the midfielder proceeded to head the ball past the helpless Matthew Gilks.

And it was very nearly 2-0 to the visitors when Chris Samba met Morten Gamst Pedersen's cross, only to see the ball bounce back off the woodwork, with Gilks beaten.

Adam was determined to make up for his earlier lapse; unleashing a venomous 20-yard free-kick that deflected off the Blackburn wall and just over Paul Robinson's cross bar.

But it was Rovers who finished the half in the ascendency, as the Croatian Kalinic had Gilks sprawling to his right with a well driven effort.

Rovers continued the half as they finished the second, with the pace of Diouf stretching the Tangerine rearguard.

With an hour gone, the forward found space on the left-wing to feed Emerton, and the Australian unleashed a fierce drive that stung the palms of Gilks.

Diouf was at his cunning best with Rovers next attack, showing Neil Eardley a clean pair of heels before sending over another wonderful delivery on to the head of the advancing Phil Jones.

The England Under-21 headed low down to Gilks' left, but the in-form keeper produced a wonderful reflex stop to keep the game at 1-0.

Holloway then shuffled his pack, bringing on Grandin and Varney for Ormerod and Harewood.

The changes breathed life into a sluggish display, with Adam just inches from levelling for the Seasiders.

Eardley produced a wonderful delivery from the right, and the Scottish international arrived late at the back post, but his header dropped agonisingly wide of the bottom right-hand corner.

Blackpool were in need of inspiration, and it nearly came in the form of Taylor-Fletcher, whose curling effort from the edge of the box forced a fine save from Robinson.

From the resulting corner-kick Adam drilled a fierce effort that deflected off a Rovers defender, but the Rovers' keeper was equal to it.

With time running out, Holloway made one last throw of the dice, bringing on Matt Phillips for Neil Eardley.

And the youngster, making his first appearance since a summer move from Wycombe, made an instant impact.

The 19-year old took Varney's pass in his stride and produced two mesmerising step-overs, followed by an unstoppable drive into the bottom left-hand corner-sending Bloomfield Road into ecstasy.

But with Blackpool hunting a winner, the Tangerines were dealt a sickening blow as Emerton fired home from inside the box to nick a late winner, deep into added time.

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