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Match Report


Posted Sat 25 Jan 14 at 17:00 PM

Report: Blackpool 1 Doncaster 1

Barry Ferguson's dream start to management didn't completely materialise, but a first point in six matches provides the stand-in manager with something to build on after a positive afternoon at Bloomfield Road. 

The place was rocking, and Andy Halliday's debut goal appeared to cap an extremely productive afternoon for the hosts.

It won't win any Goal of the Season awards, but when the loanee, who signed just yesterday, knocked home Blackpool's first league goal since Boxing Day, he lifted the roof off Bloomfield Road.

Billy Sharp ruined the party late on however, diverting David Cotterill's free-kick to steal a point for the dogged visitors.

Not only was Ferguson making debut in the dugout, he also handed first Blackpool games to David Perkins and Tony McMahon, for the second time, from the start.

It was the visitors who threatened first though, as Chris Brown headed James Coppinger's cross wide, whilst Michael Chopra's attempted lob failed to catch out Ross Turnbull.

Nathan Eccleston was the man providing Blackpool's early threat, and he flashed an effort narrowly  wide on 18 minutes.

The hosts were dominating, and with the crowd behind him Chris Basham drove an effort over the bar.

The only thing missing was a goal for the positive Seasiders, and Kirk Broadfoot's almost provided it, heading onto the roof of the net.

Chopra was next to come close, having an effort palmed away by Turnbull, before Steve Davies headed wide the resulting corner.

However, with Sharp in Doncaster's team they were always a threat, and the Southampton loanee headed Coppinger's cross wide just before the break.

Eccleston was again causing the visitors problems, next he crossed for Basham to head at Turnbull, and the midfielder couldn't convert from the following corner.

Half Time: Blackpool 0 Doncaster 0

Moments after the interval Perkins fired over, looking for a debut goal as the hosts carried on from where they'd left off.

Sharp then provided a scare to the hosts, forcing Matt Gilks in a fine save, only to see the flag was up for offside anyway.

The game had become massively stretched around the hour mark, as Davies fired a free-kick over the bar.

With 25 minutes remaining Ferguson made a double substitution, with Halliday and David Goodwillie making their debuts a day after signing. 

Minutes later and Chris Brown squandered a glorious chance to give Rovers the lead. Despite a suspicion of offside, Brown was given the advantage, but volleyed over the close range.

The moment all Pool fans had been waiting for arrived with 12 minutes, as Halliday instantly marked his stamp on Blackpool.

Jack Robinson's free-kick wasn't dealt with, and with Turnbull caught in no man's land, the debutant pounced to turn home the opening goal.

The late drama was yet to come however, Cotterill's whipped free-kick caught out the Blackpool defence, and Sharp diverted in Doncaster's equaliser.

Captain for the day, Broadfoot nearly claimed all three points for his side, but his weak effort was easily held by Turnbull.

A dramatic winner didn't materialise, but a point and positive performance is something for The Seasiders to build on.

Full Time: Blackpool 1 Doncaster 1

By Mark Ridgway

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