Huddersfield Town ended Blackpool’s perfect home start to the season, as they ran out 3-1 winners at Bloomfield Road.
Lee Novak gave the visiting Terriers the lead before Gary Taylor-Fletcher levelled against his former club. However two goals either side of half-time from James Vaughan and Oliver Norwood were enough to see the Yorkshire side claim their third straight Championship victory at the Tangerines expense.
At a soaked Bloomfield Road, Blackpool welcomed back former favourites Simon Grayson, Keith Southern and Peter Clarke. And it was a promising start for the former Seasiders as Matt Gilks had to be alert to intercept a flick-on from Vaughan, while Adam Clayton flashed the game’s first shot wide.
It was a slow start from the home side, but they nearly crafted their first opening through Stephen Crainey. The Scottish full-back pounced on a loose ball and played a one-two with Taylor-Fletcher before firing in a cross that Anthony Gerrard did well to clear.
Danny Ward then forced the game’s first effort on target for the visitors, as his shot into the ground from a half-cleared corner was beaten away by Gilks.
The Scotland international could do little about the next shot on his goal however, as Huddersfield took the lead in the 13th minute. Vaughan flicked a header into the path of Lee Novak, who coolly struck the ball across Gilks and into the bottom right-hand corner.
BLACKPOOL 0 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 1
After netting 12 times in three home games thus far, The Tangerines haven’t been short of goals this season, but they were surprisingly struggling for attacking rhythm in the early stages. Taylor-Fletcher fed Tiago Gomes down the left, but Thomas Ince failed to generate enough power with his header from the Portuguese midfielder’s cross.
Whenever Ince plays though this season, goals are sure to follow and it was the 20-year-old’s sixth assist of the campaign which drew Blackpool level just before the half-hour mark. The England Under-21 international brought down a long ball forward in the box and created enough space to square for Taylor-Fletcher to poke home.
BLACKPOOL 1 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 1
While that equiliser stalled the visitor’s momentum somewhat, it was Simon Grayson’s side who took the lead for a second time just before the break. Norwood swung a free-kick in towards the far post, where Vaughan rose highest to head beyond Gilks.
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HALF TIME: BLACKPOOL 1 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 2
Having scored from a free-kick just before the break, Huddersfield increased their advantage with another just after it. On this occasion former Manchester United midfielder Norwood required no assistance, as his free-kick flew beyond everyone on its way into the bottom corner of the net.
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The home side looked to respond and came close to finding a way back into the game through a free-kick of their own. Neal Eardley’s ball found Alex Baptiste, but the central defender couldn’t find the target with his header.
Another near miss from a Huddersfield free-kick prompted Ian Holloway in to making a double change on the hour, as Kevin Phillips and Matt Phillips replaced Gomes and Barry Ferguson
It was the younger Phillips who nearly made an instant impact for the Tangerines, as he collected a long ball from Gilks. The 21-year-old forward ran at the Terriers defence, but pulled his shot just wide of the target.
Nathan Delfouneso then had his chance to reduce the deficit when he got on the end of a Matt Phillips cross, but the Villa loanee fired off-target.
Ian Holloway’s men continued to press forward, coming close from successive corners in the 90th minute. But it wasn’t to be for The Seasiders, who now look ahead to back to back away games against Cardiff City and Hull City.
Blackpool: Gilks, Eardley (Dicko 78), Baptiste, Evatt, Crainey, Gomes (Kevin Phillips 64), Ferguson (Matt Phillips 64), Osbourne, Taylor-Fletcher, Ince, Delfouneso
Unused subs: Halstead, Broadfoot, Sylvestre, Angel