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Season Review - 3/4

Posted: Thu 23 May 2013
Author: Paul Cox

A Look Back At The Third Quarter Of The Campaign

This week we are looking back on what has been a highly eventful season at Bloomfield Road, reviewing everything from the managerial comings and goings to the impact of all those late goals... 

The last match of 2012 didn't quite go to plan as a more attacking line-up from Michael Appleton found themselves 2-0 behind after just 36 minutes, before going on to suffer a 4-2 defeat. 

Thomas Ince could have made it 3-3 late on but saw his spot-kick saved and Adam Reach then made sure of the points with a long-range effort two minutes from time.

New Year's Day gave Blackpool their first chance to do the double over a side when Hull visited Bloomfield Road but it turned out to be a frustrating affair with little in the form of goalmouth action and it predictably ended goalless.

That was to be the last time the home fans would see Appleton and it's fair to say the game didn't exactly leave a lasting impression on the Tangerine Army.

His last game as Pool boss was the FA Cup Third Round tie at Fulham where The Seasiders more than held their own and were unlucky to come away with just a replay.

Appleton left Bloomfield Road at around 4.30pm on Thursday 10 January for the last time as Blackpool manager, before he took up the reins at Ewood Park the day after.

After spending 65 days with The Seasiders he ended up only being in charge of Blackburn for 67 days, before he was given the sack.

As for Blackpool, it was Steve Thompson who was left to carry on with the day-to-day management of the club. After being given around seven hours to prepare for the Derby game following Holloway's departure, he had just shy of 24 hours to get ready for Charlton after Appleton left.

Tommo was faced with three games in a week, including the FA Cup replay, which went into extra-time after Fulham equalised with almost the last kick of the game.

The Seasiders ended the week pointless and out of the cup after finding themselves on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline in all three games - Charlton, Fulham and Cardiff all profiting.

Results weren't going their way and rumours in the press were rife regarding Thomas Ince's future, meaning the spirit of The Seasiders' dressing room was tested once more.

But like so many times in the past they came out and did their talking on the pitch.

After ten games without a goal, people were questioning if the media attention was affecting Ince, but those rumours were put to bed as he put in a match-winning performance at Molineux by scoring twice in a 2-1 win.

Home games against Barnsley and Millwall ensued, with late goals playing a huge part in both.

Jason Scotland poked home the winner for The Tykes a minute after Matt Derbyshire thundered a volley against the crossbar, in a game that saw Matt Gilks sent off for handball.

The week after it was Blackpool's turn to strike late on; Nathan Delfouneso was the hero as he helped secure a vital three points.

It was a fitting end to the game, on a day in which tributes were paid to the late BBC broadcaster and big Blackpool fan David Oates, who sadly passed away following a short illness.

The search for a new manager gathered pace in the week commencing 11 February, although nothing was done in time for the trip to Portman Road where a solid and resolute Ipswich Town ground out a 1-0 win.

Two days later Paul Ince was named as the new Pool manager leaving him just over 24 hours to fashion a plan to take to Elland Road where he would take up his new position in the dugout, having watched on from the stands for the previous 18 months.

Ince's first home game came against promotion-chasing Leicester City and although it wasn't pretty, there was plenty to give the manager hope as The Seasiders kept their first clean sheet in nine games in all competitions and left with a point.

Tough games would lie in wait for The Seasiders, but Ince was more than confident in his side heading into the final two months of the season.

Tomorrow we will review the final 12 games of Blackpool's campaign, which saw more late goals and some quite spectacular ones too...