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Report: Blackpool 2 Derby County 1

27 April 2013

Report: Blackpool 2 Derby County 1

A late Ludovic Sylvestre strike secured Blackpool's Championship safety, as they defeated Derby County 2-1 at Bloomfield Road.

Gary Taylor-Fletcher celebrated his first start for the Tangerines since March by scoring the opening goal of the game, before Pool missed a host of chances to increase their lead, including a missed penalty by Tom Ince.

They looked like they would be made to pay when Ben Davies equilised for the visitors with 25 minutes remaining, only for Sylvestre to have the final say, brilliantly firing into the net from 18 yards in the final minute. 

The previous week's horror-show against Brighton was a rare aberration for a Pool defence which has looked increasingly solid under Paul Ince, but an injury to Alex Baptiste meant a recall for Craig Cathcart, and a switch to right-back for Kirk Broadfoot.

Ince did opt to make one change of his own volition though, with Taylor-Fletcher drafted in to spearhead the attack at the expense of Chris Basham.

A quiet start saw neither side able to apply any sustained pressure on the opposition goal. Matt Phillips had the first shot of the contest, but saw his curling effort drift wide of the target.

The games' first real attack saw the opening goal arrive in the 18th minute. Phillips powered his way though a couple of challenges and passed to Ince, who played in Nathan Delfouneso down the right-hand side of the penalty area. 

The Aston Villa loanee squared the ball back to Phillips, who saw his goal-bound shot blocked on the line, but Taylor-Fletcher was on hand to poke home the rebound.


That goal looked to spark some life into the Nigel Clough's side, but both Jamie Ward and Chris Martin failed to test Matt Gilks with long range efforts.

The Seasiders were then handed a golden opportunity to double their lead with a penalty in the 31st minute. Stephen Crainey's powerful cross traveled all the way across goal to Kirk Broadfoot, who was then brought down in the area by Craig Forsyth.

Ince stepped up to take the spot-kick, but saw his shot cannon off the inside of the post and fly away to safety.

The England Under-21 international looked keen to make up for that aberration, but things just didn't go the wingers way in the first half. He overhit a freekick in a threatening area close to the byline, and then saw a shot from outside of the area deflected just wide of Legzdins' right hand post.

Derby looked to finish the half on top, but had yet to force Gilks into a serious save. The closest they came was a shot from Martin which struck Connor Sammon before bouncing safely into the keepers grasp.


The second half saw a fast start for the home side. Phillips drove towards goal before being brought down in a dangerous position just outside the area, allowing Crainey the opportunity to test the Derby 'keeper. His curling effort was on target, but Legzdins got a strong hand to the shot and pushed it over the bar.

Paul Ince's side then had an even better chance to increase their advantage, when a defensive mix-up put Taylor-Fletcher through on goal. The forward prodded the ball beyond Legzdins, but John Brayford got back to somehow clear off the line.

Pool hadn't won in the four previous meetings between these two sides and it looked as though that unhappy run against The Rams was about to be extended, when Davies made them pay for their profligacy in the 65th minute.

Brought on only three minutes earlier, the attacker had almost scored with his first touch, firing in a freekick from deep which flew just past the far post.

He made no mistake with his second shot on goal however, as he latched on to a bouncing ball in the area and shot beyond Gilks.


Conceding after all those missed opportunities looked to have visibly shaken The Seasiders, prompting Ince to look to regain control of the midfield by bringing on Basham in place of Taylor-Fletcher.

Craig Bryson was allowed to run all the way along the edge of the penalty area unchallenged, but poor defending went unpunished as he curled his shot wide of Gilks' goal.

The Tangerines did settle after that however, and slowly began to take control of the game as it entered it's final stages.

Delfouneso must have thought he had scored when his backheel from an Ince cross into the box looked to have wrong-footed Legzdins. However just as the ball was about to cross the line, the former Burton Albion stopper recovered to get a hand to it.

If the 22-year-old thought he was unfortunate there, his next effort was to give him an even greater cause for frustration. A Crainey freekick wasn't cleared by the Derby back-line, allowing Delfouneso the opportunity to hook a shot towards goal, which hit the inside of the post.

It looked as though Pool would have to settle for a point, until the ball found it's way to Sylvestre on the edge of the area in the 90th minute. He controlled the ball perfectly, before firing a shot beyond Legzdins to ensure the Tangerines ended the last home game of the season in style.



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