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Match Reports

Report: Birmingham 1-1 Blackpool

23 November 2013

Birmingham 1-1 Blackpool

A sweeping effort from Ricardo Fuller earned Blackpool a point in an entertaining 1-1 draw with Birmingham City at a chilly St Andrews.

Jesse Lingard had capitalised on a defensive error to put the hosts ahead, but Fuller claimed his third goal of the season when he converted Thomas Ince's centre to level matters before half time.

Ince himself could have won it for The Seasiders after the break, but his effort was cleared from the goal line after he had rounded the goalkeeper. 

Paul Ince made three changes to the side that lost at home to Ipswich last time out, with Chris Basham, Isaiah Osbourne and Tyler Blackett coming in to start.

It was Ince's side who started the better, and could have taken the lead early on when Fuller volleyed over whilst leaning back.

At the other end some alert defending from stand-in captain Gary MacKenzie prevented Lee Novak from forcing his way through.

Blackpool were creating their own problems however, with some lethargic defending allowing Lingard to fire a deflected effort wide.

In fairness to the home side, it was them taking the game to Pool and they were rewarded on 27 minutes - but it was a result of some dubious Blackpool defending.

Paul Caddis' cross looked simple for Kirk Broadfoot to deal with, but the defender's poor control and allowed Lingard to steam in and plant an effort past the helpless Matt Gilks.

The goal was the first time Blackpool had conceded the opener in a league game all season, and kicked them into life at St Andrews. After gaining a foot hold on the game, they levelled on 36 minutes.

Ince broke down the right and cleverly cut back for Fuller to stroke home from close range.

Counter attacks were proving Pool's main threat throughout an even first half. Fuller almost netted again when Ince set him up, but the striker's low effort was palmed behind by Darren Randolph.

Ince was starting to wreak havoc, next he set up Stephen Dobbie who fired inches wide on Randolph's goal - the chance went begging and both sides went in for the break level.

After the interval Blackpool looked to edge ahead, but Neal Bishop's volley into the ground fell harmlessly wide of the mark.

Birmingham remained a threat however, and Gilks needed two attempts to smother substitute Dariusz Dudka's strike.

The natives were starting to get restless, and some nice interchanges between Blackpool resulted in Bishop shooting at Randolph.

For City, Chris Burke's teasing cross only required a touch from a host of sliding in blue shirts, but it evaded everyone and Blackpool could breathe again. 

Dobbie then tried a speculative effort, but his free-kick was held by Randolph, before Basham produced a fine goal-saving tackle to deny Novak.

Dobbie was becoming more involved for The Seasiders and his lofted pass sent Ince through, the winger managed to round Randolph, but his effort was cleared off the line bravely by Dan Burn for Birmingham.

Moments later Fuller fired over as the game approached the final ten minutes at St Andrews.

As the game continued to stretch Blackpool began to sense a winner, and it almost came from a remarkable solo run by Gosling, but after beating a host of home defenders he bent his shot narrowly over.

Next it was The Seasiders who produced a pair of stunning goal line clearances, as Novak was twice denied by some fine defending from Manchester United loanee Blackett.

Seconds later and Aaron McLean hit the underside of the crossbar, with Gilks caught in no man's land.

With around five minutes left Pool went for the jugular, with Steve Davies and Michael Chopra replacing Fuller and Dobbie.

First Davies had an effort held by Randolph, before Gilks held McLean's effort. 

The Seasiders couldn't make the most of a number of late set-pieces, and were forced to settle for a point - as was the case in the same fixture last season.

By Mark Ridgway

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