Inspiration Ahead Of Tomorrow's Battle
Although Blackpool’s destiny is well and truly in their own hands going into tomorrow’s clash with Charlton, that hasn’t always been the case with previous final day survival bids.
Looking back at Pool’s last three successful relegation battles, the omens are good as all three came at Bloomfield Road, but there have been no shortage of nerves.
By Saturday afternoon we’ll know which division The Seasiders will be in next season, and the Blackpool players will certainly take heart from past accomplished missions.
2008 – Blackpool V Watford – Fight for Championship survival
Pre-match: Blackpool were on 53 points, with Leicester on 51, but The Foxes’ superior goal difference meant Pool might have needed three points to rubber stamp safety.
The games: Ben Burgess volleyed Blackpool ahead after just two minutes, but with Watford chasing a play-off place they’d always have their moments, and Tommy Smith’s powerful cross-shot crept in to share the points.
That draw was enough for Blackpool however, after Ian Holloway’s Leicester drew 0-0 at Premier League-bound Stoke City.
Result: Blackpool survived by two points, while Southampton and Coventry also kept their Championship status, with Leicester dropping into League One.
2006 – Blackpool V Gillingham – To remain in League One
Pre-match: Goal difference made it unlikely for Pool to drop into League Two on the final day of the 2006 season, but it was still mathematically possible with Hartlepool only three points behind.
The games: Blackpool did their job, which made the other results irrelevant. Matthew Blinkhorn and a brace for Keigan Parker earned The Seasiders a point in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Gillingham.
Hartlepool could only draw 1-1 at home to Port Vale.
Results: The two draws meant it was Hartlepool who dropped, with Blackpool and Rotherham surviving on the final day.
1994 – Blackpool V Leyton Orient – To avoid dropping into League Two
Pre-match: Blackpool went into the final game of the 1994 season inside the relegation zone, meaning they’d need to beat Leyton Orient and hope Fulham would lose at Swansea.
The Game: The Seasiders kept their side of the deal up, cruising to a 4-1 victory over Orient thanks to goals from Mark Bonner, Phil Horner, Dave Bamber and Andy Watson.
Gary Brazil’s goal wasn’t enough for Fulham, who were beaten at Swansea due to goals from Jason Bowen and Darren Perrett.
The result: It meant Blackpool survived by a point in the old Division Two, with Fulham being relegated.