Report: Walsall 1 Blackpool 1
Danny Philliskirk’s strike deep into injury time earned Blackpool a deserved share of the spoils away at promotion-casing Walsall.
The striker reacted quickest after Uche Ikpeazu’s free-kick fell into his path, as he slammed home the equaliser in front of the away fans.
Blackpool looked set to suffer defeat at The Banks’s Stadium after Jason Demetriou had put The Saddlers in front after the hour-mark.
However, Philliskirk slammed home to spark dramatic scenes in the dying moments.
Despite Walsall enjoying the early possession, they produced nothing in the way of chances and a piece of clever play from Jack Redshaw fashioned the first opening, but Neil Etheridge was equal to his effort.
The striker was involved in all Pool’s early work but once Hayden White sparked a counter attack, Redshaw’s effort was pushed to safety by Etheridge.
Fresh from his two goals last week, Brad Potts was the next to threaten, as his off target volley suggested that Blackpool were settling nicely into the contest. The midfielder continued to fine-tune his radar on 32 minutes, as he exchanged passes with Redshaw but shot at Etheridge.
The home side were playing some nifty football at times, but Blackpool were keeping their shape and Colin Doyle remained untested. That remained the case right up to half-time, as Andy Taylor volleyed across the face of the goal with the final chance of the half.
Half-Time: Walsall 0 Blackpool 0
The Saddlers improved marginally after the break and Anthony Forde forced Doyle into an elementary save with a low strike. The keeper was earning his stripes by this point, as he did superbly to deny Forde with a one-handed save.
63 minutes in Pool handed a debut to Ikpeazu, as he replaced Mark Yeates, with Philliskirk moving wide left. However, it was Doyle turning into their key man as his terrific save kept out Tom Bradshaw.
He could do nothing when the breakthrough arrived however, as Taylor’s low cross was turned it at the back post by Demetriou. Blackpool responded positively to going behind and nearly got themselves level through debutant Ikpeazu.
David Norris slipped the substitute in and the striker held off his man and saw his near post shot turned behind. From Jim McAlister’s resulting corner the same man headed wide.
Mark Cullen followed Ikpeazu on soon after and quickly dragged an effort wide, as Pool went in search of a equaliser. At the other end Doyle did well to deny Sam Mantom with both hands.
As the game entered added time there was one final twist to come, as Ikpeazu’s free-kick deflected into the path of Philliskirk, who slammed home a late equaliser to spark wild celebrations.
Full-Time: Walsall 1 Blackpool 1