Category: Away days

AFC Wimbledon 0 – 0 Blackpool HT

Half time and 0-0. Both sides not testing the keeper. So far pretty poor with little creativity upfront.

It’s good to see Vassell back but it’s clear he’s someway from full fitness and has been bullied around a little by the Find back four.

Hoping for better in the second half.

Remembering How A Weakened Nottingham Helped Blackpool to the Premier League

Nottingham Forest made headlines recently as they eliminated an under-strength Arsenal from the FA Cup at the third round stage. Much was made of the Arsene Wenger’s decision to play an entire starting eleven made up of reserves, but the hosts still had to beat a team of internationals to progress.

Forest may have benefited from playing against a weakened side, but once upon a time, it was them fielding reserves that aided Blackpool in a spectacular way. Had it not been for belligerent Billy Davies choosing to rest players towards the end of the 2009/10 season, Blackpool may never have tasted the Premier League.

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Billy Davies” by TuborgLight (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Just four games before the end of the season, a superb run by the Tangerines was ended by a 4-1 hammering at Newcastle. Five games without defeat resulted in them sitting in seventh place, one outside the play-off spots. Nottingham Forest were due up next, who were third and had already qualified for the end-of-season lottery.

Swansea, Leicester City and Cardiff were the other teams vying for the final spot, all were in good form and on the afternoon of April 17, all faced teams with little to play for. With third-placed Forest having lost just one in six, Blackpool were likely to be eliminated from the race for the Premier League.

Forest were already assured their place in the top six, though, and Billy Davies decided the trip to Bloomfield Road represented a great opportunity to rest some first team players. Out went Chris Gunter, Robert Earnshaw, Dexter Blackstock and Nathan Tyson. In came James Perch, Dele Adebola, Joe Garner and David McGoldrick. It was a risky strategy and one that drew criticism from the other sides chasing the Holy Grail of a Premier League spot.

Forest, who recently slipped to 150/1 in the current season Championship betting, had let their guard down and a rampant Blackpool grabbed the chance with both hands. Charlie Adam netted from the penalty spot before DJ Campbell grabbed a second. It mattered little that Joe Garner, one of the fringe players, pulled a goal back for Forest because Campbell added a third with six minutes remaining.

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DJ Campbell” by joncandy (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The other three sides all won their games, but the trickiest tie had been overcome. A week later, Blackpool won away at Peterborough, again thanks to DJ Campbell, but Swansea stumbled. They lost 2-0 at Sheffield United, paving the way for a sixth-placed finish for Ian Holloway’s unfashionable Tangerines.

Fate inevitably pitched them against Forest in the semi-finals and this time all of the big guns took part for Forest. It mattered not, as a 2-1 win at Bloomfield Road secured the slender advantage before a DJ Campbell hat-trick eliminated Billy Davies’ side on their own ground, 6-4 on aggregate. The rest, as they say, is history.

Had Blackpool not be given an easier ride a couple of weeks before, it is highly likely that points could have been dropped, resulting in Swansea grabbing the final playoff spot. Would the Tangerines ever have ascended to the Premier League after missing out? Who knows, but it does go to show that plying a weakened side can change the course of history, something Forest have now found out from both sides of the fence.

The troubles at Leyton Orient

It was great to see the Leyton Orient fans join us for Judgement Day 3 and it seems quiet poetic that we met on their last game in the football league for some time.

Orient are the second nearest club to where I live in London (only recently second after West Ham’s move to the London Stadium). Their problems have been well documented by the capital’s press and online publications.

It was good to match with the Orient fans when we met in November last year.

Copa90 (who have followed our problems in the past in a couple of videos) have followed Orient for the last few games of the season and it highlights what the downfall of their club under Francesco Becchetti (chairman) and what the situation really means to the fans.

Leyton Orient 1 – 2 Blackpool FT

It’s the first time I’ve seen Blackpool win in just over a year (they have only won 14 times since then) but the real story again today was the protest with the Blackpool and Leyton Orient Fans.

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It was good to see both set of supporters understanding each other problems and willing to support each other, something that I think we are going to see more of considering the number of clubs with problems.

As for the game Leyton Orient had only won once at home in the league this season and you could tell by their lack of confidence. There wasn’t too much between the two in the first half but it Pool who took the lead with Matt firing into the roof of the net.

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Orient hit the post, had one disallowed for offside. In the second half they didn’t really press and it was easy for Aldred to grab the second from a header.

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The last 5 mins ended up with us hanging on when McCallum made it 1-2 with an impressive header. 

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Leyton Orient 0 – 1 Blackpool HT

An eventful day so far that started with a joint protest with Leyton Orient fans and Blackpool fans marching down the road from the pub to the stadium.

Fans ended up in a park next to the stadium where speeches from LOFT and BSA took place.

Orient are on a run of 7 home defeats and it was clear they lacked confidence.

There hasn’t been much in it but was far too easy for Matt who latched on to a ball down the channel, cut into the box and finished into the roof of the net to make it one nil to the Seasiders.

Straight from the kickoff the hosts hit the post and had the ball in the back of the net but was ruled out for offside.

All to play for in the second half.

Millwall vs Blackpool

Back in 2013 we had started the season on fire. Top of league with our best start ever we visited Millwall on a Tuesday night.

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I attended the match with a colleague and pre match explained the good form and promising players in the tea.

We good well and truly beat. 3-1 with Steve Morrison scoring a belter of a goal.

Since then weve only won 20 games of football in two years and five months.

It’s crazy to think where we are now. But no surprise. I wonder what our situation will be the next time we visit the den.

Millwall V Blackpool

It’s my local game this weekend, a 20 min drive via the Rotherhithe tunnel to the new den or maybe a bike ride if the weather is nice.

I contributed to a blog post previewing  the match over at https://marklitchfieldblog.wordpress.com/the-view-from-the-opposition/march-2016/blackpool-h-050316/ have a read.

Walsall 1 – 1 Blackpool FT

A late show today but the team showed some grit and determination to grab a point. Walsall had the ball for long periods of the match and did create a multitude of chances, only a couple of great saves from Colin Doyle kept the score down.

With just one goal in it there was always a chance of grabbing something out of the game, loanee Uche Ikpeazu’s (more on him in a second) freekick was deflected into the path of Danny Philliskirk who slotted home into the empty net. The scenes of the players celebrating the goal were great to see with all the players galloping to the fans…

Unfortunately that feeling can only last for the moment.. with the underlying problems at the club. Again not good to see a fan being ejected with a banner early on.

A quick mention about Uche Ikpeazu who came on today after making a loan move from Watford. The young lad is huge, about 6’4 an really strong. A little raw, similar to the style of a young Danny Shittu. In his 25 mins he showed directing attacking intent, but also a bit like Babi on ice.

A draw away at Walsall is a good point, but still one point above the relegation zone it’s going to be tight.

Walsall vs Blackpool

Two games in a month…. Christ I must be mad. A slightly different look Blackpool to the one that was unbelievably poor at Burton.

At the end of every January we seem to have a different side. This time the signing appear on paper to be better than the players we had but again time is needed for them to gel.

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Walsall like Burton have had a good start to the season currently once place behind Burton in second place. Tom Bradshaw the main man with 11 goals. But goals have come from all areas of the pitch.

Nearly Blackpool boss Shaun O’Driscoll is in charge and will be looking to get Saddlers up to the championship for a possible “grounds you can see from the M6” Derby with Aston Villa who look blind for relegation.

Burton 1 – 0 Blackpool FT

It’s not often you can predict the outcome of a match on how the players return from the half-time brea, but today you could.

With Burton a man down following a stupid couple of bookings for Weir, they were out a couple of minutes before Blackpool, warming up and looking ready for kickoff.

The Pool meanwhile almost spilt onto the pitch, a couple trotting, some walking, others chatting and not looking interesting.

It was only with 15 mins to go with Norris being able to get onto the ball when we started to put a bit of effort in and manage some efforts on goal.

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The start of the second half Burton could have scored as many as four goals with it being open season on Doyle’s goal. Burton were the team employing the tactics of a side with a man advantage, spreading the ball and allowing their fullbacks to join the attack.

It’s not clear if Mcdonald told the team to sit back, Burton were always going to come onto us all we needed to do was keep the ball, start to move Burton from side to side.

We had a couple of chances at the end, if we had grabbed a point it would have been very unfair on Burton.

Full time was met by a very strange stand off with Tom Aldred and some of the Pool fans. He was wasnt happy with the chats from the away fans. Aldred had played better than most but the boos and chants were deserved for some players… especially Andy Little who looked like he was nursing a hangover…

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I don’t expect it to get any better in the New Year, loan signing will return more will arrive but it will be more of the same until something bigger changes. Not good.