Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pete 'n' Dud on target as Tangerines' efforts bear little fruit

Blackpool 1 - 1 Newcastle Utd

A goal apiece from Pete 'n' Dud aka Messrs Lovenkrands and Campbell meant we left Bloomfield Road with a point more than we mustered last season, but in the knowledge that we were rather fortunate to do so. After Tuesday's committed display against Man Utd, this was a completely different kind of draw, courtesy of a lacklustre end-of-season performance which suggested our players already have one eye on the sunbeds.

Alan Pardew's team selection threw up few surprises, the only change being the suspension-free Kevin Nolan in for the injury-struck Danny Guthrie, meaning that Stephen Ireland continues to wait for his first start in black and white.

Both sides had early opportunities through Jose Enrique, Big Lad and Gary Taylor-Fletcher before we took the lead thanks to an uncharacteristic mistake from Blackpool's inspirational skipper Charlie Adam, who - for what it's worth - would have got my vote for PFA Player of the Year. ASBO nipped in to intercept Adam's loose short pass and feed Lovenkrands. The Dane (or Dutchman, as the BBC's report currently states) still had plenty to do but dispatched a skidding 25-yard shot into the bottom corner.

By this point, we'd already survived one penalty shout, Mike Williamson clumsily felling Campbell, and another soon followed, though on this occasion referee Martin Atkinson was right to wave away the Tangerines' appeals and leave Ian Holloway fuming on the touchline. As though hoping to emulate Adam, Enrique had played an even more suicidal pass across his own goal, but Tim Krul rescued the situation by getting a firm hand to the ball, even though Campbell tumbled over his arm. There was another spot-kick scare to come before the half was out, Danny Simpson managing the impressive feat of handling with both left and right in the area, but he was falling and neither contact was intentional so Atkinson showed commendable leniency.

Blackpool it was who were doing most of the pressing, with winger Matt Phillips - signed from Wycombe but looking an impressive prospect - causing us particular problems. Thankfully, though, his shooting didn't match his approach play. Still, we paid the price for slack defending from Adam's corner, allowing Campbell to head past Krul and over the line before a dozy Enrique could clear. The Spaniard did at least make amends later in the half, blocking Alex Baptiste's goalbound shot, while Campbell could have doubled his and his side's tally shortly before the break but headed wide.

Big Lad struck a shot over early in the second period, but otherwise the home side continued to dominate - partly a consequence of Tuesday's hero Mr T looking as though he was still drowsy from his drugged milk. Adam and Neil Eardley both tried their luck with free-kicks before Taylor-Fletcher headed inches over the bar from Stephen Crainey's cross. Lady Luck kissed her Toon badge once more when Adam's low shot beat Krul's dive but bounced off the post.

Our goalscorer was replaced by Ireland just after the hour mark as Pardew attempted to hold on to what we already had, but it was more like clinging on towards the end. I'll spare the Tangerines the usual patronising pat on the head - we were poor and could on another day have been on the wrong end of an embarrassing defeat against a side who've recently been shipping goals for fun. Definitely a point gained, then, particularly given that our opponents' need was more infinitely greater than ours (and it showed).

Other reports: BBC, Observer

Labels: ,



Post a Comment

<< Home