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Brighton 6 Blackpool 1 – match report: Ashley Barnes scores twice on return

Brighton 6 Blackpool 1: Barnes bags brace as high-flying Seagulls dominate


16:46 GMT, 20 April 2013



17:14 GMT, 20 April 2013

Ashley Barnes scored twice on his return from a seven-match suspension as Brighton thumped Blackpool to extended their unbeaten run to seven matches.

Will Buckley put his side ahead in the ninth minute before Matt Upson scored his first goal in a Brighton shirt from six yards out 14 minutes later.

Andrea Orlandi made it 3-0 in the 45th minute before David Lopez scored straight after the half-time break. Dean Hammond's own goal made it 4-1 before Barnes added two late goals on his return.

Back with a bang: Ashley Barnes scored twice on his return from suspension in Brighton's 6-1 win

Back with a bang: Ashley Barnes scored twice on his return from suspension in Brighton's 6-1 win


Brighton: Kuszczak (Ankergren 64), Calderon, Greer, Upson, Bridge (Saltor 66), Bridcutt, Hammond, Lopez, Barnes, Orlandi, Buckley (LuaLua 72).

Subs Not Used: El-Abd, Crofts, Vicente, Ulloa.

Booked: Greer.

Goals: Buckley 9, Upson 23, Orlandi 45, Lopez 46, Barnes 76, 90.

Blackpool: Gilks, Crainey, Baptiste, Basham (Taylor-Fletcher 46), Broadfoot, Sylvestre, Ferguson, MacKenzie, Phillips (Eccleston 89), Ince, Delfouneso, Taylor-Fletcher (Derbyshire 71).

Subs Not Used: Halstead, Eardley, Cathcart, Martinez.

Booked: Ince.

Goals: Hammond 53 og.

Att: 28,499

Ref: Tony Bates (Staffordshire).

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The hosts were boosted by the return
of striker Barnes who came back from a seven-match ban he picked up for
appearing to trip referee Nigel Miller in his side's 1-0 defeat to
Bolton in March.

Winger Buckley came in following his
recovery from a hamstring injury, with Leonardo Ulloa and Andrew Crofts
making way for the duo. Blackpool boss Paul Ince made no changes to the
side who played out a goalless draw with Sheffield Wednesday in

The Seagulls were quickest out of the
blocks with Buckley causing Blackpool's defenders all sorts of problems
in the early stages. The former Rochdale man tried his luck from range
in the opening minute but his effort was gobbled up by Tangerines
stopper Matt Gilks.

Brighton defender Gordon Greer picked
up a booking in the seventh minute when he felled Nathan Delfouneso to
halt the visitors' counter-attack. Gus Poyet's men continued to dominate
and it came as no surprise when they broke deadlock in the ninth

Brighton poured forward in numbers
and Barnes played the ball forward to Buckley, who cut inside before
curling the ball high into the corner of the net from 20 yards out,
leaving Gilks stranded.

Further misery was piled onto
Blackpool in the 23rd minute when Orlandi's fantastic cross was headed
back across goal by Inigo Calderon and Upson bundled the ball home from
close range to make it 2-0.

Join the party: Matthew Upson was among the scorers for Brighton in their massive victory

Join the party: Matthew Upson was among the scorers for Brighton in their massive victory

Join the party: Matthew Upson was among the scorers for Brighton in their massive victory



Brighton continued to attack, with
Barnes having three good opportunities to extend his side's lead in the
space of six first-half minutes. Albion made it 3-0 on the brink of
half-time when Orlandi played a wonderful one-two with Lopez before
finding the bottom corner of Gilks' net with a neat finish with the
outside of his foot.

Brighton began the second half as
they ended the first and Lopez made it four within two minutes of the
re-start. Barnes flicked the ball on to Lopez on the edge of the box and
his deflected effort went into the roof of the net.

Tom Ince had a couple of
opportunities to get on the scoresheet in the early stages of the second
half but it was Matt Phillips who set up his side's goal. The former
Wycombe winger launched the ball into the area in the 53rd minute and
his cross was turned into his own net by Hammond.

Kuszczak was replaced by Casper
Ankergren in the 64th minute after the Polish goalkeeper clashed heads
with Blackpool substitute Gary Taylor-Fletcher.

Brighton made two further
substitutions with Kazenga LuaLua and Bruno Saltor replacing Buckley and
Wayne Bridge respectively. LuaLua made an instant impact four minutes
after coming on when he crossed for Barnes to tap in from close range to
make it 5-1.

Barnes made it six in the 90th minute when he stroked the ball home from Orlandi's cross.

Well beaten: Blackpool's Kirk Broadfoot and Matt Phillips look glum during their thrashing

Well beaten: Blackpool's Kirk Broadfoot and Matt Phillips look glum during their thrashing

Blackpool v Hull – match report

Blackpool 0 Hull 0: All square at Bloomfield Road with keepers on form


18:16 GMT, 1 January 2013



00:37 GMT, 2 January 2013

Goalkeepers Matt Gilks and Eldin Jakupovic earned their respective sides a share of the points with crucial second-half saves in a game of few chances at Bloomfield Road.

Blackpool's Gilks pulled off a flying save to keep out Hull midfielder David Meyler's goalbound shot in the 60th minute, while opposite number Jakupovic was at full stretch himself to turn away a vicious 25-yard effort from the home side's coveted Thomas Ince in the 85th minute.

Thomas Ince shoots

Spurned: Both teams had good chance to win but were denied at either end

Jakupovic, a Bosnian-born Switzerland international, then made another fine save in the second minute of time added on to keep out Seasiders' substitute Nathan Delfouneso's shot and ensure Hull stretched their unbeaten league run to eight matches.


Blackpool: Gilks,Eardley, Broadfoot, Baptiste, Crainey, Osbourne, Sylvestre, Basham, Ince, Taylor-Fletcher (Dicko 80),Thomas (Delfouneso 66).

Subs: Halstead, Kevin Phillips, Cathcart, Martinez,Harris.

Booked: Taylor-Fletcher.

Hull: Jakupovic, Chester, Faye, Hobbs, Rosenior, Meyler, Evans (Bruce 83), Quinn, Brady, Koren (Simpson 46), Aluko (Proschwitz 46).

Subs: Amos, Cairney, McShane, Olofinjana.

Att: 13,691

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire).

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Hull, who had won six of their previous seven npower Championship matches, remain second in the table, while Blackpool, for all their late pressure, have now won only one of their last six league matches.

Midfield pair Ludovic Sylvestre and Isaiah Osbourne, plus defender Neal Eardley returned to Blackpool's starting line-up, while Liam Rosenior stepped in at right-back for Hull in place of the injured Ahmed Elmohamady.

Neither side could fashion a chance worthy of note in the first 20 minutes save for Hull's on-loan Sunderland midfielder Meyler, who dragged an angled shot from the left side of the penalty area off target.

The visitors threatened again in the 22nd minute when striker Sone Aluko flashed a 25-yard shot wide and it was not until the 29th minute that Blackpool's coveted winger Ince fired his side's first shot on goal straight at Jakupovic.

The Seasiders enjoyed their best spell from the half-hour mark, with striker Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Ince both prominent, but failed to test Jakupovic again before the half-time whistle.

Steve Bruce

Stalemate: Steve Bruce's side remain in second place after today's draw

Hull manager Steve Bruce replaced Aluko and midfielder Robert Koren for strikers Nick Proschwitz and Jay Simpson at the interval and the latter was straight into the action when his header from Rosenior's cross forced Gilks into a smart save 90 seconds after the restart.

Gilks then held Hull midfielder Robbie Brady's 20-yard free-kick as the visitors went in search of the breakthrough.

Meyler, who has scored three goals in his last four appearances for the Tigers, went closest to the game's opening goal with a superb strike in the 60th minute that prompted a spectacular save from Gilks, whose outstretched arm turned the goalbound shot away for a corner.

Blackpool were dealt a blow soon after when striker Wes Thomas was forced off injured and replaced by Delfouneso before Sylvestre had a rare shot on goal for the home side, firing an angled drive just wide.

The game was finely balanced heading into the final quarter when Blackpool defender Chris Basham fired a 25-yard effort over the crossbar, while at the other end Hull midfielder Corry Evans spurned a gilt-edged chance when he failed to keep his shot from inside the area on target.

Jakupovic flung himself at Ince's 25-yard shot in the closing stages to push the ball away to safety before Delfouneso blazed over the crossbar from inside the area in stoppage time.

Burnley v Blackpool – match report

Burnley 1 Blackpool 0: Austin's early goal enough to see off Tangerines at Turf Moor



18:36 GMT, 20 October 2012

Charlie Austin continued his hot goalscoring streak by hitting the winner in Terry Pashley's first game in temporary charge of Burnley.

Austin has now scored eight goals in the last five npower Championship games and it was enough to beat an under performing Blackpool side.

The Clarets had the first sight of goal after Junior Stanislas surged into the box early on, but Stephen Crainey blocked the shot.

Come here: Isaiah Osbourne (right) is hauled back by Dean Marney

Come here: Isaiah Osbourne (right) is hauled back by Dean Marney


Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, McCann, Wallace, Marney, Stanislas (Paterson 75min), Stock (Bartley 69min), Austin (Vokes 86min)

Subs not used: Jensen, Edgar, Mills, Stewart

Goals: Austin 19

Blackpool: Gilks, Crainey, Eardley, Evatt, Baptiste, M Phillips (Bruna 80min), Osbourne, Angel, Ince (Dicko 79min), Taylor-Fletcher, Delfouneso (Sylvestre 58min),

Subs not used: Halstead, Gomes, Eccleston

Attendance: 12,925

Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland).

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Stanislas turned provider after 10
minutes when the League's top scorer, Austin, sprung the offside trap to
get on to the pass.

He controlled and volleyed towards the far corner
but Matt Gilks palmed the ball to safety.

The hosts made their dominance pay
eight minutes later, when Ross Wallace produced a wonderful inswinging
cross from the right and Austin headed into the roof of the net from
close range.

Ian Holloway's men had lost three of
their previous four games and struggled to make any inroads with only a
wayward shot from Tom Ince to show for their first half efforts, and it
was Burnley who continued to threaten.

With three minutes of the first half
remaining Gilks was called upon again after Austin's neat flick played
in Stanislas – but the Blackpool goalkeeper stood firm to parry for a

Wallace almost capped a lively half with a goal in stoppage-time but could only find the sidenetting with his free-kick.

The Clarets picked up where they left off in the second half, with Gilks needed to save from Austin to keep the deficit at one.

It took almost 10 minutes for Blackpool to register their first attempt of the half and it was Ince who had the opening.

Slipped in on the right, he elected to shoot at the near post but only found the sidenetting.

For the first time, Lee Grant was called upon and he produced a remarkable double save on the hour mark.

First, Crainey crossed for Alex
Baptiste to power a header towards goal and Grant flung himself to the
right to tip the ball onto the post.

The rebound fell to Gary Taylor-Fletcher with the goal at his mercy but Grant sprung to his feet to parry the ball to safety.

Despite being under more pressure,
Burnley always posed a threat and Austin was once again at the heart of
it with 15 minutes remaining.

He got himself between the two
centre-backs and powered a header towards goal from a Kieran Trippier
cross – but Gilks was equal to it.

Substitute Sam Vokes almost grabbed a
second for the Clarets in injury-time. Gilks thwarted them again but
the one goal was enough.

Cardiff 3 Blackpool 0: Bluebirds keep pressure on at the top

Cardiff 3 Blackpool 0: Bluebirds keep pressure on at the top



18:58 GMT, 29 September 2012

A brace by defender Matthew Connolly helped Cardiff maintain their 100 per cent home record in the npower Championship with a 3-0 victory over Blackpool, who have now recorded just one win in their last five matches.

Both sides looked to attack in the early stages, but it was the Bluebirds who broke the deadlock with a Matthew Connolly strike from close range in the 17th minute.

Not this time: Blackpool's Nathan Eccleston tries to get past Andrew Taylor

Not this time: Blackpool's Nathan Eccleston tries to get past Andrew Taylor

Match facts

CARDIFF: Marshall, McNaughton, Taylor, Hudson, Connolly, Whittingham, Noone, Gunnarsson, Smith (Mason 25), Helguson (Cowie 81), Bellamy (Kim Bo-Kyung 72).

Subs Not Used: Lewis, Turner, Kiss, Velikonja.

Goals: Connolly 17, 57, Whittingham 27

BLACKPOOL: Gilks, Crainey, Evatt, Baptiste, Broadfoot, Robertson (Osbourne 59), M Phillips, Sylvestre (Delfouneso 58), Angel, K Phillips, Dicko (Eccleston 61).

Subs Not Used: Halstead, Eardley, Gomes, Ferguson

Booked: Crainey, Evatt

Referee: Carl Boyeson

Att: 21,216

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Peter Whittingham doubled the lead
10 minutes later with a free-kick from the edge of the area, before
Connolly sealed the three points for the hosts by heading home a Craig
Bellamy corner.

Blackpool, who were without Thomas
Ince and Gary Taylor-Fletcher for the trip to South Wales, made seven
changes from the side that lost to Huddersfield earlier in the week, but
Ian Holloway's men produced a toothless performance.

It was the home side who carved out
the more threatening chances early on, with Craig Bellamy having the
first real attempt at goal in the fifth minute.

However, his low drive from the
right-hand side of the penalty area was collected comfortably at the
near post by Blackpool goalkeeper Matt Gilks.

In an end-to-end first 15 minutes,
Blackpool also created their fair share of chances, including a
long-range effort from Matt Phillips, but they were unable to apply the
finish when it mattered.

It was the Bluebirds who broke the
deadlock after 17 minutes as Connolly met a Bellamy cross to fire the
ball into the back of the net from the edge of the six-yard box.

Cardiff doubled their lead just 10
minutes later when Peter Whittingham fired a sensational free-kick into
the bottom-left corner of the goal from 18 yards.

Kevin Phillips had the chance to
reduce the deficit for Blackpool in the 32nd minute, but the striker's
effort from close range cleared the crossbar.

Wales international Bellamy forced
Gilks into a superb diving save on the stroke of half-time, sparing
Blackpool the misery of going in at the break three goals down.

Falling for it: Blackpool's Scott Robinson (left) takes the ball past Aron Gunnarsson

Falling for it: Blackpool's Scott Robinson (left) takes the ball past Aron Gunnarsson

However, the Tangerines' reprieve did
not last long, as, shortly after half-time, defender Connolly doubled
his tally for the match by sending the home team further in front with a
headed effort from a Bellamy corner.

Holloway had used all of his
substitutes by the hour mark as he tried to salvage something from the
match, but his players continued to struggle to breach the Cardiff

Bellamy, who looked dangerous
throughout, almost grabbed a goal of his own midway through the half,
but his effort whistled over the crossbar from the edge of the area.

Matt Phillips hit the post for the
visitors in the 74th minute, before an injury time Stephen Crainey
free-kick hit the crossbar on an afternoon the Seasiders would rather

Blackpool 6 Ipswich 0: Ince stars as Seasiders maintain perfect start

Blackpool 6 Ipswich 0: Ince stars as Seasiders maintain perfect start



16:37 GMT, 25 August 2012

A virtuoso display from winger Tom Ince inspired npower Championship pacesetters Blackpool to a six-goal demolition of Ipswich.

Former Liverpool youngster Ince bagged a brace in the Seasiders' opening
day win at Millwall and he helped himself to two more fine strikes as
Paul Jewell's side were put to the sword.

Town held their own for most of the first half, but Aaron Cresswell's
own goal and Gary Taylor-Fletcher's strike moments before the break sent
Blackpool in two goals to the good.

Blackpool's Matt Phillips scores the second goal

Matt finish: Phillips scores Blackpool's second goal


Blackpool: Gilks, Eardley, Cathcart, Baptiste, Crainey, Osbourne, Martinez (Noguera 58), Gomes, Taylor-Fletcher (Matt Phillips 63), Kevin Phillips (Dicko 56), Ince. Subs Not Used: Halstead, Evatt, Sylvestre, Ferguson.

Booked: Baptiste.

Goals: Cresswell 13 og, Taylor-Fletcher 45, Ince 49, 58, Cathcart 62, Dicko 90.

Ipswich: Loach, Edwards, Chambers, Smith, Cresswell, Luongo (Carson 65), Hyam, Drury, Martin, Emmanuel-Thomas (Scotland 56),Chopra (Murray 69). Subs Not Used: Lee-Barrett, Delaney, Stevenson, Ainsley.

Booked: Chopra.

Att: 14,266

Ref: Nigel Miller (Durham).

Ince was the provider on both occasions and he got in on the act with a scintillating double when the action resumed.

Craig Cathcart was the beneficiary of another Ince cross to make it five and Nouha Dicko completed the rout, the on-loan Wigan forward scoring from the bench as he did against Leeds in midweek.

Ian Holloway's side are now the only team in the Championship with a 100% record after three games as they consigned Ipswich's own unbeaten start to rubble.

Jewell's men were the quicker of the two sides out of the blocks and Blackpool full-back Ian Crainey had to be alert to clear when Jay Emmanuel-Thomas burst down the left and fizzed the ball across the six yard box.

But the Seasiders took the lead against the run of play in the 13th minute.

Town centre-back Tommy Smith floundered under a long-ball, allowing Ince to capitalise and fire a low cross that was turned into his own net by Cresswell.

Lee Martin launched a pair of speculative efforts as Ipswich looked to respond, while veteran striker Kevin Phillips sent a 20-yard volley over following a sharp one-two with Portuguese midfielder Tiago Gomes.

It was a rare example of Blackpool shifting their customary passing game into gear, and when Ince drilled a left-footed effort narrowly wide in the 38th minute, it was a product of his own endeavours.

Tasty: Thomas Ince of Blackpool

Tasty: Blackpool's Tom Ince

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Tangerines goalkeeper Matt Gilks produced a magnificent reaction save
from Emmanuel-Thomas in the 42nd minute and Ipswich's disappointment
was compounded on the stroke of the interval.

Gomes and Ince produced an intricate exchange of passes for the latter
to find the by-line and cut back for Taylor-Fletcher, who emphatically
sent a half-volley beyond Town keeper Scott Loach.

Jewell's side had cause to be aggrieved by the half-time score, but they were soon blown away by a rampant Blackpool.

In the 49th minute Ince collected Crainey's lofted pass and befuddled
Smith with a dazzling exhibition of skill before driving into the bottom

Phillips should have made it four when Taylor-Fletcher slid him through
10 minutes into the half, although it mattered for little moments later.

At the end of a fine passing move, Gomes' reverse pass found Taylor-Fletcher and he in turn teed up Ince to curl home.

The game's outstanding player turned provider shortly after the hour, crossing for centre-back Cathcart to thump home a header.

The pace eased thereafter, but Ipswich's misery was complete when Matt
Phillips sped through on goal and lofted the ball over the advancing
Loach for fellow substitute Dicko to apply the finish.

Hot shot: Ince scores his goal

Hot shot: Ince scores his goal

Blackpool 2 Leeds 1

Blackpool 2 Leeds 1: Wantaway Phillips comes off bench to send Tangerines top of league



21:35 GMT, 21 August 2012

Wantaway winger Matt Phillips rose from the bench to earn Blackpool a win over Leeds at Bloomfield Road on a night when it had appeared as though the home side were going to get no luck at all.

Phillips' goal sent the Tangerines top of the npower Championship – albeit after just two games.

Blackpool had seen two strong penalty appeals turned down, Tom Lees open the scoring for Leeds and the outstanding Tom Ince consistently go close over the course of 64 barren minutes when manager Ian Holloway threw on Phillips and Nouha Dicko in a last throw of the dice.

In it goes: Matt Phillips came off the bench to score Blackpool's winner

In it goes: Matt Phillips came off the bench to score Blackpool's winner


Blackpool: Gilks, Eardley, Cathcart, Baptiste, Crainey, Osbourne, Gomes (Matt Phillips 64), Martinez (Dicko 64), Taylor-Fletcher, Kevin Phillips (Sylvestre 76),Ince.

Subs Not Used: Halstead, Grandin, Noguera, Harris.

Goals: Dicko 75, Matt Phillips 80.

Leeds: Kenny, Peltier, Lees, Pearce, White (Pugh 79), Bryam, Norris, Austin, McCormack (Diouf 58), Becchio, Varney.

Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Drury, Kisnorbo, Brown, Gray.

Booked: Lees, Varney.

Goals: Lees 16.

Attendance: 14,315

Ref: Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire).

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Fifteen minutes later the duo had
scored a goal apiece – both from a yard – as Leeds' tactics of holding
what they had backfired on them and left them heading back to Yorkshire
with a 50-50 record for the season.

Phillips' winner ensured that
Blackpool extended their winning start to the season and as he
celebrated with their fans there was no sign of the ill-feeling that has
been generated by his desire to leave and join Southampton.

After not picking the winger for
Saturday's win at Millwall, Holloway outed Phillips for handing in a
transfer request but made it clear he was not willing to part with his
prized asset.

Whether he keeps to that remains to be seen, but the former Wycombe man may now command a higher fee than he previously did.

For a time it had looked as though he
would not get the chance to be a hero, though, as he started on the
bench and Lees, the only alteration to Neil Warnock's side from the one
which beat Wolves, opened the scoring 15 minutes in.

Before that, however, it had been all
Blackpool with Paddy Kenny getting down well to his right to keep out
Tiago Gomes, while for a second it appeared as if Lees was going to see
more than the yellow he received for a studs-up tackle on Gary

Referee Dean Whitestone opted for
just a caution in the end and four minutes later Lees was climbing to
get on the end of Ross McCormack's corner and put his side ahead.

If Blackpool felt slightly aggrieved
by that they had further grounds for complain with 18 minutes gone when
the dangerous Ince went down in the box under Luke Varney's challenge,
only for Whitestone to wave away their appeals.

He was doing the same thing again not
long after when Lees appeared to handle the ball in the area, with
Kenny saving well from Alex Baptiste in the ensuing melee, not long
after he had kept out Kevin Phillips.

Kenny could not get near Ince's
cross-shot as half-time approached but nor could anyone else as it
flashed agonisingly wide, and the same duo went head-to-head in the
first minute of the second half, with the latter cracking the inside of
the post from 20 yards with the former beaten.

Had Ince been in the goalscoring form
he was when scoring twice at the weekend he could have had a hat-trick
but, as it was, he continued to let Leeds off the hook, this time
blazing over from 12 yards after Taylor-Fletcher's cross.

Frustrated by his side's bluntness in
front of goal Holloway made his changes with 24 minutes to play,
although his first act could have been to kick-off had Luciano Becchio
realised how much time he had when he went up for a header in
Blackpool's box.

It was Blackpool who remained the
more threatening side, though, and with 76 minutes they got the goal
which they had threatened for most of the night when Stephen Crainey
broke into the box on the left and gave Dicko the easiest task from a
yard out.

Leeds had received ample warning of
Blackpool's intentions but even after being stung once they remained
vulnerable and four minutes later, they were behind.

The goal was a carbon copy of the
first, with Ince playing the role of Crainey and Phillips that of Dicko,
with United seemingly unable to handle close-range balls into their box
before Ince nearly rounded things off when he hit the bar with a
long-range free-kick.

Watford 0 Blackpool 2: Stephen Dobbie scores twice

Watford 0 Blackpool 2: Dobbie double keeps Seasiders in play-off hunt



16:27 GMT, 6 April 2012

Stephen Dobbie's double cemented Blackpool's place in the npower Championship play-off spots and halted Watford's recent surge up the table.

The striker took his tally to four goals in two starts since rejoining Blackpool on loan from Swansea with a fine individual strike and a penalty.

There seemed little danger when Dobbie picked up the ball midway through the first half but he opened the scoring with a superb, jinking run into the penalty area and a neat finish.

At the double: Blackpool's Stephen Dobbie celebrates one of his two goals

At the double: Blackpool's Stephen Dobbie celebrates one of his two goals


Watford: Kuszczak, Doyley, Taylor, Nosworthy, Dickinson, Eustace, Yeates, Murray, Hogg, Deeney, Iwelumo.

Subs: Loach, Bennett, Buaben, Garner, Assombalonga.

Blackpool: Gilks, Eardley, Evatt, Baptiste, Harris, Dobbie, Southern, Angel, Taylor-Fletcher, Matt Phillips, Ince.

Subs: Crainey, Ormerod, Sylvestre, Ferguson, LuaLua.

Goals: Dobbie 25, 70

Referee: James Linington

Attendance: 16,314

And in the second half Dobbie, who
scored twice in last week's 3-0 win over Southampton, sealed Blackpool's
victory from the spot after Thomas Ince was brought down by Tomasz

The defeat brought an end to
Watford's seven-match unbeaten run which had raised hopes of
gatecrashing the play-offs at Vicarage Road.

Blackpool came close to finding the net after just five minutes but were thwarted by Kuszczak.

Ince's shot deflected off Martin
Taylor but the on-loan Manchester United keeper got a hand to the ball
and then scrambled back to scoop it off the line.

Watford had their chances in the early stages as well, with Sean Murray volleying over and Chris Iwelumo heading wide.

But it was the visitors who went ahead after 25 minutes thanks to Dobbie's superb piece of skill.

The Scot collected the ball 30 yards
out and carved his way into the penalty area, tip-toeing his way past
the entire Watford defence before coolly stabbing the ball past

The Hornets attempted to hit back before half-time but Matt Gilks saved from Troy Deeney's header and John Eustace drove wide.

After the interval Watford winger
Mark Yeates attempted to replicate Dobbie's effort when he side-stepped a
couple of challenges in the Seasiders' penalty area but his run was
blocked by Ian Evatt.

Blackpool were forced to make a
change on the hour when Gary Taylor-Fletcher suffered an injury and had
to be replaced by Barry Ferguson.

Ince had a chance to double their
advantage when Neal Eardley crossed from the right but the midfielder
was way off target with his volley.

At the other end Eustace tried a cheeky lob with Gilks having wandered off his line but the ball drifted wide.

Instead, Blackpool grabbed the killer
second after 70 minutes when Matt Phillips played in Ince, who was
tripped as he tried to round Kuszczak.

Referee James Linington pointed to
the spot and Dobbie made no mistake to secure another win for Ian
Holloway's side as they chase a return to the Premier League.

Reading 3 Blackpool 1: Royals stay second with win over play-off hopefuls

Reading 3 Blackpool 1: Royals stay second with win over play-off hopefuls



18:33 GMT, 24 March 2012

Second-placed Reading moved four points clear of West Ham in the npower Championship with an impressive victory over play-off contenders Blackpool.

The hosts took the lead in the 30th minute when Ian Harte followed up after Jobi McAnuff struck the woodwork, and five minutes later the Royals doubled their advantage.

McAnuff was again the provider, chipping to the back post for Alex Pearce to head home.

On a roll: Reading won again to consolidate second place

On a roll: Reading won again to consolidate second place


Reading: Federici, Cummings, Pearce, Gorkss, Harte, Kebe, Leigertwood, Karacan, McAnuff, Hunt, Afobe (Church 69). Subs not used: Andersen, Tabb, Le Fondre, Robson-Kanu.

Scorers: Harte 30, Pearce 35, Leigertwood 60.

Blackpool: Gilks, Baptiste, Evatt, Cathcart, Crainey, Sylvestre (Ince 64), Basham, Ferguson, Taylor-Fletcher (Dobbie 64), LuaLua (Matt Phillips 64), Kevin Phillips. Subs not used: Angel, Harris.

Booked: Baptiste.

Scorer: LuaLua 41.

Referee: Fred Graham.

Attendance: 20,906.

After losing for the first time in 10
matches at Peterborough in midweek, Reading were evidently in the mood
to get back to winning ways.

Lomana LuaLua pulled a goal back for
the visiting Tangerines just before the break with a stunning strike
from long range but after the interval Mikele Leigertwood nodded in
Reading's third.

Royals manager Brian McDermott handed
new loan signing Benik Afobe his debut up front in place of the injured
Jason Roberts while Hayden Mullins dropped out of the matchday squad,
with Shaun Cummings returning on the right of defence.

Craig Cathcart came back into the
Blackpool backline and Chris Basham, Ludovic Sylvestre and LuaLua were
all handed recalls as Ian Holloway made four changes.

Reading could have taken an early
lead when Jimmy Kebe's fizzing goalbound effort from 12 yards struck
Noel Hunt a yard out and rebounded to safety.

After spending the opening exchanges
firmly on the back foot, the away side steadily gained a foothold on
proceedings and only Jem Karacan's block prevented Gary
Taylor-Fletcher's effort from finding the back of the net.

But Reading always looked dangerous and took the lead after half an hour.

Leigertwood chested the ball into the
path of McAnuff, and after the Royals skipper struck both posts with
his attempt Harte was on hand to slot home.

Moments later the Royals were two goals to the good.

McAnuff's delicate cross to the back
post was met by Pearce and the centre-back sent a superb header back
over Gilks and into the far corner.

It seemed Reading were quickly
putting themselves out of sight, but Blackpool were handed a sensational
lifeline four minutes before half-time.

LuaLua collected possession 30 yards
from goal and in a fairly innocuous position, but the forward produced a
blistering finish to beat Adam Federici to his top left-hand corner.

After a quiet start to the second
period, Hunt blasted high and wide from Akobe's neat knock-down while
Federici had no problem dealing with Phillips' header at the other end
as both sides pushed for the all-important fourth goal of the game.

And in the end it was the home side
who re-established their two-goal cushion, with Leigertwood rising
unmarked in the area to head home Harte's free-kick on the hour mark.

Hunt came close to putting the game
to bed when he latched on to substitute Simon Church's flick-on, only to
drag his shot wide from the edge of the box but Reading had already
done enough to consolidate their place in the automatic promotion

Blackpool 3 Leicester 3: Kevin Phillips late equaliser

Blackpool 3 Leicester 3: Last gasp Phillips strike cancels out Beckford brace



23:34 GMT, 21 March 2012

Ian Holloway will hope Kevin Phillips’ dramatic last ditch equaliser is a good omen for his promotion chasing side.

The evergreen striker took his tally for the season to 17 when he coolly side-footed home from Tom Ince’s cross to register his second of the night in the 91st minute.

The last time he reached those kind of numbers was back in 2008 – when he helped West Brom to the top flight.

Now aged 38 he is threatening to repeat the feat, although dropping two points at home has not helped Blackpool’s cause.

Poacher: Kevin Phillips strikes for Blackpool

Poacher: Kevin Phillips strikes for Blackpool


Gilks, Crainey, Eardley (Bednar 66 (LuaLua 75)), Evatt, Baptiste,
Southern (Sylvestre 65), Ferguson, M Phillips, K Phillips,
Taylor-Fletcher, Ince

Subs not used: Cathcart, Dicko

Goals: K Phillips 33, 90 Bednar 69

Bookings: Evatt, M Phillips

Schmeichel, Peltier, Konchesky, St Ledger, Morgan, Dyer, Drinkwater
(Bamba 87), Wellens (Marshall 72), Danns, Beckford, Nugent (Schlupp 88)

Subs not used: Kennedy, Howard

Goals: Beckford 38, Nugent 54, Beckford 73

Bookings: Nugent, Konchesky

Referee: Naylor

Attendance: 12,485

In fact, securing a point at all was a blessing after Leicester twice
took the lead with Jermaine Beckford scoring a double of his own on a
night when both defences came under fire from their respective managers.

Holloway said: ‘It looked like it wasn’t going to fall our way but I would have felt robbed if we had lost that.

‘So it’s a vital point and it doesn’t surprise me that Kevin got that goal. It doesn’t matter how old you are.

‘His game is all about positioning and he gets in the right space to score goals.’

Phillips was first to strike in the 33rd minute. Carefully watching
Ince’s corner, he showed his poacher’s touch by drifting away to the
back post and heading home.

The lead lasted just five minutes as Leicester finally managed to
utilise Beckford’s pace with Danny Drinkwater’s pass allowing him the
opportunity to calmly drill a low shot past Gilks.

After Kasper Schmeichel produced important stops to deny Blackpool full
backs Stephen Crainey and Neal Eardley, the visitors stormed into the

This time it was Blackpool switching off at a corner, leaving Dave Nugent in space to head home Drinkwater’s ball.

Holloway sent Roman Bednar and the ex-Leicester loanee struck within
minutes. Fed by Phillips, he raced half the pitch before moving the ball
onto his left foot and beating the Danish keeper.

Holloway’s fears of extending a three-match losing streak to Leicester
were awakened again when Beckford scored his second from close range,
after lively sub Ben Marshall escaped down the right and picked him out.

A defeat, that would have left Blackpool outside the top six spots,
seemed on the cards until Phillips shook off his marker in stoppage time
to rescue a point.

And Leicester’s failure to hold on left their boss Nigel Pearson fuming. He raged: ‘It’s another two points thrown away.

‘I’m not happy at all. Teams slipped up last night and we score three goals and only come away with a point.

‘If we have to score four goals away from home to win games it means something is seriously wrong.’

Doncaster 1 Blackpool 3: Gary Taylor-Fletcher double

Doncaster 1 Blackpool 3: Taylor-Fletcher brace moves Tangerines up to fourth

Gary Taylor-Fletcher scored twice as in-form Blackpool outlined their npower Championship promotion credentials with a comfortable victory at struggling Doncaster.

Taylor-Fletcher helped himself to his sixth and seventh goals of the season in the first half to put Ian Holloway's side on course to stretch their unbeaten run to 10 games in all competitions.

Relegation-threatened Rovers looked rusty after a fortnight without a game, but they were given hope when El-Hadji Diouf pulled a goal back from the penalty spot before half-time.

Blackpool were not at their best in the second half, but on-loan Wigan striker Nouha Dicko's first goal for the club sealed the points to consign Rovers to their first home defeat since November.

Brace: Taylor-Fletcher is mobbed after scoring his second goal

Brace: Taylor-Fletcher is mobbed after scoring his second goal


Doncaster: Button, O'Connor, Lockwood, Hird ,Spurr, Martin Woods (Gillett 77), Stock, Oster, Diouf, Bamogo (Bennett 54), Hayter (Bagayoko 83).

Subs Not Used: Martis, Robert.

Goals: Diouf 43 pen.

Blackpool: Gilks, Eardley, Evatt, Baptiste, Crainey, Sylvestre, Ferguson, Fleck (Angel 67), Dicko, LuaLua (Ince 74),
Taylor-Fletcher (Kevin Phillips 69).

Subs Not Used: Harris, Bednar.

Booked: LuaLua.

Goals: Taylor-Fletcher 20, 34, Dicko 72.

Attendance: 8,319

Referee: Gary Sutton (Lincolnshire).

Rovers made a promising start and James
Hayter had a great chance after 10 minutes when a poor back header fell
nicely for the former Bournemouth striker, but he shot straight at Matt
Gilks from 10 yards out.

Blackpool started to get into their stride and Dicko was denied by David
Button after being played in by fellow loanee John Fleck.

The Tangerines were playing with a swagger and they were in front after
19 minutes when right-back Neil Eardley picked out Taylor-Fletcher with a
delightful long-range pass and the former Huddersfield forward raced
clear and took a touch before tucking the ball past Button.

Holloway's side were dictating the play with some slick passing and
movement, but they were almost caught out when Brian Stock picked out
Hayter, but the forward 's control let him down.

Blackpool were being allowed far too much time and space and it came as
no surprise when they doubled their lead 33 minutes in, when
Taylor-Fletcher showed some neat close control and ghosted into the
penalty area far too easily before side-footing into the bottom-left
corner of Button's goal.

The visitors were cruising, but Rovers were thrown a lifeline four
minutes before the break when Ian Evatt upended Diouf and the Senegalese
forward beat Gilks from the spot with a cheeky chip.

The home side could have been level at the break, but Hayter blazed
wildly over the crossbar when the ball fell nicely for him in time added

Rovers boss Dean Saunders clearly delivered a few home truths at
half-time as his side showed far more urgency early in the second half
and it took a magnificent save from Gilks to keep out a well struck
right-foot volley from the onrushing Martin Woods 10 minutes after the

But Blackpool carried a far bigger threat going forward and they
restored their two-goal advantage with 18 minutes remaining when Button
could only palm Alex Baptiste's shot from the angle into the path of
French teenager Dicko, who was left with a simple right-foot finish from
close range.

Dicko's goal knocked the stuffing out of Rovers and the home supporters voiced their disapproval at the final whistle.