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Blackpool 2 Blackburn 0 match report: Wes Thomas and Kirk Broadfoot put Henning Berg under more pressure

Blackpool 2 Blackburn 0: Appleton's unbeaten run goes on but it's more gloom for Berg


17:25 GMT, 15 December 2012



17:25 GMT, 15 December 2012

Blackpool netted a goal in each half to see off Blackburn and maintain boss Michael Appleton's unbeaten start to life at Bloomfield Road.

Rovers had more than their fair share of chances in the first half but Wes Thomas had headed Blackpool in front by the time Simon Vukcevic rattled the post for the visitors.

Henning Berg's side were unable to muster anything like a similar threat in a second half of few chances, and switched off late on to let former Rangers defender Kirk Broadfoot net a first Seasiders goal.

Advantage Blackpool: Wes Thomas hit the first at Bloomfield Road

Advantage Blackpool: Wes Thomas hit the first at Bloomfield Road

Match facts

Blackpool: Gilks, Baptiste, Broadfoot, Cathcart, Harris, Osbourne, Gomes, Martinez, Delfouneso, Thomas (Taylor-Fletcher 69), Ince (Dicko 82). Subs not used: Halstead, Eardley, Kevin Phillips, Noguera, Bruna.

Goals: Thomas 22, Broadfoot 81.

Blackburn: Kean, Henley, Dann, Givet, Martin Olsson, Vukcevic (Rochina 74), Lowe, Etuhu, King, Rhodes, Kazim-Richards. Subs not used: Robinson, Dunn, Pedersen, Grant Hanley, Ribeiro, Rosado.

Booked: King.

Att: 15,907.

Ref: Graham Scott.

The latest Championship table, fixtures and results

Appleton has now masterminded two
wins from three outings, having begun his tenure as Ian Holloway's
replacement with four consecutive draws.

The result moves Blackpool three
points and four places above Blackburn, who are floundering in 15th
place in the npower Championship having won once during Berg's nine
matches at the helm.

Bob Harris enjoyed his second start
of the season for Blackpool at left-back in place of the suspended
Steven Crainey, while Gary Taylor-Fletcher was named among the
substitutes after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Berg sprung a surprise by dropping
former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson and naming Jake Kean in his
starting XI – one of four changes to the Blackburn side thrashed 4-1 by
Cardiff eight days ago as Gael Givet, Colin Kazim-Richards and Vukcevic
earned recalls.

Blackpool were perhaps surprised by
the sight of on-loan Galatasaray forward Kazim-Richards launching a
long-throw in the second minute and Vukcevic was allowed space to fire

The visitors were quickest out of the
blocks and Seasiders defender Craig Cathcart required a last-ditch
challenge to deny Jordan Rhodes from Kazim-Richards' cross, before Matt
Gilks made saves in quick succession to thwart Rhodes and Vukcevic.

Opening his account: Kirk Broadfoot (back right) nods Blackpool's second - his first for the club since joining from Rangers

Opening his account: Kirk Broadfoot (back right) nods Blackpool's second – his first for the club since joining from Rangers

It was therefore against the run of
play when Nathan Delfouneso crossed from the left for Thomas to glance
in with the assistance of a statuesque Blackburn defence in the 24th

Dickson Etuhu had a chance to bring
Blackburn level after the half hour but shot wide from Josh King's
clipped cross as Blackpool failed to fully clear a corner.

Kean was nearly caught out by a
clever Tiago Gomes free-kick from the left before Scott Dann produced a
vital block to divert an Ince effort at the end of a solo run into the
side netting.

But it was almost all-square at the break as Vukcevic rattled the post with a shot on the turn.

Kazim-Richards and Thomas both hobbled back into the action following injury scares during a scrappy start to the second half.

England Under 21 winger Ince appeared
the most likely source of extending Blackpool's lead and, after
breaking free of the Rovers defence to test Kean low to his right, he
exchanged passes with Harris for the latter to fire over in the 65th

Harris managed to extend Kean when
the Rovers keeper pushed a rasping free-kick behind, but the points were
made safe from the resulting corner.

Gomes' outswinging delivery from the right found Broadfoot to thump home unmarked with nine minutes to play.

Givet thought he had a consolation
but was flagged offside before Dann almost compounded Rovers' misery by
heading against his own post in stoppage time.

Martin O"Neill joy at "surreal" Sunderland win

O”Neill joy at “surreal” win that gets his Sunderland career up and running

Martin O”Neill celebrated his first match in charge of Sunderland in “surreal” fashion with a dramatic late victory over Blackburn.

O”Neill”s bow looked to be heading for disaster with Rovers leading 1-0 at the Stadium of Light with just six minutes to play.

However, David Vaughan”s 84th-minute piledriver pulled the hosts level and set the stage for Sebastian Larsson to snatch three points with an injury-time free-kick to spark a trademark celebration from the 59-year-old Ulsterman.

Jumping for joy: Martin O

Jumping for joy: Martin O”Neill celebrates Sunderland”s win

O”Neill said: “It was surreal, really surreal. Just to get three points on the board is immense.

“I would have given a lot for that, just to have won the game, but mainly – forget about myself – just for the players.

“Having lost the game here last time out against Wigan in the circumstances in which they did, and then to go to Wolves and miss the penalty and then lose the game…

“It”s only a win, it only gives us a win. We have a million miles to go, but in terms of restoration of confidence, it was great.”

Sunderland”s Wearside misery – they had won only three times on their own pitch in 2011 before kick-off – seemed likely to continue with Blackburn leading through Simon Vukcevic”s 17th-minute header with just six minutes remaining.

But it was then the Black Cats, who had been lethargic before the break, made their improved second-half performance count, and did so in some style.

Piledriver: David Vaughan

Piledriver: David Vaughan”s shot nestles in the back of the net

Vaughan levelled with a sweetly-struck 30-yard drive to send a sigh of relief around the Stadium of Light, although the real drama was still to come.

Two minutes of injury-time had passed at the end of the game when Larsson curled home a free-kick off the foot of the post to snatch victory and ease the Black Cats” fears of being dragged into a relegation scrap.

O”Neill had revealed before the game he has been dreaming of winning his first match, but admitted the circumstances in which victory was delivered were more far-fetched than those of his imagination.

He said: “Even in my wildest dreams, I never thought about those. David Vaughan”s equalising goal was just brilliant.”

For once, the majority of a crowd of 39,863 headed home with smiles on their faces, but none of them broader than the one sported by the new manager.

O”Neill said: “If they feel half as good as I do at the minute, they will be pretty pleased.

At the death: Sebastian Larsson celebrates the winning goal

At the death: Sebastian Larsson celebrates the winning goal

“It”s a typical Irish trait to say there will be many a dark day around the corner, but there you go. I think that was just my upbringing.”

Blackburn boss Steve Kean”s emotions were markedly different as the Black Cats left his team behind them inside the Barclays Premier League drop zone.

He was left to bemoan the decision for handball against Mauro Formica which led to Larsson”s decisive strike, and a disallowed Scott Dann goal four minutes before the break after Samba was adjudged to have fouled keeper Keiren Westwood.

Kean, who insisted he know nothing about an impending financial crisis amid reports that the players may not be paid in February, also had to cope with the loss of Michel Salgado with suspected fractured ribs, Jason Lowe through concussion and Gael Givet with heart palpitations.


Fan”s favourite: O” Neill made an immediate impact at Sunderland

Asked about Givet, he said: “He has had it before and he was feeling as if his pulse was pounding out of his neck.

“The doctor said there was a potential that he could collapse, so we had to just get him off.

“He has had it before in the past when his heart goes out of synch and starts to fire at a different time.

“The doctor said we needed to get him off because we could have ended up with a much more serious situation.”