REPORT FROM BLACKPOOL SITE
Report from http://www.blackpoolfc.premiumtv.co.uk
The Seasiders ended their losing run with a point against all but relegated Mansfield. The game was very similar to the weather, with long spells of dull uninspiring stuff followed by the bright slick passing game that has eluded Pool over the last few matches. Matthew Blinkhorn who was given his first start along with Stephen McMahon and Blinks will remember his full debut forever as the local lad helped himself to a brace of goals. Blinkhorn and McMahon were joined in the starting eleven by fellow youngster Jamie Burns and Richie Wellens who had recovered sufficiently from his ankle injury.
Pool started proceedings the brighter of the two sides with Martin Bullock's testing 30-yard effort forcing former Man Utd keeper Kevin Pilkington into a fine save. Four minutes later the lively Bullock forced Pilkington into action once again, this time the Stags 'keeper could only parry Bullock's effort unfortunately for Pool the ball fell behind Matthew Blinkhorn.
Martin Bullock was having a field day against a youthful Mansfield defence and the eleventh minute his mazy run found Matthew Blinkhorn who could only fire straight at the keeper, then completely against the run of play, Mansfield took the lead, full back Jamie Clarke sprinted down the left flank almost unchallenged before cutting in and slotting the ball past the advancing Barnes, and to be fair that was Mansfield's only chance in the first period.
Pilkington once again denied Martin Bullock on the quarter hour following a quickly taken free kick from Richie Wellens.
Chris Clarke should have put Pool back on level terms on 25 minutes; Bullock's right wing corner was met by the big centre back who nodded over with the goal at his mercy. But Pool continued to pile on the pressure and the deserved equaliser came on 29 minutes, Liam Lawrence was booked for dissent some 40 yards from goal, the referee promptly marched forward 10 yards before Richie Wellens stepped up and smashed a great strike which was half saved by Pilkington, the rebound looked as though it was heading over the line but to make sure Matthew Blinkhorn threw himself forward just to make sure, and to help himself to his first senior goal.
Pool were really now dom inating proceedings and it came as no surprise that the Seasiders took the lead with a second goal for debutant Matthew Blinkhorn who had lobbed a ball over the top of Pilkington, as Pilkington jumped to save it the ball rebound off the crossbar and on to his back and into the empty net.
Half Time 'Pool 2 Mansfield 1
During the interval, manager Keith Curle made to changes, Colin Larkin replaced Junior Mendes and Andy White came on in place of Craig Mitchell and the changes proved inspirational as the Stags equalised with sixty seconds of the restart, Larkin raced up the left wing and despite stumbling inside the area, the substitute fired into the far side of the net.
Richie Wellens saw a 49-minute free kick fly wide of the left post with Pilkington beaten as Pool looked to regain they lead.
Pool were forced to change things when young debutant Stephen McMahon left the field of play with a head injury sustained by a flying elbow, he was to be replaced by Jamie Milligan. Mansfield were denied the lead by Phil Barnes on 68 minutes, Craig Disley found Liam Lawrence unmarked in the Seasiders area. Lawrence saw his close range header brilliantly by the Blackpool number one. Two minutes later Steve McMahon was shuffling his pack once again, Danny Coid giving way to John Hills.
Martin Bullock's trickery down the right nearly provided Blinkhorn with a fairytale debut hat-trick, Bully's cross found Blinks, but unfortunately for Pool he mis-timed his attempt on goal.
Mansfield thought they had snatched three valuable points on 85 minutes, Jamie Burns lost possession on the edge of the area, Liam Lawrence released Colin Larkin who played a great cross field ball to Andy White who volleyed beyond Barnes to bring the travelling Stags supporters to their feet.
Their joy was to be short lived as Pool snatched a dramatic late equaliser, Pool had won three consecutive corners, the last one being headed home by substitute Scott Taylor.
Latest | April 2003