Andy Munro sees out the old year at St Andrew’s.
Blackpool are nobody’s mugs and it was conceivable that they might pinch a result; knowing Blues’ luck, this would be courtesy of a Kevin Phillips goal.
Either way, most felt that this would be an attractive but close game and, in view of this, the crowd of just under twenty thousand was disappointing especially as it was bolstered by a decent Blackpool contingent. Perhaps the big surprise in Blues’ line up was starting Ziggy in front of Chris Woods – if we’re trying to persuade the Baggies that we want his loan period extending then not playing him regularly is hardly likely to be the best incentive for a further release.
Anyway, Blues started the match at a decent tempo but, as usual, seemed to lack a cutting edge. Mind you the Blackpool keeper was in excellent form as crosses rained into the area, making one point blank block from Ziggy – who in Ziggy terms looked quite dangerous in an entertaining first period. As it drew to a close, at the one end Boaz Myhill had to scoop a cross away at full stretch to prevent a Blackpool tap-in and then, as often happens, Blues went up the other end and scored. After the Blackpool keeper had tipped away a goalbound shot for a corner, the resulting kick was headed emphatically home by Curtis Davies.
Things got even better in the second period, fired by a central midfield with N’Daw immense again alongside a non-stop Fahy. A second goal inevitably came when Marlon King sprung the offside trap to clinically dispatch the ball past the onrushing keeper. Barry Ferguson being sent off, rather harshly I felt, also didn’t help the Seasiders’ cause. Mind you,unlike Craig Gardner, BF left the Blues with his respect intact although he is supposedly known in footballing circles as a nasty piece of work.
With Blackpool down to ten men a goalfest looked odds-on; the ever-impressive David Murphy and Ziggy were both unlucky with headers whilst sub Jordan Mutch came on to live up to his flashy yellow boots with some Ronaldo style touches. Cult hero Nathan Redmond also arrived and looked lively although it seemed his final touch would let him down. That is, until he cut in from the right and, after shaping to cross, decided to let fly with a thunderous shot which hit the back of the net before the keeper could move a muscle.
Cue celebrations all round and the start of the New Year’s Eve party celebrations!