Andy Munro on Blues’ weekend game.
It was never going to be easy against Blackpool, one of the form teams, despite hope springing eternal after Blues’ surprise victory over Huddersfield.
With the signing of Aaron McClean who has scored goals for fun in the past (admittedly for Barry Fry FC) and a Polish international in waiting, optimism was high and, for once, Lee Clark resisted his Tinkerman tendencies to keep the Blues side unchanged, the unfortunate Bartley excepted.
Blues set out their stall early on and with Mitch Hancox snapping at Ince’s heels, it was the home side rather than the Tangerines who made the early pace. It was good to see Blues playing some fluent football after the disjointed display against Charlton. They certainly deserved to take the lead and Jesse Lingard, who worked like a Trojan throughout the game, thoroughly deserved his poacher’s goal.
However, once Blues scored, they seemed to strangely switch off and Blackpool came more into the game. Their cause was helped by the normally reliable Reilly having the proverbial mare, maybe due to his midweek Montenegro sojourn. Meanwhile Ziggy was at his ponderous worst and it was no real surprise when Blackpool equalised. Hancox who generally had a fine game, switched off just once and with a player of Ince’s class that was all that was needed. He proceeded to provide a silver service centre to give Fuller his goal on a plate.
For a period, things looked bleak and Blackpool could have scored again but some sterling work by the tremendously impressive pairing of Burn and Robbo kept Blues head above the water.
Lee Clark made changes as the second half wore on with Reilly sensibly giving away to the new Polish signing , who showed moments of real class without really stamping any authority in the centre of midfield. Ziggy then went off for McClean, the latter forming a vertically-challenged spearhead which never really gelled. Why Novak wasn’t subbed instead to allow McClean to play off Ziggy is a mystery.
Young Gray then came on and showed some excellent touches and could even have scored the winner. However a draw was probably a about a fair result as both sides had some clear chances to clinch the game. Still, drawing at home to a team of Blackpool’s current quality is a decent result given that we are in the ‘development’ stage.