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Match Report


Posted Sat 14 May 11 at 15:18 PM

Report: Blackpool 4 Wanderers 3

Wanderers were edged out by the narrowest of margins at Bloomfield Road as Blackpool won a seven-goal thriller to give their Premier League survival bid a lifeline.

A truly topsy-turvy game came to life on nine minutes when Kevin Davies volleyed Bolton into the lead, however that was soon cancelled out when DJ Campbell levelled for the hosts.

Blackpool went 2-1 up through Jason Puncheon before Matt Taylor made things all square with a precise finish from inside the box.

Ian Holloway's men entered half-time holding the advantage after Campbell notched for a second time but Wanderers regained parity again shortly after the restart through Daniel Sturridge's header.

The match-winning goal was struck by Blackpool skipper and talisman Charlie Adam, who rounded-off a sweeping counter-attack with a well-taken strike from the edge of the area close to the hour mark.

Blackpool 4 Bolton 3

For the first time in the Premier League this season, Johan Elmander did not make it into the starting line-up having sustained a knock during training in the build-up to the game. Ricardo Gardner was the Swede's replacement, slotting into central midfield alongside Fabrice Muamba.

Bloomfield Road was packed to the rafters and, just as Assistant Manager Sandy Stewart had predicted in his pre-match interview, Blackpool were quick out of the traps. Indeed, the Seasiders could have scored in their first attack through Alex Baptiste on five minutes.

After Gretar Steinsson had conceded a free-kick 40 yards from goal, Charlie Adam stepped up to whip a cross to the back post, where the centre-half's stretched finish landed just wide of the post.

But Wanderers too started the game extremely brightly and Kevin Davies' first Premier League goal since New Year's Day gave Bolton an early lead and kick-started a truly remarkable first half of football.

Having endured misfortune at one end of the field minutes earlier, Baptiste was at fault inside his own penalty area as he failed to clear Paul Robinson's deep free-kick. The Bolton skipper was the grateful recipient and he volleyed home from 12 yard out.

However, Bolton's lead was short-lived as Ian Holloway's men got themselves back on level terms just three minutes later through DJ Campbell.

A long ball out of defence was headed on by Gary Taylor-Fletcher and having got goal-side of Gretar Steinsson, the former Leicester City forward was able to loft the ball over Jussi Jaaskelainen and into the back of the net, despite Gary Cahill's best efforts to clear on the goal-line.

Blackpool had their tails up following the equaliser as they piled the pressure on Bolton's goal.

Campbell headed against the crossbar from an Adam corner before the hosts turned the game on its head when Jason Puncheon blasted his team into the lead on 19 minutes.

As Blackpool attacked down the right, Bolton just couldn't get the ball clear and having ridden one tackle, Puncheon - who was signed from MK Dons in January - thrashed the ball into the back of the net with his left foot.

Understandably, Bloomfield Road was rocking, but the home fans were silenced when the game took another twist just five minutes later as Matt Taylor got Bolton back on level terms.

Latching on to Gardner's incisive pass, the number seven hit a shot across and past Matt Gilks from the corner of the area, with the ball finding the back of the net via the far post.

The chances kept coming in this unbelievable first 45 minutes worth of football. Taylor struck a 25-yard free-kick over the bar just minutes after his equaliser, Gilks saved well from Daniel Sturridge after the on-loan striker had been given a clear run on goal and Davies was denied his second strike of the game by the crossbar having lofted the ball over Gilks with the outside of his foot.

Blackpool too had chances to register their third goal of the half - and they took one of them to restore their lead just moments before half-time.

Campbell, who had looked threatening all game, was the goalscorer; bagging his second with a tidy far post finish after Adam had swept across a pinpoint cross with his trademark left foot.

No changes were made at the interval, although Tamir Cohen replaced Fabrice Muamba just three minutes after the restart.

The second half started exactly as the first had ended as Wanderers once again got themselves back even on 53 minutes through Daniel Sturridge's eighth goal of his loan spell. It was a brilliant team move, reminiscent in many ways of Mark Davies's strike against the Tangerines in the corresponding match between the sides at the Reebok last November.

The ball was worked from left to right and after Kevin Davies had released Chung-Yong Lee with a perfect weighted defence-splitting pass, the South Korean stood the ball up for Sturridge, who converted from close-range with a delicate header.

With the score at 3-3 Bolton looked like the team in the ascendency but, against the run of play, Blackpool took the lead for the third time as the influential Adam started and finished a slick counter-attack just short of the hour mark.

After carrying the ball through centre midfield, the former Rangers man played a one-two with Taylor Fletcher, before crashing a thunderous finish into the top corner of the net.

Owen Coyle threw Ivan Klasnic into the action with just under a quarter of an hour remaining, while Rodrigo was also given a run-out to try and rescue a point for the Whites late on.

But despite an onslaught on the Blackpool goal in the final stages, which included four minutes of stoppage time, there was to be no third equaliser of the game for Bolton.

Blackpool: GIlks, Crainey, Southern, Eardley, Evatt, Vaughan, Taylor-Fletcher (Ormerod 82), Baptiste, Adam (Cathcart 88), Campbell, Puncheon (Beattie 82) (Subs not used: Kingson, Reid, Harewood, Phillips)

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Robinson, Cahill, Knight, Gardner (Klasnic 77), Chung-Yong, Taylor, Muamba (Cohen 49), Sturridge, Kevin Davies (Rodrigo 83) (Subs not used: Bogdan, Petrov, Wheater, Blake)

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