Blackpool 1 Oldham Athletic 1

Last updated : 24 January 2004 By Footymad Previewer

A controversial second half equaliser from Scott Vernon gave Oldham a share of the points in a hard fought North-west derby against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road.

Vernon's header, on 65 minutes, looked to have been cleared off the line by former Latics favourite Mike Flynn, but referee Mr Joslin adjudged the ball to have crossed the line and gave the goal to send almost 2,000 travelling fans into wild celebration.

The Seasiders had already won at Boundary Park in the League and the FA Cup earlier this season and were confident of taking victory after dominating the first half.

The opening goal came after just 24 minutes when Scott Taylor chased a ball down the right hand channel, held off Gareth Owen, then crossed to the near post where Danny Coid sneaked the ball Leslie Pogliacomi and into the net.

Latics reorganised after the break, pushing on-loan Bolton striker Jermaine Johnson up front to support Vernon and they came close to equalising ten minutes into the second half when full-back Adam Griffin hit a ferocious shot which crashed back off the post.

That prompted a quick Blackpool breakaway with Martin Bullock feeding Mike Sheron who played in Taylor, and he finished coolly past Pogliacomi only to see the linesman's flag up for offside.

Ten minutes later the teams were level after good work from Johnson set up Vernon's goal.

Both sides had half chances but the best effort, from Sheron, was well saved by Pogliacomi.

Latics boss John Sheridan said: "I think it was a fair result in the end. Blackpool were definitely the better team in the first half but we certainly had the better chances after the break.

"We're pleased with a point. They're a good team as they showed when they beat us twice earlier in the season." Blackpool chief Steve McMahon confirmed this week that he will stay at Bloomfield Road after being strongly linked with the manager's job at Boundary Park.

He said after the game: "It's most definitely two points lost. We were excellent in the first half and played really well.

“The referee ruled out the goal from Scott Taylor but the linesman wasn't even up with the play when he put his flag up.

"We've got a lot of injury problems. They say you can tell how good a side is from how good their bench is and two of the lads on our bench played in the youth team on Saturday morning."