Blackpool 2 Oldham Athletic 2

Last updated : 17 September 2006 By Seaside Latic
Blackpool FC vs. Oldham Athletic AFC
16th September 2006
Kick-off: 3pm

A good day for football greeted the 6,794 strong crowd for the meeting of two of League One's biggest rivals at Bloomfield Road. Clear skies and little wind, a marked difference from the last occasions on which these two clubs met here.

The game began brightly for the home team, Oldham struggling to create much and having to revert to Ronnie M**re-esque Hoof-ball tactics to relieve the pressure. Vernon and Burgess, Blackpool's two ex-Oldham strikers seemed to have the beating of Haining and Stam in the Oldham back four in the early stages, winning almost everything in the air but failing to carve out any clear cut chances. One of Oldham's earliest chances came with Chris Porter (pictured) finding a flighted ball into the channel, but hitting it weakly into the arms of the Blackpool 'keeper, Rhys Evans. The next few chances fell to Porter, a few headers and a shot, but he was crowded off the ball and under pressure for all of them.

Blackpool's first goal came under somewhat unusual circumstances, the ball falling to Haining in the penalty area, who cleared the ball straight off Vernon's knee and into the back of the net. A cross was whipped in and before anyone had time to react to it, Haining had tried to launch it forwards only for Vernon to be stood in the right place at the right time.
Blackpool 1 - 0 Oldham.

The rest of the second half petered out into nothing memorable. Blackpool though, even at this early stage, seemed to be playing for time. The second half was a different matter altogether. Oldham were on top from the time the whistle went to the time the game came to a close. Wellens and Stam stepped their games up a gear, and as such, Oldham seemed to fire on all cylinders. The fruitless long balls were fewer and with more purpose, replaced with more fluid, passing football. The two Oldham wingmen, Taylor and Liddell, also became more involved in the game, adding yet more to the Oldham attack.

Simon Gillett, Blackpool's young winger on loan from Southampton, was lucky to escape with just a yellow card after a cynical, late challenge from behind on Chris Taylor. Gillett's blushes were only spared when Richie Wellens decided to voice his words of discontent to the referee and assistant, bringing himself a booking and softening the blow for Gillett.

Oldham's reply came in the 63rd minute, Richie Wellens hitting a daisy-cutter from outside the area low to Rhys Evans left. A corner came over from the Latics' right and the ball fell loose to Wellens 10 yards or so from the edge of the Blackpool area. Wellens' strike flashing low to Evans' left in the Blackpool goal, sending the away support wild. A moment of uncertainty came when the linesman on the far side claimed that an Oldham player was offside when the ball hit the back of the net, though to the delight of the 1,800 or so Oldham fans the referee overturned the decision.
Blackpool 1 - 1 Oldham.

Just 9 minutes later, while Blackpool were still reeling from losing their one goal advantage, Oldham surged in front. After a prolonged spell of pressure, a Paul Warne cross caused havoc in the Blackpool 18 yard box. Blackpool 'keeper Rhys Evans came for the cross and dropped it, the ball eventually falling for the in-form Chris Porter, who's hanging header evaded everyone and looped into the Blackpool goal.
Blackpool 1 - 2 Oldham.

The game from then on in seemed to be all Oldham, Blackpool creating very little until the introduction of Keigan Parker in the 75th minute. A thorn in the side of the Oldham defence, his surging runs both with and without the ball causing all sorts of problems. With the 4 minutes of time added on shown by the fourth official, Oldham seemed to have wrapped up the 3 points, a much needed win away from home against the local rivals.

But as we have become accustomed to, a late, late goal was the last straw for Oldham. A Blackpool counter-attack caused problems for the weary Oldham defence and a ball across the box was tidily finished by substitute Andy Morrell.
Blackpool 2 - 2 Oldham.

Player ratings:

Pogliacomi - 8 Could have done nothing more with the goals, was calm under pressure and composed in coming for crosses.
Charlton - Yet another assured performance from the veteran, kept a cool head at the back.
Stam - Poor first half show but rallied superbly in the second. Good performance.
Haining - The Captain looked a little tired after midweek but played his part when called upon.
Eardley - Slow start but got better and better. Flashed well worked free kick inches wide.
Taylor - Looked very lightweight until he got badly fouled. Came into the game in his last 15 minutes.
McDonald - Broke up play well but at times seemed to go missing in the middle. Slotted in well at right-back.
Wellens - What more can I say? Simply brilliant in the second half. Ran the show. Man of the Match.
Liddell - When given the ball played superbly. Suffered from a lack of service throughout the game, however.
Warne - As always, ran and ran and ran all game. Workman like performance from the journeyman.
Porter - Was anonymous at times but took his goal well and held up the ball as he should. A step in the right direction."