Holloway delighted as Blackpool show goes on
Blackpool 2 Everton 2
It's fast, it's serious, it's fascinating edge-of-the-seat footballing fare. Blackpool's Premier League journey is as entertaining as any end-of-the-pier show the famous old seaside town has ever hosted.
Everton certainly knew they had been in a game as they were twice forced to come from behind before eventually hanging on to stretch their unbeaten run to six games.
It is an impressive sequence that has taken them from the bottom three to a position of top half of the table respectability although their manager, David Moyes, was disappointed not to have won this richly entertaining spectacle.
"We had fewer chances to win but you have to credit Blackpool," he said. "I felt this game was there for us to win. It was heart-in-the-mouth stuff at the end because we made a lot of poor decisions."
Everton were clearly the classier side at Bloomfield Road yesterday, but Blackpool are nothing if not fighters and they forced their more illustrious visitors to scrap tooth and nail in an engrossing encounter.
"We set out to entertain and we continue to do so," said manager Ian Holloway. "We are starting to look as good as some of the sides we are playing against. I am on a trip that I don't want to stop.
"My biggest bugbear was that we didn't hang on to the lead for long enough, but if we keep playing like that the results will come our way."
A compelling first half was dominated by Everton, although they required a wake-up call to shake them to life after early home enterprise had enabled the hosts to take a deserved ninth-minute lead.
Blackpool had started well and when Mikel Arteta fouled Charlie Adam some 20 yards out, Neal Eardley despatched a curling right-footed free kick with aplomb to shock the visitors. It was clearly the spur Everton required.
They responded effectively and when Steven Pienaar linked with Sylvain Distin, Yakubu took over to cross sharply from the left leaving Tim Cahill to head in, the home goalkeeper Matthew Gilks helping the ball in via a post.
The visitors retained control and after Cahill had again gone close, Seamus Coleman, on loan at Blackpool last season, forced Gilks into further action and then curled a follow-up attempt behind.
The frenetic pace of the action spilled over into the second half and Blackpool again took the lead. Everton protested when DJ Campbell appeared to handle, but the ball broke for David Vaughan, who finished comfortably in the 47th minute. But again the Everton reply was swift and decisive, with Coleman cutting in from the right to finish with an angled shot that Gilks should have dealt with.