Friday 23 March 2018

Blackpool fairytale not over yet, says Holloway

Blackpool 4 Bolton 3

Jamie Jackson

If the sound of Ian Holloway's Bristol brogue is to be lost next season from the arenas of the Premier League it is certainly not fading quietly.

In a match that reminded us why kids start loving the game and grow up to continue loving it, Blackpool emerged the victors to keep alive their hopes of survival ahead of the visit to the champions, Manchester United, next Sunday.

With Wolves joining Blackburn on 40 points and these clubs facing each other on the final day, Blackpool, who are a further point back, know that victory at Old Trafford would probably allow them to escape the drop.

"Blow me down with this fairytale we're on -- the story that has been unfolding the past two years, we've got to go to Man United and get a win," said Holloway. "I've had some strange things happen in my life and maybe the main man up there has written a story that will probably beat Cinderella and I believe we can do it."

A barnstorming opening half contained five goals and had Blackpool walking off for the break ahead, despite falling behind to Kevin Davies's toe-poke on six minutes. This setback only rocked Blackpool into action.

Three minutes later Gary Taylor-Fletcher's header was anticipated by DJ Campbell, who flipped a sweet lob up and over Jussi Jaaskelainen. Then Jason Puncheon took the Seasiders into the lead with a left-foot drive. Five minutes later, 2-1 became 2-2. Daniel Sturridge's shot was repelled by Neal Eardley and when Matthew Taylor collected his connection gave Matthew Gilks no chance.

For Blackpool not to be ahead felt unfair. So when Charlie Adam swung in a ball from wide left that removed Zat Knight and allowed Campbell to apply a touch to nudge Blackpool back into the lead, the scales had been tipped back the right way.

Into the second half and Sturridge's pass to Davies was turned out to the right, where Lee Chung-yong slid a short ball across the area for the on-loan Chelsea man to finish what he had started. The Tangerine dreamscape looked like falling into the darkness of Championship football next season. But then up stepped Adam with the winner.

If they do stay up next week expect this town of donkeys, chips, ballroom dancing, pink rock and the big Tower to be party central.


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