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Phillips Kills The Game – Blackpool 2-1 Peterborough

Posh only have themselves to blame as they come away from Bloomfield Road frustrated
A sunny day by the seaside, two teams who were desperately had a point to prove, this game sounded like it would be exciting and it didn’t disappoint. The scoreline was close and so was the game, the only difference was the two goals from Kevin Phillips that killed a match which up until that point was highly entertaining.
Posh started the game the brightest with Lee Tomlin firing just over minutes into the game but the Seasiders quickly replied by piling on the pressure and almost bagged the opened when a Grant McCann backpass almost found it’s way into the back of the net. Blackpool then piled on the pressure through of succession of corners, all of which would have been converted if it wasn’t for some goal-line heroics, proving exactly why just four games ago they were in the Premiership.
By this point Posh fans had their hearts in their mouth as they were thanking their lucky stars they were still in the game. Only 10 minutes had passed and already it could have easily been 4-0! Yet surprisingly Blackpool were very leaky at the back with the Posh front line managing to break through just as many times as their opponents. All the chances of the game were coming from a barrage of corners and now it was Posh’s turn to come close when Grant
McCann fired in a succession of perfect corner kicks there was just no one quite able to finish in the Posh box.
It was real end to end stuff every chance one side had was equally matched by a chance by the other. It would have been a great match to watch as a neutral but by now the atmosphere in the ground was electric. Both sets of fans were riled by how easily they were letting the other team through but also by how their team were failing to put the simplest of chances in the back of the net. Even the ever entertaining Ian Holloway could be seen throwing his arms around in dismay as chance after chance slipped by. The pace of the game couldn’t go on like this forever so everybody was going all out to bag the first goal.
A goalless first half wouldn’t have reflected the game but it would have been a fair score, however just as both sides were preparing to head into the break on level terms the Posh defence were caught napping and a Brett Ormerod cross was met by the head of the prolific Kevin Phillips to create a very simple goal.
The second half started similar to the first with Posh racing out of the blocks and almost drawing level when a Grant McCann freekick went excruciatingly close yet wide. It was then David Ball’s chance to come close yet again another good chance went begging. Yet just a minute later Phillips had his name on the score sheet again when a shot by Keith Southern was deflected by  Paul Jones straight into the path of Phillips who was grateful of the second chance to score.
That was basically game over. The second goal deflated Posh and gave Blackpool the opportunity to ease of the pressure and playfully pass the ball around the field. All stayed the same until 70 minutes when both teams used all of their subs which brought a new sense of urgency to the game. Posh were trying everything to get back into the game but there chances were getting weaker with every shot either heading straight to the arms of Matt Gilks or travelling at super speed over the bar.
Bizarrely totally against the run of play Posh were handed a chance when some shoddy defending played the ball straight into the feet of George Boyd who coolly rounded Gilks to slot home into an empty net on 82 minutes. It was the spur Posh needed and suddenly everyone seemed to wake up again and realise a point was reachable. The team were pushing forward again but embarrassed themselves when Boyd blatantly dived in the box in a desperate attempt to get a penalty.
Game over and even though Posh had been beaten they hadn’t been disgraced. There were two leagues between these teams last season and that was clear from the way the squads were organised but what Posh lacked in shape they more than made up for in spirit. We all knew it was going to be a tough season but if performances continue like this it isn’t going to be as difficult as we first expected.
The Overview
Paul Jones – Looked strong between the sticks until the first goal went in then panicked unnecessarily. Probably felt let down by his defence.
Mark Little – By far the best player on the pitch. Very creative and great pace made him dangerous down the flanks.
Scott Wootton – Good debut for the team. Understandably lacked confidence at times and played the ball backwards too much but made important tackles when called upon.
Ryan Bennett – Controlled the defence. Still prone to making unnecessary mistakes but played the ball out of defence well.
Grant Basey – One word, useless!
George Boyd – Didn’t have much chance to shine. Had a few shots which went just wide and dived in the box yet again. Made a spectacular goal line clearance though.
Grant McCann – Not his best game although he was carrying a slight injury. Made too many silly mistakes but put in some great corners.
Lee Frecklington – Held his own in midfield. Great link-up play and even had time to throw in a bit of showboating.
Tommy Rowe – Became lost in the game quite a bit. Needs more strength and that extra flair to make himself noticed.
Lee Tomlin – Had a strong first 10 minutes then seemed to burn out. Tracked back to defend when needed but lacks ideas when having hold of the ball and still can’t finish.
David Ball – Left alone upfront most of time which he struggled with. Had so many chances but fluffed them all. Adds an extra threat in the air which is useful.
Craig Alcock (sub for Basey, 72 mins) – Filled the hole Basey was leaving. Made some really crucial tackles which kept the team in the game and even created a few chances near the end.
Ryan Tunnicliffe (sub for McCann, 73mins) – Definitely shows some leadership qualities. Came on and controlled the team, could have pushed forward more though.
Paul Taylor (sub for Ball, 78mins) – A useful fresh pair of legs. Really got stuck in and wasn’t afraid to fight for the ball.

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