Blackpool 1-1 Birmingham: Report

27 November 2012 10:31
Blackpool 1-1 Birmingham: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.

Davies to the rescue for Blues

Curtis Davies' equaliser early in the second half saw Birmingham avoid a third successive defeat and handed Michael Appleton a fourth draw in as many matches as Blackpool manager.

Having watched them battle back from behind in each of his first three games at the helm, Appleton was granted the unfamiliar pleasure of the Seasiders taking a 17th-minute lead courtesy of Tom Ince's fifth goal in six appearances.

Kevin Phillips had a close range effort ruled out for offside seven minutes later, while Birmingham offered virtually nothing by way of an attacking threat in the opening period.

Davies headed Blues level, as he had done in the second leg of their play-off semi-final defeat to Blackpool last term.

Birmingham forward Peter Lovenkrands came closest to finding a winner when he venomously tested the crossbar, but the clash finished 1-1 and Lee Clark's men remain 19th in the npower Championship table with two wins in their last 11 outings.

Blackpool are also struggling to recreate last season's form and sit three places and four points better off.

Appleton made two expected changes to his starting line-up, naming Tiago Gomes and Isaiah Osbourne in central midfield.

Gomes replaced Elliot Grandin after 29 minutes of Saturday's 2-2 draw against Watford, with Pool 2-0 down at the time.

Osbourne took Ludo Sylvestre's place at the interval and went on to net the last-minute equaliser.

Lovenkrands was another player rewarded for a goalscoring cameo at the weekend as he dislodged Nikola Zigic in the Birmingham attack.

Zigic joined Steven Caldwell and Chris Burke on the bench as Clark selected Pablo Ibanez and Paul Caddis in his back four.

Ex-Blues striker Phillips was looking to score against a former club for the second consecutive game and the 39-year-old was involved again when the hosts went in front.

Ibanez blocked Phillips' shot from Kirk Broadfoot's drilled right-wing cross before Ince collected the loose ball to calmly stroke home from 18 yards.

Having taken the lead slightly against the run of play, Blackpool looked to press home their advantage.

Nathan Delfouneso had Jack Butland at full stretch to tip over a dipping effort and Phillips converted from an offside position after Ince exchanged passes with Gomes to plant a shot onto the bar.

The pace of Ince and Delfouneso was causing Birmingham problems in wide areas, with Broadfoot supporting ably from right-back.

The former Rangers defender left Paul Robinson and referee Craig Pawson unimpressed when he took a 34th-minute tumble in the box.

Seasiders goalkeeper Matt Gilks enjoyed his first significant action of the half two minutes before the break when Jonathan Spector's overhit cross from the left forced him to tip over.

It was therefore unexpected when Gilks found himself picking the ball out of the net three minutes after the restart, Davies rising highest to convert Wade Elliot's inswinging corner.

An intricate move involving Gomes and Osbourne ended with Blackpool almost retaking the lead when Ibanez nervously stabbed a clearance against the outside of his own post.

But an even contest had developed and as the hour approached Lovenkrands slipped the attentions of the Seasiders backline to rattle the bar with Gilks beaten.

As the goalmouth action threatened to dry up Ince almost produced a moment of magic, arching a magnificent 25-yard effort just beyond the top corner.

Blackpool felt aggrieved not to be awarded a penalty in the closing stages when Birmingham substitute Burke appeared to pull Gomes back.

Source: DSG