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Brighton 2-2 Blackpool: Match Report
Published : 20 Aug 2011 19:44:21
Phillips at the double to save Tangerines
Kevin Phillips scored twice as Blackpool fought back from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw away at Brighton in the npower Championship.
A livewire performance from Craig Noone helped to put the home side in the ascendancy as he laid on goals for Craig Mackail-Smith and Ashley Barnes.
But Phillips dragged his side back into the game late on, scoring from close range on the hour mark before rifling in the equaliser in the last minute.
The visitors dominated possession in the opening exchanges but found the Brighton defence in resilient mood. Billy Clarke's inswinging corner was well cleared at the near post by Gary Dicker after just five minutes.
Phillips then flashed a long-range drive narrowly wide of Casper Ankergren's post.
Brighton managed to relieve some of the pressure when Noone invited a foul from Keith Southern before delivering a flighted delivery which Inigo Calderon nodded over from close range.
And Noone, recalled to the side in place of Matt Sparrow following the 1-0 defeat at Derby, was at the forefront again as he unleashed an ambitious shot from 25 yards which Matthew Gilks did well to keep hold of.
It was no surprise that Noone was heavily involved in the game's opening goal. The former Plymouth winger scampered away down the left and whipped in a cross which the predatory Mackail-Smith guided into the bottom corner with an excellent header.
Defender Chris Basham came up with his own method for stopping the lively Noone but picked up a yellow card for his foul just before the break.
But the entire Blackpool defence switched off five minutes into the second half, allowing Noone to fire in a cross which Barnes smashed in from close range for his fourth goal of the season.
The goal served as a wake-up call for the Tangerines and their response was urgent.
Holloway made a triple change in the 58th minute as Brett Ormerod, Neal Eardley and Craig Sutherland were sent on in place of Clarke, Basham and Matt Phillips.
And it took just two minutes for the changes to have the desired effect. Eardley delivered from the right and Phillips was in the perfect position to nod home and reduce the deficit.
Suddenly the the visitors sensed the game was still there for the taking and they forced a series of corners as they cranked up the pressure.
Gary Taylor-Fletcher's deliveries came to nothing but the evergreen Phillips refused to give up and when Stephen Crainey's corner was only half cleared, the former Sunderland striker was on hand to lash home a late leveller and his fourth of the season.
Brighton 2-2 Blackpool: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game as it happened.