Stoke 0 Blackpool 1: DJ Campbell rocks Potters as Seasiders march on

11 December 2010 10:06
Ian Holloway's Blackpool squad trained on the beach because their Squires Gate training ground was frozen all week.

But they made a smooth transition from the sand back to grass, extending their impressive away record with a deserved win thanks to a second-half goal from DJ Campbell.

Only Arsenal and Manchester City, with five away victories each, have had more wins on the road in the Premier League this season.

In a spin: DJ Campbell put Blackpool ahead after bundling home Charlie Adam's shot across goal

Blackpool have also won at Wigan, Newcastle and Liverpool as well as securing creditable draws at Blackburn and Bolton. As a result, Blackpool jumped into the top half ofthe table, four points off a European place, and six clear of the relegation zone.

Holloway said: 'Stoke played well andwe still just managed to win, which gives you a good feeling. 'We're well ahead of schedule (in pursuit of safety).

According to some people at the startof the season, we were supposed to be a bit of a laughing stock. Struggle to get 10 points all season, they said. We're not doing too bad, eh?'

Block party: Ian Evatt is at full-stretch to block Kenwyne Jones' goalbound effort

Stoke had 16 attempts at goal, hit the woodwork three times, had a 'goal' disallowed for a push on Blackpool goalkeeper Richard Kingson and were thwarted by several superbKingson saves.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis said: 'Neverin our time in the Premier League have I known us have so many chances and not score.' However, he praised Blackpool's attitude, adding: 'They're playing roulette football, throwing the dice and hoping it willfall for them.'

The pre-match build-up was all about Sir Stanley Matthews, a long-time servant and hero at both clubs. Duringhis time at Blackpool, he often trained on the same beach his club usedthis week.

Pointing the way: Ian Holloway vents his frustration as another chapter was added to the colourful Blackpool story

Sir Stanley, whose ashes are buried below the  Britannia Stadium centrecircle, was remembered before kick-off with the screening of a film montage of his life in the game.

Both sets of fans greeted it with a warm ovation, and when sepia gave way to the hustle and bustle of the modern cosmopolitan game, both teams honoured his memory with a match full of chances and attacking intent, if limited killer instinct.

MATCH FACTSStoke (4-4-2): Begovic; Wilkinson (Whelan 83min), Shawcross, Huth, Collins; Pennant (Tuncay 70), Whitehead, Delap, Etherington;Jones (Walters 70), Fuller. Subs (not used): Sorensen, Higginbotham, Gudjohnsen, Wilson.

Blackpool (4-3-3): Kingson; Eardley,Cathcart, Evatt, Crainey; Grandin (Phillips80), Adam, Vaughan; Taylor-Fletcher,Campbell, Varney. Subs (not used): Halstead, Southern, Ormerod, Euell, Edwards, Carney.Booked: Adam, Evatt.Referee: A Taylor (Cheshire).

Kenwyne Jones had four opportunities for the hosts inside the opening 13  minutes, heading over thebar then shooting wide twice and then over.

Blackpool's David Vaughan hit a 25-yard volley wide, then his on-loan team-mate Luke Varney a former non-league striker and lingerie factory worker whose career changed track at Crewe in 2003 lashed wide from a few yards out. Varney and Charlie Adam were both influential, probing for openings and setting up others.

One Varney dribble took him into the six-yard box before his cross was blocked while Adam's cross to Elliot Grandin in space in the box would have resulted in an opening goal but for Asmir Begovic's reaction block.

Stoke thought they had gone ahead from Rory Delap's header on halftime, but it was ruled out correctly, according to the replays for a push by Robert Huth on Kingson. Blackpool took the lead when Adam and Varney combined before Adam's ballinto the middle was steered into the net by Campbell.

Stoke's Ricardo Fuller and Matthew Etherington both hit the bar, Delap hit a post and Kingson saved late from Huth. Blackpool went close to adding a second but Gary Taylor-Fletcher's header skimmed the bar.

 One was most amused! Blackpool star Varney handed royal seal of approvalPay us £6m if you want Pennant! Real Zaragoza demand big fee from StokeBLACKPOOL FC

Source: Daily_Mail