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Blackpool 1-2 Wolverhampton: Report

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21 Dec 2012 22:31:18

Blackpool 1-2 Wolverhampton: Report

Blackpool 1-2 Wolverhampton: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.


Ebanks-Blake brace downs Seasiders

A goal in each half from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake made it three wins in four matches for Wolves, who handed Michael Appleton his first defeat as Blackpool manager with a 2-1 victory.

Ebanks-Blake gave Stale Solbakken's men a third-minute lead - the 15th time in 23 npower Championship games they have opened the scoring this season.

Keeping hold of leads has been Wolves' problem and Tiago Gomes, Liverpool target Tom Ince and Wes Thomas all went close for Blackpool before the break, with the former rattling the post in the 32nd minute.

A string of excellent saves by Wanderers goalkeeper Carl Ikeme at the start of the second half preserved the advantage before Ebanks-Blake decisively netted his second from the penalty spot.

Alex Baptiste marked his 150th Blackpool appearance by pulling a goal back with 90 seconds of normal time to play but Wolves held on.

Stephen Crainey came back from suspension at left-back, while Chris Basham took up the other full-back berth in a reshuffled Blackpool backline missing illness victim Craig Cathcart.

On-loan Stoke winger Jermaine Pennant replaced Bjorn Sigurdarson in Wolves' only change.

The visitors were comfortably sharper in the opening exchanges and had their reward when Pennant drove at Blackpool's defence to play in Ebanks-Blake, who calmly clipped the ball past Matt Gilks.

Gomes fired a free-kick into Ikeme's arms in the 14th minute and the Portuguese playmaker came increasingly to the fore as the game became stretched midway through the opening period.

A magnificent lofted pass from his own half by Gomes sent Ince darting towards goal from the right but the England Under-21 international prodded wastefully wide.

Blackpool's creative duo had their tails up nevertheless and, moments later, Gomes thundered against the base of the post from 20 yards following a trademark mazy Ince run.

In the 36th minute there was a hint of inevitability when Gomes' through-ball allowed Ince to spring the Wolves offside trap but Ikeme saved well and Thomas headed the rebound over with the goal at his mercy.

Wolves weathered the storm and might have doubled their advantage before half-time as Kevin Doyle teed-up Ebanks-Blake to extend Gilks from a tight angle.

Gary Taylor-Fletcher came on for Thomas to bolster the Blackpool attack at the interval but it was a familiar combination causing problems for Wolves three minutes after the restart.

Once again Gomes split the defence to find Ince and Ikeme tipped a first-time shot over - beginning an inspired spell.

First he was at full-stretch to keep out Gomes' glancing header from Nathan Delfouneso's left-wing cross.

Wolves could not fully clear and, despite being partially unsighted when Ince's curling left-footer from the right made its way towards the bottom corner, Ikeme made an even better save before denying the same player from the resulting corner.

Taylor-Fletcher drove into Ikeme's arms and Ince dragged wide either side of the hour but Blackpool then appeared to run out of steam as Wolves attacks reappeared as a feature of the contest.

Bakary Sako had established himself as the visitors' major attacking threat from the left wing by the time he danced past Basham in the 71st minute.

Flailing in his man's wake, Basham grabbed hold of Sako's shirt - initially outside the box - and referee David Coote pointed to the spot for Ebanks-Blake to despatch a penalty into the middle of the goal.

As Blackpool piled forward in search of a response, Ebanks-Blake passed up a golden opportunity to take home the matchball when he sliced high and wide of an empty net having rounded Gilks.

One man thrown into attack from the back was Baptiste and he headed home a cross from substitute Nouha Dicko following some intricate passing in the area to set up a grandstand finish.


DSG

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