Match Report: Martin Jol's Fulham survive seaside scare against Blackpool after rescue by Kieran Richardson

Blackpool 1 Fulham 2 (aet)

Bloomfield Road

Blackpool supporters saw a rather peculiar offer fly into their email inboxes on Monday: free blood-pressure checks on the NHS. Fans are invited to go down to Bloomfield Road tomorrow morning, with the home dressing room transformed into a health clinic, for the test. Given the messy state their club currently finds itself in, it looks like an opportunity they ought not to refuse.

As this replay turned into a frozen farce devoid of any real quality, it bolted itself into rather unwanted extra-time. Nathan Delfouneso had looked to have won it, while Kieran Richardson scored with the final kick of normal time to put a dampener on the seaside spirit. Brede Hangeland’s eventual 116th-minute winner could make Blackpool nurses’ jobs much trickier with soaring blood pressure from clients coming through the Bloomfield Road doors.

It was a gutsy performance for Blackpool’s caretaker manager Steve Thompson, who saw this as another audition for the manager’s role, but it does not mask the troubles engulfing his club.

The Seasiders are managerless for the second time in as many months and are in grave danger of seeing a season of hope dissipate into despair. The core supporters must feel as if they have been taken for one hell of a ride, such is the depth of ill feeling following the defection of manager Michael Appleton to Blackburn Rovers just two months after replacing Ian Holloway.

“I’m ready to be a No 1, but it is the chairman’s decision. Whatever he does, I will support it,” Thompson said. “I don’t want to be known as a good No 2, but that doesn’t mean I’ll spit my dummy out.”

Maybe it was the weather – sub-zero on the coast – but the Seasiders did not truly showcase the faith that they could beat their more illustrious Premier League counterparts until much later in the piece. Fulham are no great shakes on the road, but Thompson has inherited a Blackpool team exceptionally low on confidence after being walked out on by two managers in a matter of months.

Martin Jol’s desire to win the fixture was unquestioned. They did miss Dimitar Berbatov and Bryan Ruiz, but the pair’s fluidity of movement might have been rendered useless on this “cabbage patch” of a pitch, to coin the phrase of the departed Appleton. It must be noted that the former Portsmouth man lasted a year at Fratton Park but just two months on the Fylde Coast.

“Their coach told me the pitch was 10 times worse than that last week,” Jol said, shocked. “It is a relief. We did OK in the circumstances, but they are a good team with a few talented players. Of course we should have won it at home because we had so many opportunities, but we just couldn’t score.

“We still tried to play,” he added. “That is the only thing we can do, but then again you have to score a goal and the problem comes when you don’t. The goal came in the 83rd minute and that was very disappointing.”

Whoever takes over at Blackpool still has a huge battle on their hands. Alan Curbishley is keen on taking on the challenge but his demands will almost certainly be too great for the frugal chairman, Karl Oyston, who has his sights set on the likes of Nick Barmby and the MK Dons manager Karl Robinson – who he asked permission to speak with last night.

Delfouneso should have been the hero very late on, scrambling in a scruffy winner, but his celebrations turned sour when Richardson thundered in an equaliser with the final kick of the game. What ensued was a surprisingly exciting period of extra-time with both teams guilty of missing presentable chances. There were brief remnants of the FA Cup magic, in the cold and under the lights, when Blackpool nearly caused an upset, but Hangeland’s header defeated the hosts after a gallant effort which should have yielded a trip to Manchester United or West Ham in the next round.

Blackpool (4-2-3-1): Gilks; Eardley, Broadfoot, Baptiste, Crainey; Osbourne (Sylvestre, 78), Basham (Cathcart, 89); Ince, Taylor-Fletcher, Delfouneso; Eccleston (Gomes, .65) Substitutes not used Phillips, Halstead, Angel, Harris

Fulham (4-4-2): Schwarzer; Riether, Senderos (Hughes, 71), Hangeland, Briggs; Dejegah, Baird, Karagounis, Kacaniklic (Richardson, 87); Petric (Duff, 79), Rodallega. Substitutes not used Stockdale, Riise, Kasami, Grimmer.

Referee A Marriner (West Midlands).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most