Championship comeback specialists Blackpool were on the receiving end of a late goal to drop two points against Hull City. So used to winning games in the dying moments of matches, the Seasiders allowed Matt Fryatt to equalise after Thomas Ince had given the hosts a first-half lead.
The home team utilised the height of Roman Bednar throughout in a fashion unfamiliar to a team usually so insistent on patient build-up play. That and the fact Ian Holloway started with four strikers was a clear indicator that the manager is tired of his side leaving it so late to take maximum points from games.
He will be pleased, then, that his formation and personnel were vindicated in the 27th minute with the opening goal, when after fluid build-up play Ince was teed up before sweeping home a confident strike with the outside of his left foot.
Blackpool missed a plethora of chances as they failed to capitalise on their lead, with City goalkeeper Vito Mannone, on loan from Arsenal, pulling off two superb saves to thwart Kevin Phillips and Bednar.
Hull rarely threatened and their lack of attacking prowess is somewhat of a quandary for manager Nick Barmby. Despite the talent at his disposal, this was only the second time in six games his side had managed to score. But Barmby was understandably delighted with Fryatt's late riposte. "To play the way we did in the second half shows the character of the boys," he said. "The subs injected a lot of pace and energy into us – we caused them problems and deserved a point."
One of those substitutes, Joshua King, had a header and stinging drive well saved by Matt Gilks, before the goalkeeper's communication with his defence went awry in the final moments to allow Fryatt time to prod home to boost Hull's play-off hopes and leave Holloway deflated.
"We played a lot better tonight than we have in recent weeks but I'm bitterly disappointed to not win the game," he said. "We've put an impressive defensive unit under a lot of pressure and I feel aggrieved we haven't got all three points."
Blackpool (4-2-4): Gilks; Eardley, Baptiste, Wilson, Crainey; Southern, Ferguson; Ince, Bednar (Fleck, 70), Phillips (Evatt, 84), Ormerod (LuaLua, 84). Substitutes not used Halstead, Dicko.
Hull City (4-2-3-1): Mannone; Rosenior, Hobbs, Chester, Dawson; Olofinjana (Evans, 81), McKenna; Stewart (King, 61), Koren, Mclean (Cullen, 75); Fryatt. Substitutes not used Gulacsi, Dudgeon.
Referee E Ilderton (Tyne & Wear).
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