Phillips polishes off Posh at the double
Blackpool 2 Peterborough 1
Monday 15 August 2011
If only Ian Holloway, the Blackpool manager, could have secured the services of Kevin Phillips at Bloomfield Road last season.
Of course, Blackpool were never short of goals in their rollercoaster one-season ride. But the calming influence, and his goal threat, could have made all the difference in preventing their eventual Premier League relegation.
Phillips yesterday did what he does best – scoring goals. He may be 38 but he could prove a shrewd signing on this evidence after taking his career tally to 229 league goals. A far-post header and a close-range tap-in were enough to earn Blackpool back-to-back wins to maintain their 100 per cent start to life back in the Championship.
"He scores goals and was born to score," said Holloway. "He is a fantastic advert for his profession and he is 38."
Holloway's side are finding life in the second tier somewhat easier than the top flight, having followed up their opening-day win over Hull with this victory over Peterborough.
These two sides scored and conceded goals for fun last season and neither appear to have altered their attack-minded mindset in the Championship.
Blackpool had seen Elliot Grandin strike the post in the eighth minute before being denied once again by Peterborough defender Scott Wootton, as he somehow cleared the midfielder's header off his own line moments later.
It wasn't as if Peterborough weren't carving out chances of their own, with Lee Tomlin denied by Blackpool goalkeeper Matt Gilks when clean through before Tommy Rowe spurned a similar opportunity eight minutes later.
Peterborough, though, will quickly learn you will get punished for not making the most of clear openings at this level – something Phillips is not so generous in passing up.
The veteran striker, as he has done often during his long career, pulled off his marker to head home Alex Baptiste's cross in the 44th minute.
Phillips was at it again, just three minutes into the second half, when he once again showed his predatory instincts to extend Blackpool's advantage. Gary Taylor-Fletcher's run and perfectly weighted pass freed Keith Southern, and after his low shot was pushed out by goalkeeper Paul Jones, Phillips was the first to react to the loose ball.
Just like last year, Blackpool were then the architects of their own downfall as George Boyd collected a loose ball from Craig Cathcart to round Gilks and score in the 82nd minute. They might well have been punished further, just like last season, but this time it was just a scare on an otherwise profitable afternoon. Even if Holloway was far from content. "If that's a Premier League game we would have been three goals down by half-time," he said. "We've got to wake up and smell the coffee. We looked nervous from last year and we have to get over that."
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