Adam turns tide for Pool sandboys
Stoke City 0 Blackpool 1: Midfielder puts Seasiders more than halfway to safety as Holloway enjoys trip to Stoke for a change
Sunday 12 December 2010
Billed as the "Matthews derby", the meeting of the two clubs graced by Sir Stanley over the space of four decades was decided in Blackpool's favour by a close-range thrust from DJ Campbell that was more reminiscent of one of Stan Mortensen's predatory finishes from the same Tangerine vintage.
Campbell pounced early in the second half to earn a deserved victory for Blackpool manager Ian Holloway over a Stoke side managed by Tony Pulis – for whom he used to babysit when they were players at Bristol Rovers – and on the ground where he endured relegation to the third tier with Leicester in 2008.
The visitors' playmaker Charlie Adam gave them the finesse which Stoke lacked, although ironically the Potters specialised in flair 50 years ago when Tony Waddington brought Matthews home. Blackpool are now more than halfway towards the putative safety mark of 40 points, and only Arsenal and Manchester City have won more away games in the Premier League.
Holloway, who suggested David Vaughan had been even better than Adam, remarked: "Someone had us down for 10 points from 38 games. We were going to be a bit of a laughing stock. I'm so proud of our lads, but I don't think 22 points keeps you up, so we've got to keep going."
Their success was fashioned on the beach at Blackpool, where Holloway took his players to train on Thursday because the Bloomfield Road pitch was frozen. "Sir Stan used to run there every morning," he said. "There were a few groans, but I said, 'If it was good enough for Stan Matthews, it's good enough for you'. You won't get a better player anywhere on this planet."
Pulis, meanwhile, insisted Stoke were unlucky. "I've never known us have so many opportunities without scoring," he said. "But give credit to Blackpool. They remind me of Hull when they first came up, the way they play without fear. They're playing roulette football, throwing the dice and hoping it will fall for them."
Matthews' daughter Jean was a guest of honour, while Stoke also ran a black-and-white film of the great man on to a giant screen, though the Blackpool contingent seemed to appreciate it more, cheering boisterously as he lifted the FA Cup in 1953. This was more modern, athletic fare, yet there were elements he would have recognised and relished. The old-fashioned touchline trickery of Stoke's Jermaine Pennant and Matthew Etherington for one; the sharp, progressive Blackpool passing orchestrated by Adam for another. He would have particularly enjoyed Ricardo Fuller's contribution for Stoke. No sooner had he curled a 36th-minute shot against Richard Kingson's crossbar than he waltzed past Ian Evatt and Stephen Crainey on Matthews' old right-wing patch before being halted.
Stoke, as ever, piled in to attack every long throw, free-kick or corner. Blackpool, equally characteristically, worked the ball into advanced positions with slick moves. One culminated in Vaughan volleying narrowly too high following Crainey's cross. Another led to the ball being driven in low by Neil Eardley and rolling almost along the Stoke goalline with Luke Varney unable to touch it over before Andy Wilkinson cleared.
Adam played a major part when Blackpool caught Stoke cold three minutes after half-time. First he swept an incisive pass from the inside-right channel to Varney on the left flank, then darted into space on the edge of the 18-yard box to receive the return ball. His chip into the six-yard box found Campbell beating Danny Collins to the ball with an outstretched boot to claim his third goal of the season, all away from home.
Gary Taylor-Fletcher headed against Stoke's bar midway through the second half before a late siege saw the same part of Blackpool's goal frame quivered by an Etherington free-kick and Varney clear Robert Huth's header off the line. The only downside for Holloway was a fifth caution this season for Adam after he appeared to win an aerial challenge with Dean Whitehead cleanly. The Scot will now sit out next weekend's visit of Tottenham.
Substitutes: Stoke: Tuncay for Pennant (70), Walters for Jones (70), Whelan for Wilkinson (83). Blackpool: Phillips for Grandin (80).
Bookings: Blackpool: Evatt, Adam.
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Man of the match: Adam
Latest in Sport
Arsenal have no plans to stock Petr Cech inspired caps in their club shops - yet
Radamel Falcao to Chelsea: Former Manchester United striker 'signs contract' to join Blues and is told to meet up with squad on pre-season tour
Copa America 2015: When does it start, what channel is it on and who should I support?
England vs Japan Women's World Cup match preview: Lionesses get to grips with the publicity – and opponents
Venezuelan TV host gets completely naked while reporting on Copa America win over Colombia
- 1 Reader dilemma: 'Our son is 34 with an IQ of 85, and spends all his time in his room. What will happen to him when we're no longer here?'
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 Russian officials ban yoga because it's too much like a religious cult
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 Ginger Pride festival to take place next summer, organisers say 'time of bullying gingers is over'
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
Tunisia beach attack: How can British Muslims respond to the latest outrages?