The Tangerine dream team's next trick is to win at the Bridge
Newcastle United 0 Blackpool 2
Monday 13 September 2010
Not since the afternoon of 29 August, 1970 had Blackpool won a league fixture on Tyneside. On that occasion, with Tommy Hutchison and Alan Suddick providing the inspiration and John Craven the goals, they beat Newcastle 2-1. The same bunch of players slipped to relegation but then provided the Seasiders with their finest hour since the 1953 FA Cup final, the Anglo-Italian Cup final win at Bologna in June 1971. They were managed by Bob Stokoe, who won the FA Cup as a centre-half with Newcastle in 1955 and as a manager with Sunderland in 1973.
It remains to be seen how Ian Holloway and the Tangerine dream team of 2010 will ultimately be regarded in the all-time scheme of things at Bloomfield Road. This, though, was undeniably another day with an heroic ring.
As a unit, Holloway's Blackpool boys were compact, cohesive and superbly marshalled from central midfield by Charlie Adam, who played a true captain's innings. They also had Matt Gilks performing like a latter-day John Burridge, with "Thou Shalt Not Pass" metaphorically writ large across his every goalkeeping deed.
Written in actual black pen on the vests paraded by Adam and DJ Campbell after their scoring deeds at the end of each half was For Parky. Gary Parkinson, Blackpool's 42-year-old youth team coach, is in a critical condition after suffering a stroke.
"My lads turned in one of the best performances since I took over as manager, but I can't say I enjoyed the afternoon," Holloway reflected. "Part of me didn't want the match to go ahead. Gary is really poorly and having to break the news to the lads on Friday was the hardest thing. Many of us were in tears.
"We want to send our love and best wishes to Gary, his wife Debbie and their children. The game doesn't seem important after a thing like that, but we had to be professional, and we were."
They were indeed. They might have led from the 13th minute, when Adams split the Newcastle defence with a peach of a pass that put Campbell clear. In his first game since rejoining Blackpool on a permanent basis, as the club's first £1m signing, Campbell couldn't beat Steve Harper with his shot and the Seasiders had to ride the luck of a Mike Williamson header cannoning off the woodwork before they broke the deadlock in the 45th minute. Adam made no mistake from the penalty spot after Alan Smith felled Luke Varney with a reckless swipe of a tackle.
Adam was the driving force behind the second goal, breaking up-field in the 90th minute and slipping a pass to Campbell, who cracked home a left-foot shot from outside the right edge of the penalty area. Newcastle's unbeaten home run had gone after 26 matches.
"Now we have to try to end Chelsea's home run next week," Holloway mused. "Simple, isn't it?"
Newcastle (4-4-1-1): Harper; Perch, Williamson, Coloccini, Jose Enrique; Routledge (Ameobi, 81), Smith (Lovenkrands, 63), Barton, Gutierrez (Ben Arfa, 74); Nolan; Carroll. Substitutes not used Krul (gk), S Campbell, R Taylor, Tiote.
Blackpool (4-3-3): Gilks; Eardley, Keinan, Evatt, Crainey; Grandin (Carney, 85), Vaughan, Adam; Ormerod (Harewood, 65), DJ Campbell, Varney (Southern, 85). Substitutes not used Halstead (gk), Euell, Phillips, Edwards.
Booked: Newcastle Coloccini. Blackpool Adam, Vaughan Man of the match Gilks.
Possession Newcastle 52%, Blackpool 48%.
Shots on target Newcastle 13 Blackpool 4
Referee L Mason (Bolton) Attendance 49,597.
Match rating 7/10.
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