Blackpool 2 Southampton 2

Last updated : 08 March 2008 By Footymad Previewer
Visitors Southampton held on for a point at Bloomfield Road, a strong defensive display thwarting Blackpool in difficult conditions.

It was a slow start to the game with swirling winds playing a major part in proceedings.

Pool finally shaped-up midway through the first half, midfielder Wes Hoolahan taking control of things before forcing his shot wide of the post.

Ian Evatt popped up from a corner to worry Southampton, his fierce header ricocheting off a Southampton defender, yet it was the visitors who made the breakthrough.

Latvia international Kaspars Gorkss felled Stern John inside the box for a soft penalty, Southampton's third on the bounce away from home and Gregory Vignal kept his cool well to find the bottom corner from 12 yards.

Pool bounced back soon after the break, Keith Southern was this time unmarked from Shaun Barker's long throw, his well-directed header slipping in behind the inexperienced Michael Poke for the equaliser.

Gorkss went on to atone for his error just seven minutes later. Southampton struggled to deal with Stephen Crainey's free-kick and the scrambled clearance fell kindly for the defender, who made no mistake in firing home a volley from the edge of the box.
However, the comeback did not last for Pool and after less than ten minutes it was Saints with all the pressure once again.

Marek Saganowski continued to cause problems for the home defence and as the troubled backline failed to clear the ball, it was John popping up at the back post to sidefoot the easiest of equalisers.

Pool threw everything at the visitors in an attempt to steal all three points, as tricky midfielder Hoolahan continued to find gaps with his footwork.

When he found Gary Taylor-Fletcher in behind the stretched defence it was clear it was not to be Blackpool's day, as his effort whistled agonisingly past an outstretched Stephen McPhee at the back post.