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Blackpool 1 Newcastle United 1

By Anthony Marshall, at Bloomfield Road.....

 

Blackpool 1 (Campbell 32)

Newcastle United 1 (Lovenkrands 17)

 

Newcastle put in a resolute, defensive performance to pick up their second point of the week with a 1-1 draw away at Blackpool.

Peter Lovenkrands opened the scoring after 17 minutes, firing a low drive beyond the grasp of home keeper Matt Gilks, but Blackpool soon hit back when DJ Campbell's flick was ruled to have crossed the line.

Campbell, captain Charlie Adam and Alex Baptiste had a handful of other chances as the hosts piled on pressure, but the Magpies held firm and created a couple of opportunities of their own through substitute Stephen Ireland.

It was the Tangerines who came closest in the early stages with a ninth-minute chance for Gary Taylor-Fletcher. The front man was gifted possession by a wayward Cheik Tiote pass, but flashed a low 20-yard drive just wide of Tim Krul's upright.

But Newcastle raced straight up the other end and Peter Lovenkrands slipped in strike partner Shola Ameobi. The big front man touched the ball past defender Alex Baptiste and raced into the area but a heavy touch made life easy for home keeper Matt Gilks.

Both sides looked lively going forward and Blackpool full-back Stephen Crainey delivered a wicked cross from the left which was missed by Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini and Taylor-Fletcher as it flew right across the six-yard box.

But it was the Magpies who opened the scoring in the 17th minute. Joey Barton intercepeted a Charlie Adam pass and touched sideways into the path of Lovenkrands. From 25 yards out the Danish striker didn't need a second invite and let fly with a low shot which nestled just out of Gilks' grasp in the bottom corner.

Blackpool's creator-in-chief Charlie Adam carved out a great opportunity for the hosts in the 27th minute which should have seen them draw level. The Scot's low corner was completely missed by DJ Campbell at the near post and Matt Phillips could only blaze miles over the bar when unmarked around 10 yards out.

The home side were starting to pile on the pressure and Krul had to be at his best to deny Campbell twice in as many minutes in one-on-one situations, with Blackpool screaming for a penalty from the second of those. But the striker wasn't to be denied for a third time and equalised on 32 minutes.

Another Adam corner was whipped to the near post where the former Birmingham man stuck out a leg to flick it goalwards over Krul. Left-back Jose Enrique headed clear from underneath his own crossbar, but referee Martin Atkinson and his assistants ruled that the ball had crossed the line.

Baptiste twice saw efforts blocked as the Tangerines went in search of a second goal, but the sides went in level at the break.

Just three minutes after the restart Ameobi sent a left-footed effort from distance just off target, while Joey Barton failed to make the most of a free-kick in a good area, as Newcastle started brightly. But the hosts always looked dangerous from set-pieces and Adam and Neal Eardley both curled free-kicks narrowly wide after fouls by Cheik Tiote.

Stephen Ireland was introduced from the substitutes' bench just past the hour mark, with the visitors needing a spark as Blackpool threatened to take control of proceedings. But Ian Holloway's side continued to get on top, with a David Vaughan cross just failing to find a touch and then Taylor-Fletcher heading inches off target.

Adam thought he had finally put them in front when his low left-footed shot from just inside the area beat Krul, but it rebounded off the post and was scrambled to safety by the Magpies' defence.

From a rare Newcastle attack in the 69th minute, Ireland got on the end of a Jonas Gutierrez delivery at the front post, however he failed to get a clean connection and bundled it wide rather than testing Gilks. And they could have won it late on had Ameobi managed to connect with Ireland's chested lay-off from close range.

There was still time for Blackpool to pour forward for one final time though, and substitute Luke Varney bobbled a shot wide but the visitors stayed strong to grind out a useful point on their travels.

 

Blackpool (4-3-3): Matt Gilks; Neal Eardley, Alex Baptiste, Ian Evatt, Stephen Crainey; David Vaughan, Keith Southern, Charlie Adam (c); Gary Taylor-Fletcher (Jason Puncheon 89), DJ Campbell, Matt Phillips (Luke Varney 83)

Subs not used: Richard Kingson, Craig Cathcart, Andy Reid, Brett Ormerod, James Beattie

 

Newcastle (4-4-2): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Jose Enrique; Joey Barton, Cheik Tiote, Kevin Nolan (c) (James Perch 82), Jonas Gutierrez; Shola Ameobi (Shefki Kuqi 90), Peter Lovenkrands (Stephen Ireland 62)

Subs not used: Ole Soderberg, Steven Taylor, Ryan Taylor, Nile Ranger

 

Referee: Martin Atkinson

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