Blackpool 2-1 Millwall ~ Match Musings

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Blackpool away is always a stopover for me and MrsB but God alone knows why. It is a fucking kharzi of a place with a population overflowing with Jeremy Kyle rejects who make the cast of Shameless look like the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Fat, gobby, toothless, unshaven, festering pus buckets of people and I include the women in that statement, living proof that Vikings fucked wild boar, these people are the dregs of humanity.

I think it is always hope over experience as to why we keep coming back here, like a pair of bloody lemmings, we harbour false hopes that this time it will be different but it never is.

You can only go up the tower so often, ride the big one and any other euphemisms you care to add, on a week end away to this place and it invariably always ends in disappointing fashion.

The Bonemobile was virtually on auto pilot on the way up, an easy journey, no question, but only about 800 odd Lions fans bothered to show up for it and as we gathered in the ridiculous overpriced shed that masquerades as a stand, we were stunned to see the atrocious state of the pitch.

There was more sand out there than on the golden mile, the divots looked like bunkers on a golf course and how Blackpool can claim to employ a grounds man defies belief. Either the person or persons responsible are deluded or they know about as much about lawn keeping as Morocco Mole.

The players made a few sandcastles during the warm up and had a go on the donkeys and alright, alright, I made that bit up but if you were there you know it aint far from the truth…

Mr Jackett has done his level best to get the striker situation sorted out and with Afobe coming in on loan from Arsenal the starting eleven looked like this: Forde in goal, Lowry, Shittu, Beevers and Smith A across the back, henry, Trotter, Abdou and Woolford in the middle with Hulse and Afobe up front.

The shrill echo of referee Webb’s whistle had barely disappeared as we carved out our first chance. Afobe was involved, which was nice, and he picked out Henry with a neat header and the winger picked out his opposite partner Woolford with a slide rule pass as we cut open the Blackpool defence with ease. Woolford’s cross was right on the money but Hulse was a fraction too late and the ball whipped right across the face of the goal.

To be fair, the home side came right back at us almost immediately but the opportunist strike from Taylor-Fletcher was always going wide of Forde’s post despite the collective ooohhhs from the somewhat idiotic home fans.

We pushed them around for a bit and forced a few corners and we seemed to be in control pf proceedings, the midfield were keeping busy, the back four looked solid and the two new strikers seemed to be happy with each other’s play.

We really should have taken the lead with the next chance, a low shot from Woolford saw the ball ricochet off the ‘keeper and fall straight to Hulse whose instinctive movement caught the ball first time but the woodwork came to Blackpool’s rescue as the ball thumped against the bottom of the upright and was then booted to safety.

Henry was up next and from where we were it looked like he tried to curl his shot in but he took too long to steady himself and then still missed the target but he atoned for this on the half hour mark when we won yet another corner and flying in the face of convention henry not only took the corner but hit the ball straight in, dispelling the myth that we don’t score from corner kicks! 0-1! It took a second or two for it to register with the travelling fans that Henry had indeed scored direct from the corner but we were soon E-I-O-ing pumping fists in the air in unison as the players rushed across to celebrate with Henry.

It was all going along nicely, we looked the more capable side and as the half time loomed ever closer we really did look in control. We nearly doubled the lead just before half time when Trotter picked out a lovely pass through the middle to set Hulse on his way and as he homed in on goal ‘keeper Halstead came rushing out and Hulse performed a delicate chip that looped over the stricken ‘keeper and we watched in readiness to cheer the second goal but the ball hit the cross bar and bounced down to safety as the Blackpool defence breathed a huge sigh of relief.

As the half time whistle blew it was agreed all round that the tide looked like it was turning and the current form was finally being sorted out…

We saw a few internet warriors, BMC, Kevan, Nunhead Wall, Son of EE, EastLondonLion and Cub.

The second half saw us continue where we left off, we were still going after a second goal . We nearly got it as well, when another swift counter attack involving Afobe and Woolford saw Hulse get on the end of the cross but his header was saved by Halstead.

For some obscure reason the referee seemed to get more and more pro Blackpool as the game went on and some of the stuff he let go was quite pathetic. A red card tackle on Henry by Phillips merely saw the capricious nature of the man with the whistle come to the fore, ignoring the flailing studs of the Blackpool clogger in favour of waving play on with our poor winger left in agony on the floor.

Blackpool were now slowly getting back into the game as they soon realised that referee Webb was on a real downer with the Lions and the chances for the home side started to build up. Forde made an improvised save with his feet from a low shot by Baptiste after Beevers skewered a clearance, but it was soon after this that we succumbed to a bit of pressure as Ince managed to keep control of a bobbling ball and worked his way across the face of the area and even though he sort of shinned his shot it still managed to flummox Forde who barely got a hand to it as the ball went into the back of the net. 1-1

It wasn’t as if they deserved to equalise, I want to make that quite clear, we were still doing enough to warrant the slender lead that we had but of course, when you are only one in front the danger is always prevalent.

The game was getting pretty even as the clock ticked away and Mr Jackett decided to bring on Keogh with about ten minutes still remaining, bringing off young Afobe, who had run around tirelessly and had done his fair share of cajoling and bothering the Blackpool rearguard.

Moments later, we had a glorious opportunity to get a second goal when James Henry went on a mazy run but as he worked his way into the box I guess he had his blinkers on as instead of passing to the unmarked Keogh, he went for glory but hit his shot straight at the relieved Halstead in the Blackpool goal. Keogh was most upset and he let Henry know in no uncertain terms that the winger was “a very selfish old chap” or something similar…

Feeney replaced Woolford for the last five minutes and it seemed as if a draw would be the final result, even when the fourth official held up the board with four minutes indicated, it seemed that the game was destined for a draw.

But there was a sting in the tail waiting for us… a hopeful punt up field saw Adam Smith get on the wrong side of Delfounso and we watched in horror as he made his way inrto the box and rifled the ball past Forde to make it 2-1.

It was a bitter pill to swallow. It was made even worse by the fact that we had two great chances to gain parity even with the short time left. Hulse was again quick to capitalise on a slack bit of defending but his powerful shot was well saved by Halstead and in the final seconds of the game with everyone piling forward after we had won a free kick, the ball dropped for Lowry on the edge of the box and his volley dipped beautifully but again the cross bar came to the home sides rescue as the ball cannoned against it and bounced to safety.

The final whistle sounded like a death knell as the players looked incredulous, scarcely believing that once again, all their endeavours had reaped no reward. It is becoming increasingly frustrating now and although we had our chances this result seems endemic of how our season is going at the moment.

On another day we could have come away having won 3 or even 4 goals to the good but until we break this damned losing streak the problems will just mount up and the boo boys will be back in charge, cursing Jackett to high heaven and giving out scathing abuse to any player deemed unworthy to pull on a Millwall shirt.

The very short walk back to our hotel was pretty dour and even the thought of the evening ahead was no consolation for the empty feeling in the pit of my stomach after this defeat. It wasn’t so much the fact that we got beat, it was the manner of the loss; it was just so depressingly awful.

So, are any alarm bells ringing yet? Not for me they are not, but you lot can form your own opinions as the losing streak continues unabated at the moment and the respite of the FA Cup game at Luton is just a distraction we could probably do without.

It is a no win situation for us. The expected result is a win and off to the quarter finals we go. If we cock it up then the teeth will be well and truly bared for the home game against Peterborough on the following Tuesday and God help the lads 9and the manager) if we don’t win that one!

"If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?". - (The Merchant of Venice Act III, Scene I).
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