Baggies beat Blackpool in thriller
15 January 2011
This was a game that the Baggies had to win and thankfully they did but it wasn't without a few heart flutters. The sense of relief at the end of the game was palpable. The game was enthralling from start to finish and both teams should take great credit for the feast that they served up for the fans. Albion had the greater quality, of that there is no doubt but Blackpool showed amazing desire and fearlessness in first deservedly taking the lead and then pegging the hosts back ten minutes before the end.
The visitors took the lead after Albion's defence failed to close down David Vaughan from a corner and he punished the lax defending with a superb curling shot that gave Myhill, making his Premier League debut, no chance. D J Campbell had earlier dragged a shot wide of the keeper's right hand post after some rather comical defending from Albion. The Baggies got themselves back into the game after Mulumbu took control of the midfield, he covered every blade of grass in his efforts to find an equaliser but it was his midfield partner, Graham Dorrans who was to pick out the perfect pass for Peter Odemwingie in the Tangerines' penalty area, the striker controlled the ball with his right foot and fired past Kingson with his left to send the Hawthorns masses delirious.
Half time brought a temporary stop to the excitement but the second half took it up a few notches. Blackpool were quickly on the offensive with D J Campbell again spurning a chance after he sprinted free from Albion's defence, his shot was screwed hopelessly wide of Myhill's right hand post. The Baggies though made it 2-1 after an impressive run by Thomas and for once he fired in a dangerous cross which Kingson could only parry to a waiting Morrison who poked it into the net. More chances came Albion's way with Kingson saving well from Odemwingie in a one on one and then James Morrison inexplicably fired over with only the visitors' goalkeeper to beat. Those missed chances made the Albion faithful fear the worst and those fears were well founded as Blackpool equalised through Taylor-Fletcher after both he and winger Phillips had been given the freedom of B71. The Baggies were now rocking and it looked as though Blackpool were ready to land the knockout blow, however, it was the home side that managed to edge in front after a superb strike from Odemwingie, who was now looking back to his best. The Nigerian had managed to power himself in front of Cathcart before firing hard and low to Kingson's left from ten yards. The Hawthorns erupted but there was still time left and the visitors continued to pour forward and it looked like they may have fashioned themselves another equaliser when the ball cannoned around the Albion area before bouncing off the hapless Campbell and wide of the grateful Myhill's left hand post. It was agony for the Albion fans but relief was so sweet when referee Stuart Attwell, one of the best ones seen at the Hawthorns this season, blew the whistle after four minutes of added time. The win ended a six game losing streak for Albion and will hopefully now provide a springboard for a survival push.