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Premier League

  • 19 March 2011
  • • 15:00
  • • Ewood Park, Blackburn, Lancashire
  • Referee: H. Webb
  • • Attendance: 27209

Blackburn 2-2 Blackpool: Last-gasp Hoilett strike earns Rovers point after Charlie Adam double for visitors

Blackburn 2-2 Blackpool: Last-gasp Hoilett strike earns Rovers point after Charlie Adam double for visitors

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Tangerines throw away two-goal lead

A stoppage time equaliser from David Hoilett rescued a point for Blackburn Rovers after they had gone two goals down to Blackpool via a Charlie Adam brace.

Adam opened the scoring from the penalty spot with 25 minutes gone and the Scot grabbed his second from a 29th minute free-kick. Rovers pulled one back through Christopher Samba and eventually made the away side pay as they equalised in the third minute of stoppage time through Hoilett.

Ryan Nelsen, Brett Emerton and Roque Santa Cruz returned to the Blackburn side after missing out at Fulham a fortnight ago while Adam returned to the Blackpool side following suspension and Alex Baptiste made his 250th English league appearance.

The first piece of action to note was the booking of Emerton. The Australian was cautioned following a foul on Adam in the middle of the park.

Blackpool thought they had scored early on when Luke Varney volleyed in following a Charlie Adam set-piece but linesman, Andy Garratt, ruled it out for offside.

Chances were few and far between in the early stages but Blackpool scored the opening goal on 25 minutes via the penalty spot.

Samba brought down Gary Taylor-Fletcher in the area and it was left to Adam to send the goalkeeper the wrong way to give Blackpool the lead.

The 5,000 travelling fans were soon cheering again as Blackpool added a second just four minutes later and it was captain fantastic again.

The home side conceded a free-kick just outside the penalty area and Scotland international, Adam, stepped up and curled it over the Blackburn wall and into the net.

Taylor-Fletcher had a chance to add to Blackpool’s lead but he could not keep his shot down after the ball broke to him on the edge of the Blackburn area.

Blackpool and in particular, Varney, had the ball in the net again a minute before the break but yet again, linesman Garratt ruled it out for offside.

The end of the half was met by rapturous applause from the sizable away following as Blackpool looked to keep their first clean sheet in 13 games – in which they have lost nine.

It seemed that Blackburn boss Steve Keen gave his side a strong half-time team talk as they flew out of the traps at the start of the second half.

Two minutes in, Steven N’Zonzi flashed a shot wide before the home side pulled a goal back on 49 minutes through Samba.

A corner was taken and a goalmouth scramble ensued. The ball broke to Samba around 10 yards out who slotted home past Richard Kingson in the Blackpool goal.

Soon after, Adam tried his luck from range. After fumbling the original shot, Blackburn ‘keeper Paul Robinson grabbed the ball at the second attempt.

Pool winger, Jason Puncheon, then had a shot but it was easy for Robinson, who saved.

Blackburn continued their improvement and as the half progressed, the home side looked more and more like grabbing the equaliser.

On 64 minutes, calls for a home penalty were turned down by referee, Howard Webb after claims of handball in the Blackpool defence but the Yorkshire official waved away the claims.

Robinson was soon called into serious action for Blackburn as Taylor-Fletcher got a shot away from the left hand-side of the penalty area but the England international made a crucial save.

Blackpool’s Matt Phillips, who scored the quickest goal of this Premier League season in the reverse fixture earlier this season, replaced Elliot Grandin with a quarter of the game to play.

Roberts then went close as he had a header cleared off the line by Ian Evatt as Blackpool held on.

Shortly afterwards, Morten Gamst-Pedersen replaced Mame Biram Diouf for Blackburn and Blackpool sent on Andy Reid in place of Derby County loanee, Luke Varney.

With 10 minutes to go, chances became few and far between but the thousands of orange shirts behind the goal were making all the noise at Ewood Park as they looked to help their team home.

Blackpool manager, Ian Holloway, withdrew his goalscoring hero Adam with two minutes of the 90 left and was given a standing ovation by the travelling fans.

Four minutes of stoppage time were signalled by the fourth official as Blackburn continued to press for the equaliser but Blackpool defended stubbornly as the minutes ticked by.

And as the third of those minutes struck, so did Hoilett to break Blackpool hearts. A long Robinson free-kick was headed home by the Canadian to send the remaining home fans delirious.

With that the final whistle went and it was a well-earned point for Rovers, even if they did have to do it the hard way.  Blackpool, meanwhile, will not be happy to let a lead slip but for for them it was another point towards survival in the Barclays Premier League.

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