Harewood denied as Toffees earn point

The Seasiders substitute put the ball in the net in the closing

minutes at Bloomfield Road but was frustrated by a controversial

offside flag. Blackpool twice led an end-to-end encounter after

goals from Wales pair Neal Eardley and David Vaughan but Everton

hit back through Tim Cahill and former Blackpool loanee Seamus

Coleman. Everton created the better chances throughout but

Blackpool may feel they could have prevented either of their goals

and will bemoan the late offside decision. The tone for an

entertaining contest, the first meeting between the sides in the

league since 1971, was set in the opening minutes. Everton,

confidence restored after five games unbeaten, made the initial

running. Ayegbeni Yakubu threatened to play in Mikel Arteta but the

Spaniard failed to control and Cahill found space only to shoot

well over. Blackpool showed their attacking intentions for the

first time when Vaughan whipped in a dangerous cross which Sylvain

Distin headed clear. The Seasiders went in front with 10 minutes

gone after Charlie Adam was crudely brought down by Arteta 30 yards

out. Eardley stepped up and bent a superb free-kick around the

Everton wall and past Tim Howard. It was the perfect way to

celebrate his 22nd birthday today but Everton produced the perfect

response and equalised just three minutes later. Distin led the

charge, playing a one-two with Steven Pienaar and playing in

Yakubu. The Nigerian, buoyed after last week’s winner against

Stoke, turned and picked out Cahill on the six-yard box with a

delicate cross. Matt Gilks got a hand to the Australian’s powerful

header but could not keep out his 50th Premier League goal. Everton

began to assert some control and Yakubu teed up Arteta, but Gilks

this time gathered after the Spaniard shot from the edge of the

area. Pienaar then set Yakubu free but Eardley got back to make the

tackle. The danger was not yet over for the home side but Distin

headed over from the resulting Leighton Baines corner. Blackpool

remained on the back foot and Ian Evatt slid in to block when

another chance opened up in the box for Cahill. Baines went down in

the box under an Adam tackle on another attack but referee Andre

Marriner deemed the challenge legal. Everton skipper Phil Neville

then worried the Tangerines with a run to the byline and his

deflected cross fell nicely for Coleman but Gilks saved his

well-struck volley. Coleman, who impressed in a short spell at

Bloomfield Road last season, then looked certain to score after

weaving his way through the home defence but his shot curved just

wide of the far post. Blackpool made Everton pay for that

profligacy by reclaiming the lead after a goalmouth scramble three

minutes into the second half. Everton appealed for handball against

DJ Campbell as the striker shielded the ball from Distin. Nothing

was given and the ball was worked out for Vaughan to shoot from the

edge of the area. The midfielder slammed his first effort into the

body of a defender but reacted quickly – while some of his

team-mates claimed handball – to fire home at the second attempt.

But again, Blackpool could not hold their lead for long. Coleman

pounced on a poor header by Stephen Crainey barely two minutes

later and raced into the area to unleash a fierce shot which

squeezed under the body of Gilks. Both sides continued to attack

with Adam shooting wide after a menacing run by Campbell and

Pienaar having a shot blocked by Eardley. John Heitinga then picked

out Gilks with a volley from the edge of the box and the goalkeeper

did even better to deny Pienaar at point-blank range after a neat

interchange with Cahill. Substitute Louis Saha had a great chance

midway through the second half after racing onto a fine ball from

Pienaar. The France striker took a touch on the edge of the area

and admirably chose not to go down as Evatt grabbed his arm but he

screwed his shot wide. Everton threw on another striker in Jermaine

Beckford and the former Leeds man twice had close-range efforts

blocked within moments of leaving the bench. Blackpool then

finished the stronger with Adam forcing a fine save from Howard

with a powerful drive. Harewood then thought he had snatched

victory in the last minute but the flag was raised.