Festive stroll for rampant U’s

Substitute Nathan Delfouneso struck deep in stoppage time for

Blackpool to deny Huddersfield a first win in eight games as an

entertaining Championship clash finished 1-1 at the John Smith’s

Stadium.

Anthony Gerrard’s first goal for the club looked to have ended

Huddersfield’s barren run but the Seasiders were excellent value

for at least a point.

Blackpool should have been out of sight by half-time, with the

home side unable to find a method of breaking up their stylish

attacking play.

Gary Taylor-Fletcher wasted two glorious openings in the first

90 seconds against his former club. Chris Basham played him in with

the first move of the game, but the 31-year-old miscued his shot

high and wide with only goalkeeper Alex Smithies to beat.

Liverpool target Thomas Ince played in Tiago Gomes after six

minutes, but the Portuguese midfielder had his effort blocked by

home captain Peter Clarke.

A minute later Ince played glorious one-twos with Gomes and

Taylor-Fletcher as the visitors broke from halfway, but the winger

fired over from the edge of the box.

Thomas drilled wide after 14 minutes as Blackpool’s relentless

pressure continued, while Huddersfield’s best moment of the first

half came when Sean Scannell’s low cross deflected to the feet of

James Vaughan, only for the Norwich loanee to fail to get the ball

under control allowing Blackpool to clear their lines.

Clarke’s miscued clearance fell to Osbourne and Ince played in

Thomas, who curled over from 12 yards, while moments later Alex

Baptiste fluffed his lines when a Stephen Crainey corner fell to

him in the six-yard box and the right-back shot harmlessly over the

crossbar.

Ince finally managed to beat Smithies five minutes before

half-time, but full-back Calum Woods was on hand to clear off the

line, before Anthony Gerrard turned Alex Baptiste’s cross just wide

of his own post.

Gerrard made Blackpool pay for their profligacy on 66 minutes

when he rose highest to head home Adam Clayton’s corner.

But late on Ince showed why Liverpool are eager to land the

20-year-old in January as he wove past two players to get to the

by-line and cut back for Delfouneso, who made no mistake from six

yards.

The home side started well and created some decent chances to go

in front in the League Two clash.

The best of those saw Jamie Cureton crash a volley against the

underside of the crossbar, but for all their early dominance, Paul

Tisdale’s men could not break the deadlock.

As it was, Oxford scored with their first genuine attack. Exeter

were slow to react in midfield and when Tom Craddock lobbed the

ball forward, James Constable shrugged of his marker and turned

well before lashing a shot past the static Artur Krysiak.

Craddock and Constable both missed great chances to double

Oxford’s lead, but the U’s wrapped up the points with two quick

goals shortly after half-time. Constable capitalised on Pat

Baldwin’s poor header to roll in the second from 18 yards and Peter

Leven drilled a fine low short into the far corner from similar

range.

Exeter pulled one back on 67 minutes when Cureton netted from

the spot after a handball by Damian Batt.