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
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
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
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
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
Exeter pulled one back on 67 minutes when Cureton netted from
the spot after a handball by Damian Batt.