Palace held to Blackpool draw
Blackpool substitute Nouha Dicko struck in the 89th minute to
dramatically deny Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway a win in a
2-2 Selhurst Park draw against his former employers.
Nathan Delfouneso gave the visitors a lead their first-half
dominance fully merited but Seasiders boss Michael Appleton was
left to rue chances passed up by Wes Thomas and Thomas Ince.
Owen Garvan rounded off a clinical Palace counter-attack to
level matters early in the second period and, after the same player
tested the crossbar, Glenn Murray headed his 18th goal of the
That seemed enough to close Palace to within a point of npower
Championship leaders Cardiff until Dicko – a man Holloway
christened as a “super sub” earlier this season – converted Wes
Thomas’ drilled cross.
Fellow substitutes Kevin Phillips and Ludo Sylvestre went close
as Blackpool finished the stronger but had to settle for a fifth
draw in six unbeaten games under Appleton.
Seemingly intent on proving a point to their former boss,
Blackpool flew out of the blocks and fashioned three openings
inside the first four minutes with Craig Cathcart, Isaiah Osbourne
and on-loan Bournemouth striker Thomas all going close
Palace’s defence proceeded to repel a steady diet of corners as
Blackpool dominated possession, but the hosts threatened to take an
undeserved lead in the 25th minute when Garvan launched a swift
counter-attack, and Wilfried Zaha drew a sharp stop from Matt
Mile Jedinak struck a pass against Eagles team-mate Damien
Delaney to leave Thomas through on goal, but he sliced wastefully
high and wide.
His blushes were spared in the 37th minute when Pool defender
Alex Baptiste broke up a Palace attack and released Ince to cut
inside and whip a vicious ball across the six-yard box, where
Delfouneso stole in at the back post to nod home.
Thomas could not repeat the trick when Delfouneso turned
provider and there was still time before the interval for Ince to
latch on to a Tiago Gomes flick and blaze over.
They were misses Blackpool would live to regret as Palace
levelled seven minutes into the second period. Yannick Bolasie
collected Zaha’s overhit cross, and when he sent the ball back into
the box from the left, Garvan was on hand to head past Gilks.
A minute later Garvan was inches away from a second, rattling
the crossbar from a 25-yard free-kick after Delfouneso felled Zaha,
but Palace completed the turnaround in the 64th minute.
Garvan collected Zaha’s pass to clip a cross to the far post.
Murray was left with plenty to do, moving away from goal, but
executed his header back across Gilks to perfection.
Dicko lashed an earlier opportunity narrowly wide before
sparking jubilant celebrations among the travelling support by
applying the finishing touch when Thomas drove the Palace defence
Darcy Blake recovered from illness to replace Joel Ward in the
Crystal Palace defence, while Blackpool midfielder Angel Martinez
earned a recall due to Chris Basham’s one-match ban for collecting
five yellow cards.