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

season.

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

Gilks.

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

backwards.

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.