January 26, 2013
Ince inspires Seasiders success
In-demand winger Tom Ince produced a dazzling display in Blackpool's 2-1 victory over Wolves to leave boss Dean Saunders still searching for his first win.
Ince, a reported transfer target for his former club Liverpool ahead of next week's transfer deadline, scored a goal in each half as the managerless Seasiders came from behind to end a run of six npower Championship matches without a win.
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who bagged a brace when Wolves won 2-1 at Bloomfield Road before Christmas, headed the home side into a deserved early lead.
Blackpool rarely threatened in the opening period but Ince capitalised on a dreadful error by Wolves centre-back Roger Johnson to level matters on the stroke of half-time.
That ended a personal goal drought of 10 matches and, after Ebanks-Blake spurned a glorious chance to put Wanderers ahead for a second time, the England Under-21 star netted his 15th of the season in the 78th minute when Carl Ikeme could not keep out a 25-yard piledriver.
Johnson concluded a miserable afternoon by collecting an injury-time red card for tangling with Angel Martinez and Wolves drop to 18th in the table, four places below Blackpool, following consecutive draws in Saunders' first three games at the helm.
Jamie O'Hara was preferred to David Davis in the Wolves midfield and Slawomir Peszko was a late inclusion after Stephen Ward suffered a neck injury in the warm-up.
Blackpool winger Matt Phillips made his first start since suffering a toe injury in November as one of four changes made by caretaker boss Steve Thompson, while new signing Matt Derbyshire was among the substitutes.
Wolves made the majority of the early running and were rewarded with a well-worked goal in the 15th minute.
Peszko found the overlapping Ronald Zubar on right-flank with a beautifully weighted pass and the full-back's first-time cross was clinically converted by Ebanks-Blake for his 11th goal of the campaign.
The visitors struggled to produce any sustained spells of pressure by way of a response, Ince's deflected long-range effort the closest they came inside the opening half-hour.
Referee Scott Mathieson rejected a Blackpool penalty appeal when skipper Alex Baptiste, forward from defence, went down amid a tangle of legs with Kevin Foley.
Saunders' men almost extended their advantage when Bakary Sako swung a free-kick into the box from distance.
Doyle headed against the top of the crossbar and it would soon prove to be a double dose of disappointment for the hosts.
Johnson attempted to shepherd the ball back to Ikeme but there was not enough pace on it.
At odds with the indecision around him, Ince reacted quickly to steal between Johnson and Ikeme before slotting home from an acute angle.
The Seasiders had goalkeeper Matt Gilks to thank for preserving parity seven minutes after the interval following a superb save with his feet, although Ebanks-Blake should have left him with no chance as he smashed goalwards from close range.
Chances dried up thereafter despite Blackpool introducing Derbyshire for Phillips just after the hour and when Martinez lashed an ambitious long-range effort wide in the 72nd minute it was indicative of both sides' frustrations.
A moment of magic was required to settle matters and Ince obliged, driving at the Wolves defence and unleashing a fierce, swerving effort that Ikeme could only touch onto the post before it nestled in the back of his net.
Wolves were unable to find a response before Johnson compounded their woes.
|13 Carl Ikeme||1 Matthew Gilks|
|14 Roger Johnson||3 Stephen Crainey|
|32 Kevin Foley||42 Kirk Broadfoot|
|23 Ronald Zubar||15 Alex Baptiste|
|16 Christophe Berra||17 Chris Basham|
|8 Karl Henry||20 Craig Cathcart|
|24 Jamie O'Hara||8 Filipe Tiago Gomes|
|10 Bakary Sako||31 Martinez Cervera Angel|
|7 Slawomir Peszko||7 Matthew Phillips|
|29 Kevin Doyle||12 Gary Taylor-Fletcher|
|9 Sylvan Ebanks-Blake||11 Thomas Ince|
|31 Dorus De Vries||Mark Halstead 21|
|25 Danny Batth||Neal Eardley 5|
|12 Stephen Hunt||Isaiah Osbourne 18|
|28 Tongo Hamed Doumbia||Matt Derbyshire 38|
|26 David Davis||Nathan Delfouneso 40|
|15 Bjorn Sigurdarson||Nathan Eccleston 41|
|35 Jake Cassidy||Noguera 19|
|Stephen Hunt for Ronald Zubar (69)||Matt Derbyshire for Matthew Phillips (62)|
|David Davis for Slawomir Peszko (86)|
|Bjorn Sigurdarson for Kevin Doyle (86)|
|Slawomir Peszko (19)||Kirk Broadfoot (68)|
|Roger Johnson (90)|
|· Squads: Wolverhampton Wanderers | Blackpool|