March 5, 2013
Broadfoot ends Seasiders' goal drought
Blackpool scored their first goal under boss Paul Ince to come from behind and share a 1-1 draw with Birmingham in the battle for npower Championship survival.
The Seasiders had endured a narrow defeat and two goalless draws since Ince took charge last month but centre-back Kirk Broadfoot rose to simply head home Neal Eardley's 74th-minute corner and grab a share of the spoils.
Birmingham had appeared on their way to three precious points thanks to a similar unmarked header by Curtis Davies from Chris Burke's first-half corner - the defender's sixth goal of the campaign and fourth in two seasons against the visitors.
All in all it was a largely forgettable encounter played out in front of the lowest league crowd of the season at St Andrew's, 13,562, although Blues will class it as two points dropped following some glaring misses from Nikola Zigic and in particular Wade Elliott, three minutes from time, while Peter Lovenkrands hit the inside of a post.
The draw leaves Ince still waiting for his first win in charge, with merely goal difference separating the two sides as they now hover five points above the drop zone.
Both have endured somewhat of a fall from grace inside less than a year following their play-off semi-final battle last May.
Birmingham, with their financial struggles an ongoing concern, have failed to show the same quality as they did under Chris Hughton last term, with Blackpool now on their third permanent manager of the season in Ince after Ian Holloway's departure.
Tom Ince, playing under his father, found the side-netting with just over a minute on the clock as both sides looked to stamp their authority on the game.
The England Under-21 international was looking particularly lively and was only denied by a great last-ditch tackle by Hitch Hancox before Davies cleared off the line and then Jack Butland got behind a solid strike from the corner of the area.
Zigic should have done better with a cross from Hancox as Blues looked largely toothless in attack and, with the visitors now struggling to create, the clash fell flat.
Burke shot harmlessly wide before Lovenkrands enjoyed the home side's best chance just after the half-hour mark, latching on to Zigic's flick to beat keeper Matt Gilks only to see his effort roll across the face of goal.
Butland dropped a deep cross but redeemed himself by producing a great reflex save to keep out Gary Taylor-Fletcher before Matt Phillips drilled narrowly wide from distance.
But then just as it appeared to be goalless heading into the break, Davies found plenty of space to get on the end of Burke's deep corner and give Blues the perfect half-time tonic.
Zigic blazed over a great chance to double City's advantage within minutes of the restart after Gilks had dropped Hancox's long free-kick.
Birmingham then came within inches of a second as Lovenkrands latched on to Paul Caddis' ball forward and checked before firing off a shot which hit the inside of a post, rolled across the line and out.
Shane Ferguson, enjoying a solid full debut for Lee Clark's side, thwarted Barry Ferguson but Blackpool did not have to wait long for their leveller as Broadfoot nodded home from Eardley's corner.
The hosts were then presented with a golden opportunity to win it in the 87th minute but substitute Elliott somehow blazed well over the bar with the goal at his mercy from Burke's low cross.
|1 Jack Butland||1 Matthew Gilks|
|30 Paul Robinson||3 Stephen Crainey|
|6 Curtis Davies||42 Kirk Broadfoot|
|23 Jonathan Spector||15 Alex Baptiste|
|28 Paul Caddis||39 Gary MacKenzie|
|32 Shane Ferguson||5 Neal Eardley|
|27 Mitch Hancox||16 Barry Ferguson|
|7 Chris Burke||31 Martinez Cervera Angel|
|33 Callum Reilly||7 Matthew Phillips|
|11 Peter Lovenkrands||12 Gary Taylor-Fletcher|
|19 Nikola Zigic||11 Thomas Ince|
|13 Colin Doyle||Mark Halstead 21|
|8 Hayden Mullins||Craig Cathcart 20|
|15 Wade Elliott||Elliot Grandin 10|
|14 Morgaro Gomis||Ludovic Sylvestre 14|
|22 Nathan Redmond||Matt Derbyshire 38|
|12 Ravel Morrison||Nathan Delfouneso 40|
|20 Wesley Thomas||Marko Futacs 43|
|Wade Elliott for Mitch Hancox (70)||Marko Futacs for Gary Taylor-Fletcher (41)|
|Wesley Thomas for Peter Lovenkrands (78)||Ludovic Sylvestre for Martinez Cervera Angel (57)|
|Nathan Delfouneso for Matthew Phillips (73)|
|Neal Eardley (31)|
|· Squads: Birmingham City | Blackpool|