Premier League - Blackpool out of relegation zone

Sat, 23 Apr 16:52:00 2011

Blackpool climbed out of the Premier League relegation zone with a 1-1 draw at home against Newcastle - but deserved three points.

Match Highlights:

They fell behind undeservedly to a Peter Lovenkrands strike before equalising through DJ Campbell.

There were penalty claims waved away by referee Martin Atkinson, one of them clear, and several chances but Blackpool - now with only one win in 14 league matches - again saw crucial points slip away in their fight against the drop.

Newcastle had the first real chance of the game after the impressive Tim Krul dived out of his goal to punch clear and set his team on the counter. Shola Ameobi slipped past an over-committed Alex Baptiste and, with Lovenkrands free square in the box, opted to step inside the last attacker - only to fall over.

However Blackpool were the most impressive of the teams early on and could have taken the lead themselves on 15 minutes, Stephen Crainey  crossing low between defence and goalkeeper only for the outstretched boot of Gary Taylor-Fletcher to fall short.

Two minutes later the visitors had the lead. Crainey flicked the ball over an opponent in the left-back position and passed inside to the feet of Adam, who looked to return the ball but instead gave it to Joey Barton. He instantly found Lovenkrands who fired low into the near-post bottom corner from just outside the box.

After a quiet period from the home side they got back into gear around the half-hour mark. First Matt Phillips - making a rare start, being the most-used substitute in the division this season - dinked through for Campbell who was denied by an acrobatic block at the edge of the box by Krul.

A minute later away left-back Jose Enrique played a suicidal ball across his own box and the keeper was forced to dive out to meet Campbell; Blackpool, and in particular their manager Ian Holloway, wanted a penalty, but as well as getting a piece of the man he also took the ball.

The pressure paid off on 32 minutes when Adam's corner was met by the thigh of Campbell at the near post and Enrique could only head away from behind the line, although replays proved inconclusive.

And the incidents at that end kept on coming: Blackpool were again denied a penalty, a clear one this time, after Danny Simpson slipped and handled inside the box. Strangely Atkinson, who should have seen it clearly, had awarded the most spot-kicks of any top-flight referee this season before kick-off - a total of 14.

There were more chances before the break for the home team. Krul again produced a point-black save to deny Ian Evatt on the left then a minute later the defender headed down for Baptiste to half-volley through a sea of bodies for the bottom corner - only for Enrique to clear off the line.

The second half was less incident-packed, but Blackpool should have taken all three points. Adam sent a free-kick wide moments before Neal Eardley also tried his luck, his effort just past the top corner.

Taylor-Fletcher glanced an inch-perfect Crainey cross just over in the 63rd minute and three further on came the sickener for Blackpool when Adam struck the base of the far post from 18 yards, the ball coming back out but to safety.

Adam again gave the ball away on the edge of his own box - fortunately for him Ameobi's effort was blocked - and at the other end Blackpool ran out of ideas in the face of a stubborn Newcastle performance.

The visitors' captain Kevin Nolan, returning from suspension, had to come off with an injury but it did not look too serious.

Blackpool move up one spot to fourth from bottom, with Wigan dropping into the relegation zone after a 4-2 defeat at Sunderland.

Bottom club West Ham are in action at Chelsea in the late match; the bottom five clubs are separated by just three points.

Jonathan Symcox / Eurosport

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