Belfast Telegraph

Dream start for Tangerines

Blackpool's first top-flight appearance since 1971 turned into one of the most memorable in their entire history as they demolished Wigan 4-0 to go top of the Premier League at the DW Stadium.

New-boy Marlon Harewood scored twice after Gary Taylor-Fletcher had put the visitors in front. Alex Baptiste profited from more wretched goalkeeping by Chris Kirkland to ensure Wigan were well and truly turned over.

Blackpool's performance was made all the more remarkable by the knowledge Harewood, along with Elliot Grandin and the sturdy Craig Cathcart, were not even at Bloomfield Road at the start of the week.

Gaping holes were evident from the second minute, when Brett Ormerod twice failed to turn home relatively simple chances from the centre of the six-yard box, while Harewood also put a header wide as the sense of foreboding among the home support grew.

When the excellent Charlie Adam found Harewood, Ormerod made his way across the box, dragging a couple of defenders with him before allowing the ball to run on to Taylor-Fletcher at the far-post, who tapped in.

Harewood tried his luck from the edge of the area and Kirkland appeared to have the effort covered but somehow allowed the ball to slip through his gasp, which gave the Tangerines a 2-0 lead.

Two minutes before the break Kirkland failed to hold a Grandin effort and Harewood tapped home the rebound.

That Wigan improved after the break was not saying much - but they still failed to score and Blackpool extended their lead.

Baptiste caught Kirkland out with a shot from the touchline that crept in the near-post, it left them looking down on Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and the rest.

Those big boys had not played of course. But no-one really cared about that.


From Belfast Telegraph