By Tim Hodges from the Amex
Brighton & Hove Albion 0 Blackpool 0
Albion failed to find the net against winless Blackpool at the Amex this afternoon (Saturday 20 September).
The best chance of the match fell to Adrian Colunga after just 50 seconds. But as he ran on to Gordon Greer’s through ball, the Spaniard appeared to toe-poke the ball, with only Joe Lewis, in the Blackpool goal to beat. He then promptly lost balance, much to the relief of the Blackpool defence.
Blackpool, with Ishmael Miller and Nathan Delfouneso up front, looked to counterattack Albion at every opportunity and had the impressive John Lundstram supporting the front pairing.
However, Blackpool lined up very defensively. When Sam Baldock seized on Bruno Saltor’s pass, he collided with Tony McMahon and keeper Joe Lewis in the penalty area. All Albion fans hopes were raised but referee Keith Stroud was having none of it and booked Baldock for simulation.
Albion won a free kick but Jake Forster-Caskey slammed the ball into the side netting.
The Seasiders used their two front men effectively but, aside from Lewis’s early intervention from Colunga, neither goalkeeper had cause to dirty his knees in the first period.
During the half-time break a few eyebrows were raised as the big screens showed Channel 4 Racing’s coverage of the Ayr Gold Cup.
Albion flew at Blackpool from the start of the second half. Colunga again and Baldock both had chances.
Lewis Dunk also had a good chance but Lewis did well to put him off as the two tussled almost underneath the cross bar.
Baldock was getting clear of McMahon but his shooting was off target as was Colunga’s when he got a sight of goal.
Then just after the hour Lewis produced the first of a series of fine saves as he pushed away Danny Holla’s fierce drive from just inside the area.
Forster-Caskey then combined well with Joao Teixeira but his shot was smothered by Lewis.
Craig Mackail-Smith entered the fray at the expense of Colunga with 20 minutes left.
Kazenga LuaLua replaced Teixeira but, as with recent appearances, played through the middle.
In the end the Seagulls appeared to play with Mackail-Smith, Greer and Dunk up front, with Holla and Bruno filling in at the back.
Again Bruno was all over the pitch but it was his mistake that gave Blackpool their only chance through Miller. David Stockdale made a smart block.
Albion just could not find the net. Greer, Andrews Crofts and LuaLua all had efforts well saved by Lewis.
Perhaps the brightest spark for Albion was Paddy McCourt who created a host of unconverted chances towards the end.
After six minutes of injury time Albion were booed off in some areas as Sami Hyypia again failed to acknowledge the Albion crowd.
Albion now face Burton in the League Cup on Tuesday and stay in the Midlands to take on Nottingham Forest next Saturday (27 September).
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