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Season 2006-2007 : Blackpool vs Yeovil Town : Sunday 27th May 2007
Coca Cola League One Play-Off Final : Blackpool vs Yeovil Town

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Venue: Wembley Stadium, London
Sunday 27th May 2007, 3.00pm kick-off.

Conditions: Persistent rain
Pitch: Excellent but greasy


Attendance: 59,313 (including approx 30,000 Yeovil supporters)

Referee: Andy D'Urso (Essex)
Assistants: Simon Beck (Essex) and John Stokes (Cheshire)
Fourth official: Trevor Kettle (Rutland). Reserve Assistant Referee: Trevor Massey (Cheshire).

Yeovil: Anthony Barry (46 mins, foul), Lee Morris (50 mins, foul)
Blackpool: Shaun Barker (45 mins, foul)

Team Line-Ups

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Steve Mildenhall 16. Andy Lindegaard 6. Terrell Forbes 5. Scott Guyett 3. Nathan Jones 10. Wayne Gray 8. Anthony Barry 11. Chris Cohen 9. Arron Davies 29. Marcus Stewart 25. Lee Morris

Subs: 4. Terry Skiverton 14. Jean-Paul Kalala (40 mins for Chris Cohen) 24. Mark Lynch (77 mins for Andy Lindegaard) 30. Darryl Knights (72 mins for Lee Morris) 32. Matthew Rose

Blackpool :
1. Paul Rachubka
25. Shaun Barker 5. Michael Jackson 29. Ian Evatt 6. Robbie Williams
8. Adrian Forbes 26. Claus Bech Jorgensen 4. Keith Southern 27. Wesley Hoolahan
7. Keigan Parker 18. Andrew Morrell

Subs: 2. Danny Coid 10. Scott Vernon (86 mins for Wesley Hoolahan) 20. David Fox (78 mins for Adrian Forbes) 28. Ben Burgess 30. Simon Gillett (90 mins for Keigan Parker)

Match Report

With both teams having all players fit and ready for the trip to Wembley Stadium, and yet both coming in on the back of confidence-boosting victories, neither manager wanted to make significant changes to their line-up for the League One play-off final. Russell Slade made just the one change, with Terry Skiverton displacing Martin Brittain the bench, but otherwise matters were as per the Second Leg match against Nottingham Forest. Chris Cohen was deemed to have passed a fitness test on his groin.

As the game kicked off in a predictably end-to-end manner, Keigan Parker went down like a sack of spuds in the second minute of the match as Marcus Stewart pressurised him on the box, but the way the Blackpool striker threw himself was never going to fool referee Andy D'Urso. But Blackpool were looking far more lively up front, seeing a weaving run by Claus Bech Jorgensen being blocked by Terrell Forbes and out for a corner.

The Glovers found most of their attacking options blocked out by a resolute Blackpool defence. A Wayne Gray run forced a corner off the boot of Robbie Williams and from that set play an Arron Davies corner somehow whizzed straight through a packed penalty box right along the six yard line, without touching the Yeovil, or possibly Blackpool boot that could have sent it goalbound.

Adrian Forbes struck the side netting after Wes Hoolahan set him through, then Robbie Williams set himself up a left-footed long ranger that went just wide of the target after the Yeovil defence backed off his run. Then Keigan Parker's chip to the back post couldn't be reached by Andrew Morrell on the back post.

Blackpool were far superior to their opponents and it took Yeovil until roughly the midway point to really settle down and even up what had been so far fairly one-sided proceedings. Even so, it was still the Seasiders that were creating the better chances, even if possession and territory was held in a far more balanced manner. A one-two between Andrew Morrell and Wes Hoolahan reminded all watching that even if Yeovil had clawed their way back a touch, it was still Blackpool that looked the more dangerous. Thankfully Hoolahan dragged his shot wide of the target.

Five minutes before the break, Yeovil's plans were given a significant setback when Chris Cohen, who had been struggling throughout the first half and not really looking himself, was taken off in favour of Jean-Paul Kalala. The decision to do a pre-match injection to try and act as a painkiller for his groin injury hadn't really worked out, and the Glovers had been losing out badly in midfield. The only real surprise as the half had worn on was that Cohen had lasted that long.

Worse though was to come. Referee Andy D'Urso interpreted a challenge by Terrell Forbes on Keigan Parker to be an illegal one, even though TV replays showed that Parker had tripped over his own feet and the match official had got it wrong. From the resulting free kick, the defensive wall was never really in place, two pairs of green and tangerine shirts loitered on the edge of it, and when Robbie WILLIAMS flighted his free kick around the four man on the end of the wall, Steve Mildenhall was left unsighted and the ball landed in the bottom corner. 1-0 and with two minutes before the break, a bad time to concede.

Arron Davies almost hit back right on the half time break with a free kick that was tapped short to him, but Rabchuka tipped the ball over the bar for a corner, and that was pretty much it for a fairly mediocre first period. Blackpool deserved their lead, even if they had some fortune from D'Urso's decision-making. The Glovers would need to come out and attack for sure.

Half-time: Blackpool 1 - 0 Yeovil Town

The second half opened with the Glovers pressing well with forward runs from Wayne Gray, Andy Lindegaard and Arron Davies forcing Blackpool onto the back foot, even if only Gray's end ball was in any way dangerous to Blackpool's back line. But even then they managed to hack the right-wing ball away from danger.

But seven minutes into the half, the Glovers were outdone by a moment of somewhat suspect marking combined with a sublime finish. A long ball up the flank seemed to catch Wayne Gray unawares and as it drifted over his head, Keigan PARKER seized onto the pass and found himself with the freedom of the Yeovil half. Terrell Forbes was unusually slow to see the danger, and Parker moved across the face of the area and curled a shot that curled, then curled some more, and then nestled in the far corner beyond the outstretched hand of Steve Mildenhall. 2-0 and an absolute mountain to climb.

For the following five or 10 minutes Blackpool threatened to add a third as they went in with their tails up although thankfully without delivering the final blow. Having gone down the Yeovil right flank earlier, Keigan Parker tried to create his own solo second goal down the opposite flank, again getting acres of space, but thankfully this time Mildenhall got a fingertip to the shot and it was pushed for a corner. A minute later Andrew Morrell forced Mildy to go down low to his left to scramble and save a snapshot.

Paul Rabchuka almost gifted Yeovil a chance when he spilt a right-wing cross, playing the ball like a hot potato across his own penalty area as a mass of Yeovil bodies tried to knock the ball further out of his way. A few extremely wayward shots by Andy Lindegaard and Jean-Paul Kalala that seemed to bear more danger to those on Tier 5 of Wembley Stadium were attempted, but this was powderpuff stuff and Blackpool were undoubtedly holding firm.

Russell Slade tried various options like replacing Lee Morris with Darryl Knights and Andy Lindegaard with Mark Lynch. And with 13 minutes left they got their golden opportunity. Wayne Gray burst to the byline on the right flank and put in a devil of a cross. In came Marcus Stewart with a diving header that he hit into the ground and somehow contrived to get the sodden Wembley turf to lift the ball over the crossbar on the first bounce. If he'd tried to do that again 20 times he couldn't have done it again, and for a pitch that had behaved like sponge all afternoon, he must have hit the one firm point in the whole ground.

Sadly it wasn't to be. The final whistle was unsurprisingly greeted by cheers from one end and despair from another, with Blackpool gaining a deserved promotion as the best side on the day. For the Glovers, they appeared to suffer from the general weakness that they've had nagging at the back of most people's minds for much of the season. Good possession, good territory, plenty of balls into the box, but very little that would convince someone that the delivery was dangerous or that there would be a goalpoacher in the box to last a loose ball home. Elsewhere on the park, there isn't too much wrong - you just sense that if Yeovil could transplant a ball-playing wide man like Wes Hoolahan and a man with an eye for goal like Keigan Parker into their team then they would probably be the ones heading for the Championship. Those are the sort of additions to the squad that Russell Slade needs to make to his side for next season if he is to lift them that one step further next time.

Full-time: Blackpool 2 - 0 Yeovil Town
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