LUDO SECURES POOL SAFETY
BLACKPOOL ....2 DERBY CO........1
RELIEVED Blackpool manager Paul Ince turned his focus firmly to next season after their Championship status was finally rubberstamped with victory over Derby County.
Ludovic Sylvestre’s stoppage-time goal proved decisive after Rams substitute Ben Davies had seemingly snatched a draw by cancelling out Gary Taylor-Fletcher’s strike.
It could – and should – have been a lot simpler for Blackpool but Thomas Ince missed a first-half penalty that would have made it 2-0.
And after making a meal of seeing off the Rams and staying up manager Ince admitted he had plenty of catching up to do as he plans for next season.
“I’m glad this fantastic club has managed to stay in the Championship and we can go forward next year,” he said.
“I’m a bit gutted that it’s taken us this long to salvage where we are going to be.
“You want to be proactive in your planning but we’ve had to wait until the second last game to be safe. Now I will sit down with the chairman and start getting some targets.
“We do need fresh faces. I don’t want to dismantle the whole team, we have a fantastic core here but I just want to add to it. I thought the longer the game went on, the more nervous we got.
“You get the early goal, you think that’s going to settle you. You get the penalty, which for me wasn’t a penalty.
“But you expect my son to score it so he’ll be getting no pocket money this week.
“It just hit the inside of the post and you begin to wonder.
“But one thing about these players is they never know when they are beat. We kept going and we got our just rewards in the end.”
Blackpool went ahead on 18 minutes – Taylor-Fletcher reacting first after Rams defender John Brayford blocked Matt Phillips’ goalbound flick.
Just past the half-hour they were awarded a penalty when Craig Forsyth was adjudged to have brought down Kirk Broadfoot – but Ince’s spot-kick bounced back off the post.
Stephen Crainey’s freekick almost doubled his side’s lead shortly after halftime but Derby keeper Adam Legzdins – in for the suspended Frank Fielding – tipped over.
Brayford came to the Rams rescue again on 50 minutes – this time denying TaylorFletcher’s goalbound shot.
But Davies hauled his side level on 64 minutes with a deft finish into the bottom corner.
Pushing for the winner, Nathan Delfouneso saw his 90th minute volley bounce back off the crossbar.
But immediately afterwards, Sylvestre – controlling the ball on his chest – volleyed in from the edge of the box.
Already assured of safety, Rams boss Nigel Clough nevertheless bemoaned the officiating during the match.
“We feared the worse with the decision that was made with the penalty because it was then continued for the next 60 odd minutes,” he said.
“The players are very angry at losing because we hate it, but also they are very angry and upset at the officials’ performance – all three of them.
“There was nothing in the game, I thought we edged it second half and we were going to go on and win the game but we end up losing instead of getting a guaranteed point.
“We just vacated the edge of the box the last few minutes, which we are disappointed with.”
HAVE SOME OF THAT: Blackpool's Ludovic Sylvestre fires home the late winner
LOOK AT ME: Gary Taylor-Fletcher, centre, celebrates after scoring Blackpool's opener