O’HARA STRIKES TO EASE SHAME

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Scott Hunt

BLACK­POOL as­sis­tant manager Alan Thomp­son re­vealed some tough love helped the Tan­ger­ines bounce back from their 7-2 hu­mil­i­a­tion against Wat­ford with a hard­fought victory against Brighton.

Jamie O’Hara’s stunning sec­ond-half free- kick was all that sep­a­rated the sides in a game which suf­fered due to an aw­ful play­ing sur­face.

It is the first time in six meet­ings that Black­pool have got the bet­ter of Brighton and Lee Clark’s men have now lost just one of their last six games at Bloom­field Road.

And Thomp­son says Black­pool, who have now reg­is­tered over 50 play­ers this sea­son, got the Wat­ford de­feat out of their sys­tem and in­sists the club won’t give up in their battle against rel­e­ga­tion.

“It’s a nice feel­ing es­pe­cially af­ter the well doc­u­mented hor­ren­dous week­end last week­end for ev­ery­one as­so­ci­ated with the club,” Thomp­son said.

“We stayed in Lon­don be­cause we did Goals On Sun­day and Chris Ka­mara went ‘didn’t ex­pect you two to be here’ but it was tough and you’ve got to face the mu­sic and we got it out our sys­tem.

“We left the play­ers to watch it last week, you don’t want to hu­mil­i­ate them and they thought what we thought, that it was poor, un­ac­cept­able.

“It’s nice to get a re­sult and the feel­ing of three points in­stead of con­ced­ing seven goals like last week.

“I think that’s our sev­enth home game since we’ve been here and the con­di­tions make it dif­fi­cult with the sur­face and that.

“You see it’s not easy on the eye, we un­der­stand that but we’ve got to start win­ning games.

“Un­for­tu­nately it doesn’t look at­trac­tive but we’ve got three points.

“We’re not go­ing to throw the towel in. We’ve only been beaten here by Bournemouth and Ip­swich who are fly­ing high so the home record is de­cent. But we need to try and get some­thing on the road.”

Brighton had the first chance of the game in the eighth minute as Tony McMa­hon al­lowed a long ball to slip through his legs which put Sam Bal­dock in on goal, but Peter Clarke blocked his ef­fort from 12 yards.

Both sides were strug­gling to put to­gether any mean­ing­ful at­tacks as nei­ther were able to come to grips with an atro­cious play­ing sur­face at Bloom­field Road.

El­liot Parish pro­duced a su­per save to deny Brighton af­ter 35 min­utes as Danny Holla’s free­kick was headed on tar­get from six yards by Gor­don Greer, only for Parish to spring high and tip the ball over the bar.

Black­pool scored the win­ner af­ter 75 min­utes when O’Hara curled a sen­sa­tional left-footed free-kick over David Stock­dale and into the back of the net from 35 yards.

Brighton manager Chris Hughton be­moaned the state of the Bloom­field Road pitch and ad­mit­ted the re­sult is a set­back for his side.

“I think with the state of the pitch it was ei­ther go­ing to be a real scrappy goal that won it or a won­der­ful strike,” Hughton said.

“They play very di­rect. It’s very dif­fi­cult to play any other way on a pitch like this.

“The wind and con­di­tions is some­thing that you have to deal with but of course on most pitches in this di­vi­sion you’re able to play a lit­tle bit of a dif­fer­ent game.

“They ob­vi­ously play a game to suit the con­di­tions.

“I think as the game went on we were com­fort­able enough though.

“We didn’t give our­selves per­haps enough chances to win the game.

“It’s a real bad blow be­cause we’ve been in good form, there have been some good signs and of course it’s a real bad set back here.”

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age Ltd

STOP THE ROT: Jamie O’Hara cel­e­brates putting Black­pool ahead

TONY McMA­HON

CLASH: Steve Davies kicks goal­keeper David Stock­dale

STAR MAN JAMIE O’HAR

A Blackp

ool

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