A GUD SATUR­DAY, BUT NOT FOR LEE!

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Josh Ni­cholls

BLACK­POOL manager Lee Clark ad­mits the draw at Bolton felt like a de­feat af­ter his doomed side were de­nied a first win in 11 matches in in­jury-time.

Eidur Gud­johnsen’s last-gasp equaliser de­nied the Seasiders only a fifth victory of a mis­er­able cam­paign af­ter Michael Ja­cobs’ stunning early strike looked to have given them all three points.

Clark has made no se­cret of the fact he has al­ready turned his at­ten­tions to next term, with life in League One star­ing the Bloom­field Road out­fit in the face.

And while de­lighted with his side’s per­for­mance lev­els, he could not hide his ir­ri­ta­tion at the late goal which leaves them 16 points adrift of safety with just 18 avail­able.

“We’re are all ex­tremely frus­trated in the dress­ing room,” said Clark. “It’s a strange one be­cause we’ve played so well and we’ve got a draw, which you’d nor­mally take away from home. But it feels like a de­feat at this mo­ment in time be­cause of the late goal.

“It was a great op­por­tu­nity for us to get that elu­sive first win and I thought we de­served it. We de­fended when we had to, but we caused them prob­lems when we had the ball.

“When you get into in­jury time it’s about game-man­age­ment, but five or six times we gave the ball away cheaply in the dy­ing min­utes and it proved costly in the end.”

Fol­low­ing a low-key start to the game Ja­cobs fired Black­pool into the lead in spec­tac­u­lar fash­ion in the ninth minute.

Af­ter latch­ing on to a long ball to the right of the penalty area, the winger stead­ied him­self and lashed in at the near post on the half-vol­ley past a shell-shocked Ben Amos.

Pool skip­per Peter Clarke nearly dou­bled his team’s ad­van­tage al­most im­me­di­ately when he headed Jamie O’Hara’s free-kick to­wards the top cor­ner only for Amos to deny him with a low save.

The home side were booed off at half-time and re­sponded by lay­ing siege to the Black­pool goal in the sec­ond half.

Af­ter sev­eral half-chances had been squan­dered Barry Ban­nan – a for­mer Black­pool loa­nee – then missed a golden op­por­tu­nity to level for the Trot­ters in the 63rd minute, strik­ing the post when it looked eas­ier to score, af­ter Adam Le Fon­dre had got the bet­ter of Dar­ren O’Dea and cut the ball back.

Liam Feeney added to the hosts’ tally of misses in the 66th minute head­ing a Ban­nan free­kick off tar­get at the back post.

The Seasiders prob­a­bly thought they had done enough to hold out when Jamie O’Hara cleared Le Fon­dre’s close-range shot off the line in stop­page time.

In fact they nearly added a sec­ond on the break mo­ments later but Jose Cubero blazed over the bar from in­side the box af­ter be­ing teed up by cre­ator-in-chief Ja­cobs.

But Bolton were not to be de­nied and a fran­tic last few min­utes reached their cli­max in the fifth minute of in­jury time when first Emile Heskey in­ex­pli­ca­bly headed a cross away from goal, then Neil Danns nod­ded back to­wards goal and Gud­johnsen scram­bled over the line to send the Macron Sta­dium wild.

While Bolton’s equaliser came at the last pos­si­ble mo­ment it was a goal Neil Len­non felt his team more than mer­ited.

“On the bal­ance of play we thor­oughly de­served the equaliser,” said Len­non. “I can’t be­lieve the chances we missed.

“I could’ve stran­gled Barry Ban­nan when he missed his chance and Le Fon­dre’s had one off the line.

“We’ve had 20-odd at­tempts on goal and as a manager you should be pleased with that but ob­vi­ously we are dis­ap­pointed we can’t win at home against Black­pool. It looked like there was a bit of com­pla­cency in our game.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

WAN­DER STRIKE: Eidur Gud­johnsen cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing Bolton’s dra­matic late equaliser

AL­FIE: Adam Le Fon­dre beats Peter Clarke to the ball

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