Blackpool 2 Crystal Palace 2

Last updated : 20 March 2010 By Footymad Previewer
Crystal Palace eased their relegation worries with a hard-earned 2-2 draw at play-off chasing Blackpool.

The home side just about kept their top-six hopes alive as they hit back from 2-0 down in a game of two contrasting halves.

Palace seemed determined to spoil Blackpool's celebrations when Seasiders legend Jimmy Armfield performed the pre-match opening ceremony of the club's new South Stand which bears his name.

After just three minutes a long throw from Lee Hills completely caught out the home defence. Centre-back Alex John-Baptiste could get no power on a clearing header and Palace striker Nick Carle nipped in to score a simple opener.

Without key players Dudley Campbell and David Vaughan, Blackpool seemed to have little shape to their game in the first half although Stephen Dobbie produced a couple of neat breaks but failed to get a shot in when it mattered.

There was little surprise when Palace went two ahead on 34 minutes. Blackpool midfielder Keith Southern gave the ball away cheaply just outside his own penalty area. Carle and Neil Danns broke forward and the ball fell kindly to Darren Ambrose whose shot went between Matt Gilks' legs for his 18th goal of the season.

Clearly rattled by Ian Holloway's half-time team-talk, Blackpool immediately hit back on the restart. A lovely piece of skill from Billy Clarke kept the ball in play. He fed Stephen Dobbie and his pull-back found Charlie Adam who scored with a magnificent low drive from 18 yards for his 15th of the season on 47 minutes.

Blackpool began to pile on the pressure with substitute striker Ben Burgess missing two sitters before he finally equalised in the 89th minute. Adam crossed and Burgess tapped home at the far post.

Time-wasting by Palace keeper Julian Speroni saw four minutes added to the game and in that period the keeper had to be at his best to keep out a Dobbie shot before pushing a Southern lob over the bar.