1-0. 1-0! Nine points clear of the drop! I am so happy with my life right now that I am going to drink myself blind. Kidding. But yes, today we won! We actually won a game! Imagine that! And we had a clean sheet! And we won away! And someone invaded the pitch! Yay! And I am currently eating pasta at the time of writing this. Yay!
Two early attempts at goal came from Henry Cameron, the 17 year old scuffing a shot across the face of goal which hit the post to safety, and a minute later he forced Marcus Bettinelli into action to block a strike from 18 yards out.
In the eight minute, we were up. Sean Kavanagh delivered a smooth cross to Matt Smith, the 25 year-old heading the ball into the corner of the net. Matt Smith created a bit of panic in the Blackpool box shortly after, shooting just over the bar from Ross McCormack's cross in the 14th minute, and then heading wide from a Kavanagh corner. This was met with confusion in our box just eight minutes later, when Dan Burn thought Bettinelli would grab a through ball but didn't, forcing the tall defender to launch a clearance which our keeper had to parry away before Andrea Orlandi could get a shot.
The hosts slowly tried to get back into the game. Michael Turner was booked for fouling David Perkins, while Jamie O'Hara shot the resulting free kick into the wall. Tom Barkhuizen launched a 25-yard strike over the net in the 31st minute, and Jazz Richards had to clear from deep inside the Cottagers' box after a miscommunication between him and Bettinelli. McCormack picked up the pace in the 41st minute, running up half of the pitch to create danger for the hosts, before getting a free kick from a push by O'Hara, but unfortunately Kavanagh failed to find Matt Smith at the post with the resulting set piece.
Smith was later replaced five minutes into the second half, after dropping to the floor and clutching his leg (I'm praying he's okay). Cauley Woodrow came on as the replacement, joining McCormack in attack. A corner from Blackpool was punched away by Bettinelli, before O'Hara launched a volley that scraped just over the bar. Woodrow's first effort of the game came in the 54th minute, when he failed to head on target from a McCormack cross. He had another sight of goal just 3 minutes later, when he raced in to meet a driving cross from Kavanagh, but Elliot Parish dived in to clear the ball. Some uneven pitch issues caused both teams to screw their timing up. James Husband was dropped in the box but had his penalty appeal fall on deaf ears, while at the other end of the pitch, Burn made a nice challenge to stop O'Hara from advancing into the box. McCormack held the ball and bought Danny Guthrie and Woodrow into play in the 60th minute, before Guthrie passed on a strike, letting the latter shoot wide.
Niall Maher replaced Barkhuizen at right-back, while Andrea Orlandi came off for Dom Telford to make two of Blackpool's three changes in this game. Nathan Delfouneso came on to replace Perkins in the 77th minute, and made an immediate impact as Bettinelli fumbled a save, leaving the substitute to tap the ball towards the net before Richards made a goal line clearance. The last ten minutes of the game resulted in the hosts launching long balls into our box, causing us to lose a lot of possession.
And oh yes! The pitch invader was a big man in a blonde wig and pink dress who ended up being removed by stewards, to our fans chanting "sign him up!" as injury time was announced. The uneven pitch cause more issues as we almost made it two. McCormack played in Woodrow, before the ball bounced away towards Parish for a simple save. At the other end, Telford launched a shot from 25 yards, forcing Bettinelli into a diving save to secure the win.
Yay! We face Middlesborough at home next Saturday (3PM GMT.) Now that would be a cool win to get!