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17:27 11th December 2010

Stoke City 0 Blackpool 1

STOKE CITY'S five-match unbeaten run in the Barclays Premier League was brought to a frustrating end as newly-promoted Blackpool claimed another victory on the road at the Britannia Stadium.

Despite hitting the woodwork on three occasions and missing a number of other chances, it was DJ Campbell's goal three minutes into the second half which settled the game in the favour of Ian Holloway's side.

Campbell struck when he tucked home a Charlie Adam cross from close range to add a win at the Britannia Stadium to those which they had achieved at Wigan Athletic, Liverpool and Newcastle United so far.

Tony Pulis' side struggled to match the level of performances of recent matches, but they were also unfortunate in that Ricardo Fuller, Matthew Etherington and Rory Delap all saw efforts crash against the woodwork.

Pulis had been boosted by the fact that he could name his strongest possible side as both Wilkinson and Pennant passed fitness tests on injuries which forced them to miss the Wigan game, while Shawcross had recovered from a stomach bug.

There was an uneasy moment for Blackpool in the early stages when Kingson mis-kicked a clearance with Fuller bearing down on the 'keeper.

Jones then flicked on a long clearance into the path of the Jamaican international, but he was crowded out by two defenders as he advanced into the box.

City then had an excellent opportunity to go in front from a twelfth minute corner as Jones rose unmarked to meet Etherington's kick, but headed it over.

Pennant's burst forward created another opening for the Potters, but Jones dragged his shot well wide of the target after latching onto a flick from Fuller.

The first threat from Blackpool came in the 15th minute when Crainey on the overlap down the left hand side delivered a cross from which Vaughan volleyed over.

There was a further scare for City moments later when Eardley burst into the box and whipped in a low cross which Wilkinson somehow managed to clear away under pressure from Campbell before Grandin fired his close range shot wide at the far post.

After some promising moments for the visitors, they were fortunate to go behind in the 25th minute when Wilkinson started a moved forward from his own half.

The defender found Etherington with his crossfield ball, who in turn found Fuller and the striker cut inside before unleashing a curling shot which hit the bar.

It required some excellent defending from Collins when he waited for the right moment to get in a challenge when Varney was threatening on the counter attack.

It then took an excellent one-handed save from Begovic to prevent Campbell from nipping in to score just before half time after Adam had sprung the offside trap with his curling ball instinctively whipped into the far post from the left hand side.

There were chances at either end at the start of the second half, but it was Blackpool who took theirs to go in front three minutes after the break.

After Fuller had failed to take advantage of a clear run at goal, the Seasiders broke forward and after Varney had cut in from the left hand side, Adam whipped the ball into the edge of the six yard box where Campbell was on hand to score from close range.

City pushed forward looking for a swift response, but with their final ball letting them down on occasions, they were relying on set pieces.

Huth felt that he had been impeded when challenging for a corner, one which Kingson flapped at before Whitehead fired his shot wide of the target.

Blackpool could have gone further ahead from a free kick when Adam curled his ball into the far post and Taylor-Fletcher's header came back off the bar.

With City struggling to make much headway, it was not surprising that Pulis eventually decided to ring the changes as Tuncay and Walters were introduced in place of Jones and Pennant, and it almost brought immediate reward.

City were awarded a free kick for a foul by Evatt on Fuller, and Etherington's curling effort from fully 30 yards beat Kingson but cannoned against the bar.

Likewise, Blackpool's first substitution almost paid dividends when Phillips, who had replaced Grandin, sent over a teasing cross which appeared to sailing over Begovic until the 'keeper stretched back to turn it over the bar.

City mounted a period of sustained pressure in the closing stages of the game, but Blackpool somehow managed to hang on despite the fact that Delap saw a close range effort hit the post when the ball found its way to him at the far post.

    Data provided by Press Association


    The Potters played out four replays to finally beat Bury in the FA Cup in 1955