Huddersfield 1 Blackpool 1
Anthony Gerrard’s first goal for Huddersfield looked to have ended the club's barren run, but substitute Nathan Delfouneso struck deep in stoppage time for Blackpool to deny Huddersfield a first win in eight games.
Today's entertaining npower Championship clash finished 1-1 at the John Smith’s Stadium.
The visitors bombarded their opponent’s goal for an hour, but a combination of bad luck and poor finishing looked like giving the Terriers a first clean sheet since their last victory against Barnsley back on November 10.
Blackpool should have been out of sight by half-time, with the home side unable to find a method of breaking up their stylish attacking play.
Gary Taylor-Fletcher wasted two glorious openings in the first 90 seconds against his former club. Chris Basham played him in with the first move of the game, but the 31-year-old miscued his shot high and wide with only goalkeeper Alex Smithies to beat.
Moments later good work down the left from Wes Thomas provided Taylor-Fletcher with a free header six yards out but he nodded wide.
Liverpool target Thomas Ince played in Tiago Gomes after six minutes, but the Portuguese midfielder had his effort blocked by home captain Peter Clarke.
A minute later Ince played glorious one-twos with Gomes and Taylor-Fletcher as the visitors broke from halfway, but the winger fired over from the edge of the box.
Thomas drilled wide after 14 minutes as Blackpool’s relentless pressure continued, while Huddersfield’s best moment of the first half came when Sean Scannell’s low cross deflected to the feet of James Vaughan, only for the Norwich loanee to fail to get the ball under control allowing Blackpool to clear their lines.
The best chance of the opening 45 minutes came on 19 minutes when midfielder Isaiah Osbourne powerfully bundled past two Huddersfield defenders only to skew his shot wide from six yards.
Clarke’s miscued clearance fell to Osbourne and Ince played in Thomas, who curled over from 12 yards, while moments later Alex Baptiste fluffed his lines when a Stephen Crainey corner fell to him in the six-yard box and the right-back shot harmlessly over the crossbar.
Ince finally managed to beat Smithies five minutes before half-time, but full-back Calum Woods was on hand to clear off the line, before Anthony Gerrard turned Alex Baptiste’s cross just wide of his own post.
Blackpool continued to press after the break – the lively Thomas cutting from the left and curling a 20-yard effort which Smithies did well to turn behind.
Huddersfield gradually began to display some attacking threat, and Jermaine Beckford – having extended his loan from Everton on Christmas Eve – should have celebrated with a goal when he headed Jack Hunt’s deep cross wide from five yards just after the hour mark.
Gerrard made Blackpool pay for their profligacy on 66 minutes when he rose highest to head home Adam Clayton’s corner.
Blackpool’s previous attacking threat quickly wilted after that and the home side might have added a second as they grew in confidence – Beckford almost finding the net with an audacious effort from 30 yards 10 minutes from time.
But late on Ince showed why Liverpool are eager to land the 20-year-old in January as he wove past two players to get to the by-line and cut back for Delfouneso, who made no mistake from six yards.