BLACKPOOL’S bid to return to the Premier League failed in the most heartbreaking of fashion.
Ricardo Vaz Te’s close range finish three minutes from time secured West Ham a 2-1 win, that takes them, and not the Seasiders, to the promised land.
Pool deserved better. They went in at half time trailing to Carlton Cole’s 35th minute striker, the frontman latching onto Matthew Taylor’s long diagonal ball, holding off Ian Evatt and firing past Matt Gilks from close range.
But within 120 seconds of the restar, Ian Holloway’s men were on level terms, Tom Ince’s beautiful volley from Matt Phillips excellent pass beating Robert Green.
They controlled the second period and Baptiste had a shot hooked off the line by Taylor after exchanging passes with Kevin Phillips.
Kevin Nolan his the bar with a terrific volley, but in the first period Stephen Dobbie had a shot tipped onto the post by Rob Green and Matt Phillips missed two great chances.
Vaz Te went on to win it, lashing the ball into the roof of the net after Cole had wriggled through Pool’s back four.
Things had gone wrong for the Seasiders before kick off when Gary Taylor-Fletcher was ruled out with an ankle injury.
That meant Holloway had to change the 11 which had beaten Birmingham over two legs.
Even so, the Tangerines did themselves proud - and the fans too can, when they get over the devastation of defeat, reflect on another fantastic season.
West Ham can consider themselves fortunate, at the very least it should have gone into extra time.