BLACKPOOL reserves got the better of Manchester United in front of a larger than usual crowd at Bloomfield Road, no doubt drawn in by the strength of the Seasiders team.
Charlie Adam was star attraction, keeping fit ahead of the Blackburn league match after his two-game suspension.
There were plenty of other big names on display too, the likes of Matty Phillips, Elliot Grandin and Gary
Taylor-Fletcher all starting.
Pool started brightly and took the lead on 34 minutes, a goal which had plenty of French flair running through it.
Ludovic Syvestre exchanged passes with Elliot Grandin in the centre circle and strode forward, picking his moment
to thread the ball to Luke Varney. The striker took a touch, steadied himself, then shot low and true into the bottom
corner. No chancce for young United keeper Conor Devlin.
It was about time something exciting happened. The first half an hour had been notable only for United striker Bebe
getting an unbelievable amount of stick from his colleagues.
Granted Bebe doesn’t seem to be the shrewdest piece of business Sir Alex Ferguson has done (£7.4m from a
Portuguese third division club). Indeed for the first five minutes he was as active as an exhibit at Madame
Tussauds. But some of the abuse he was getting seemed a bit harsh. “(Insert extremely rude word) off” screamed
United’s number nine, Oliver North, with particular venom after making a run down the wing and not receiving a
pass. Then again given that Bebe is probably on ten grand a week minimum it’s hard to be too sympathetic.
Needless to say, Bebe played no part in United’s equaliser, scored by midfielder Robert Brady just before the
break. His free kick from the left was whipped into the near post and Chris Basham, getting his angles all wrong,
had one of those moment fit for a bloopers Christmas DVD, heading the ball past Mark Halstead.
At half time, the spectators hurried to buy a brew - needs must: it was a freezing afternoon.
What they needed was a Pool winner to liven things up. And lo and behold they got it: Pool regaining the lead on 73
minutes - Sergei Kornilenko prodding the ball in from close range after some great work by Matty Phillips on the
right of the penalty area.
Basham and Sala Sbai impressed at the centre of the defence, while Adam lasted the full 90 minutes - a handy
Pool: Halstead, Phillips, Basham, Sbia, Dodd, Syvlestre, Grandin, Adam (cap), Taylor-Fletcher, Kornilenko
(Tomsett 75), Varney