MATCH REPORT: Blackpool 1-1 Cambridge

Goalscorer Andy Taylor
Goalscorer Andy Taylor
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A dramatic last-minute equaliser from an Andy Taylor free-kick handed Blackpool a point in a 1-1 at home to Cambridge.

His last-ditch effort from just outside the box flew into the top corner in the first minute of stoppage time.

It came after a superb 30-yard free-kick from Cambridge midfielder Luke Berry had handed his side a first-half lead.

The visitors thought they had done enough to hold on for the win, only to be denied by Taylor's fantastic set piece.

But it could have been a completely different story had Blackpool’s Danny Philliskirk not missed a priceless opportunity to get back on level terms in the first half when he missed a penalty.

The first action of the game saw Kyle Vassell’s looping header smartly tipped over the bar by Cambridge’s in-form goalkeeper Will Norris - who went on to have a magnificent game.

Pool continued to make the early running after a bright start, with the following corner just evading the head of Tom Aldred.

Dean Lyness was soon called into action in the Blackpool goal, getting down to save smartly from Piero Mingoia’s low shot.

Armand Gnanduillet took full advantage of his physical presence to brush off Cambridge defender Sean Long, only to see his weak left-footed shot easily saved by Norris.

The away side took the lead with 17 minutes on the clock, when Luke Berry curled a superb free-kick into the top corner from 30 yards having been fouled himself by full-back Kelvin Mellor.

Cambridge immediately went onto the front foot to extend their lead, with a deflected header going narrowly over Lyness’ bar.

After a short lull in the game, Blackpool took control of the game as they pushed forward for an equaliser.

Danny Philliskirk had a great chance to level the scores, only to see his shot well saved after being played in by Vassell, who had shown great determination to beat the defender to a bouncing ball.

Two clumsy fouls in quick succession from Blackpool centre-back Clark Robertson almost saw the Scot given his marching orders.

He originally saw yellow after a dangerous and high challenge on Adam McGurk, and then hauled Cambridge striker Ben Williamson to the ground only a minute later. He was given a talking to by the referee despite appeals from the visitors to see him sent off.

But Blackpool were gifted a route back into the game when Harrison Dunk handled in the area from Mellor’s cross.

But Will Norris, who saved two penalties in injury time last weekend during the 2-1 win against Accrington, saved with his feet from Danny Philliskirk’s poor spot-kick.

Norris was the hero for The U’s once again towards the end of the half, somehow managing to tip over a close-range volley from Kyle Vassell over the bar.

The save signalled the end of the first-half after an evenly matched opening period, with the visitors holding the lead courtesy of Luke Berry’s superb free-kick.

A great chance went begging for Blackpool at the start of the second half, with Vassell glancing just wide of the post from Mellor’s inviting cross.

Pool built up plenty of pressure at the beginning of the second period but were unable to find their way through a strong Cambridge backline.

Cambridge substitute Uche Ikpeazu showed his strength by battling his way into the Blackpool area, only to see his pullback saved well by Lyness at the feet of Adam McGurk.

Ikpeazu, a former Blackpool loanee, then bundled into the box to fire a low shot straight at Lyness.

Full back Kelvin Mellor was then inches away from giving his side an equaliser when his stunning volley from outside the box crashed against the woodwork.

Mark Cullen then found himself in space in the Cambridge box but dragged his left-footed shot wide of Norris' post.

The final action of the game proved to be a decisive one, with Taylor's curling left-footed effort flying into the back of the net to hand his side a priceless equaliser.

Blackpool: Lyness (Boney), Mellor, Aldred, Robertson, Taylor, Philliskirk (Osayi-Samuel), Payne, McAlister, Potts, Vassell, Gnanduillet (Cullen)

Subs not used: Boney, Aimson, Cain, Daniel, Osayi-Samuel, Cullen, Matt.

Cambridge: Norris, Taylor, Roberts, Long, Dunne, Mingoia, Berry, Dunk, Coulson, McGurk (Clark), Williamson (Ikpeazu)

Subs not used: Gregory, Dallison, Gosling, Clark, Pigott, Newton

Referee: Richard Clark