A delighted Neil Critchley gives his verdict on Blackpool's dramatic victory against League One leaders Hull City
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CJ Hamilton’s stoppage-time strike secured a thoroughly deserved 3-2 win against the Tigers at Bloomfield Road this evening.
That only tells half the tale though, with Pool having to come from a goal down after Mallik Wilks had given Hull a first-half lead.
It was a lead that lasted just six minutes though, with Jerry Yates firing home an equaliser from Luke Garbutt’s powerful cross.
Blackpool weathered a storm from Hull at the start of the second-half before edging their noses in front through Keshi Anderson’s clinical strike.
They appeared to be coasting to the three points, but Hull had other ideas with Reece Burke heading home an 89th-minute equaliser for the away side.
The drama didn’t stop there though, with Hamilton drilling home in the 93rd-minute to secure a fifth win from seven league games for the Seasiders.
“I’m delighted with the players, I really am. I thought we were more than a match for the top of the table team,” Critchley said.
“We edged the game, we were the better team and we deserved to win the game.
“To win it in the manner we did and the character we showed to come back, when we could have easily been knocked down and out for the count, I couldn’t be more pleased with the players tonight.
“It was a great goal to win it too with the way we worked the ball back into the box and the way in which CJ tucked it away.
“We scored a late winner against Peterborough in a similar type game, where they scored for a corner which is something we need to look at and rectify because we shouldn’t concede a goal like that, so I was really annoyed with that.
“But to go down the other end and score a winner like we did…
“The boys have developed a certain resilience and belief and I think that was developed through the hard times we had at the beginning of the season.
“The lads really showed a togetherness during that period, we stuck together and I think we’re seeing the benefits of that now.”
Having been the better side in the first-half, Pool were disappointed to find themselves a goal down when Wilks hooked home beyond Chris Maxwell.
“For the first half an hour we were the better team and we looked the most likely to score,” Critchley added.
“Their goal came out of nothing really. We didn’t defend the cross very well and we didn’t defend very well in the box either.
“It was a bit unfortunate how the ball went for their lad as well with the way it landed, but we didn’t deserve to be one down at that stage.
“Again, we worked a terrific first goal. It’s something we worked on beforehand, because we thought the full-backs might get some joy and they did.
“Jerry, they’re great goals those tap-ins. Centre forwards will always tell you that. Those goals inside the six-yard box are the same as scoring a 30-yarder into the top corner.
“It was a good response, but it was deserved at that time.”
Gary Madine made a huge difference off the bench, the striker involved in both of Blackpool’s final two strikes.
“I didn’t feel we started the second-half very well, I thought they were on top and we had to defend some corners and we had to relieve some pressure,” Critchley said.
“Gary was like a man possessed when he came on, he was terrific. He was all over the place, he was pressing, he was knocking them over, flicking it on and holding it up.
“The second goal, I’m saying to Maxi calm down and be patient, but he kicks it, Gary puts the centre-half off, makes sure he doesn’t win it and Keshi runs all the way and it’s a terrific finish on his left foot. It’s a really good goal.”