Blackpool goal hero Marvin Ekpiteta happy to set a striking example
Marvin Ekpiteta is happy to put his hand up as an emergency striker for Blackpool after Saturday’s clinical finish at Middlesbrough.
The defender’s first Championship goal was one to remember as he showed a marksman’s instinct to control the ball before turning and firing the Seasiders level at the Riverside.
It proved a crucial turning point as Neil Critchley’s side earned their first away win since promotion to the second tier thanks to Grant Hall’s own goal.
Now in his second season at Bloomfield Road, that was Ekpiteta’s third Blackpool goal and he said: “The gaffer has joked about me playing up front now, which I wouldn’t mind. He can always throw me up there for the final 10 minutes.
“I’m not asking for Jerry Yates’ number nine shirt just yet – I need to score a few more goals first.”
The 25-year-old won’t score many better than the one which set Pool up for a second victory over Boro this season, following last month’s Carabao Cup win.
However, he admitted: “I don’t really remember too much about the goal – it was all a bit of a blur.
“Richard Keogh played a ball into me, I took a touch, swivelled and I was quite close to the goal so I just put it in. It was a good touch and turn, so I was quite surprised. It was a decent finish too.”
Pool’s second Championship win in eight days was achieved the hard way after they fell behind to Marcus Tavernier’s contentious early strike.
Ekpiteta said: “We thought their goal was offside, which was disappointing, but we took it in our stride and we responded well.
“Everyone heard their player get a touch on the header, everyone saw it. That’s why everyone froze and stopped because we were expecting the flag to go up. Obviously they played on and scored.
“It was unlucky from our point of view but we just got on with things and concentrated on getting back in the game, which we did.
“At half-time the gaffer just told us to play our normal game and the three points will come.
“We just needed to apply ourselves and keep doing what we were doing, although we knew the next goal was always going to be crucial. Thankfully we got it.”
The one to thank is Ekpiteta, who has stepped up to a new level in the EFL for a third successive season.
He added: “After the first goal went in, we just kept playing our game and searched for the winner, which we got.
“We caught them on the counter again and again and had chances to get a third because they had to throw everyone forward. Thankfully 2-1 was enough.
“To come to a place like this and get a win against a good side away from home is a really good result, so we’re delighted.”
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