OUR fans’ panel rued missed opportunities in London on Saturday but took heart from Pool’s overall display, even if a signing or two before today’s deadline would be most welcome ...
Returning home after the game, there wasn’t the same buzz between our passengers as when we left Brighton a week earlier.
We couldn’t agree whether we’d thrown away three points or the draw was a fair result.
This was such a classic game of two halves – the first was Pool’s best of the season and we should have been two or three goals up by the break.
The Palace fans we chatted to afterwards confirmed we were easily the best side they have seen at Selhurst Park this season.
A great moment occurred after Baptiste slotted home Pool’s opener. His proud father, watching in the stand, was encouraged to stand up after being spotted by fans who had been cheering his son’s goal. He modestly took a bow and returned their applause.
However, wasting so many chances underlined our desperate need for another striker, especially as Palace’s woeful defending should have been punished more ruthlessly.
After Ollie’s first substitution, we began to defend deeper, effectively allowing Palace back into the game and we had to rely more and more on Gilks.
He made some remarkable blocks from close range until Palace finally made the breakthrough.
What we all agreed during that long trip home is that Ollie needs to bring in a striker, otherwise this could be a very frustrating season and it doesn’t have to be as we are still a very good side in this league.
Man of match: Alex Baptiste
How two successive draws can be so different is hard to believe. A wonderful, open, captivating game at Selhurst Park brought out the best in Blackpool.
Easily our best performance of the season, it left us wondering how we hadn’t won it. In reality, we could have been out of sight at half time but both teams will have walked away thinking they could have won.
It was a combination of poor finishing, great goalkeeping and sheer bad luck that prevented both teams scoring more than one.
Pool saw chances cleared off the line, some good saves from Speroni and more than one chance that left you with your head in your hands. Take nothing away from Alex Baptiste, though – that was a lovely team goal and a superb finish.
It was the all-round team performance that was the biggest bonus, though. There was not really a stand-out performer as everyone did well.
In the first half, especially Ferguson and Southern were controlling the game, and Crainey and Taylor-Fletcher continued their excellent form. There are some good partnerships developing across the pitch.
I sometimes think this international break comes a little too early in the season, but it does give a chance to recharge batteries, put some time in on the training ground and hopefully work with some new faces.
I think Saturday reminded us that on our day we are a very good team, but perhaps we’re just one or two away from being a great team.
Man of match: Barry Ferguson
Another long away trip and another point, but this time we really should have had the game sewn up and three points in the bag.
In the first half especially, we were carving Palace apart time and time again, with only a slightest touch needed or desperate defending keeping the scoreline level.
Eventually, the pressure paid off, with the excellent Alex Baptiste getting forward once again and finishing very coolly to give us a deserved lead.
On the rare occasions Palace got forward, Gilks was able to command his area and he made one brilliant reflex save.
No doubt the manager made the point at half-time that a 1-0 lead is a dangerous one. The team certainly came out looking to add to their total and were very unlucky not to score more.
In the end, the missed chances came back to haunt us as Palace scored on a rare foray and they could have nicked it late on.
However, that’s probably the best we’ve played to date, with real snap in a midfield which controlled the game and chances galore created. On another day all the forwards would have scored.
We’re not far off being a very good side in this division. The performance on Saturday was better than the result suggests.
It would be nice to see a couple of permanent additions to the squad before the transfer window closes or even some real quality added through a judicious loan.
Man of the match: Alex Baptiste
Despite conceding a relatively late goal against Crystal Palace, I’m happy with the result and a point.
Selhurt Park is a tough place to go, and Palace are a team showing good form.
If we are to stand a chance of promotion this season, then we must win home games but it’s equally important to get at least a point away, which we did.
That’s not to say we couldn’t have snatched a win, though. In fact, snatched would be the wrong word – good goalkeeping from Speroni denied us several times and on another day we could have seen a cricket score.
How he saved the point-blank Phillips shot is beyond me! Their No.1 had a cracking game.
After speaking to Palace fans about Sean Scannell, it’s obvious they hold him in high regard, so it was good to see Craig Cathcart rise to the occasion and keep him in his pocket for large portions of the match.
In fact, in rather uncharacteristic fashion, I’d like to praise our defence for once. I thought they dealt with most situations well, and considering we played so far up the pitch we didn’t look too stretched.
However, we visibly lack confidence at the back, almost as if we accept we’re going to concede.
Before the transfer window shuts, I’d like to see us sign a strong character to play at the back, one who will organise us well and not be afraid to hand out the rollickings where and when they’re needed.
Man of match: None chosen
I suppose Saturday’s result provides an acid test as to whether your glass is half-empty or half-full. Personally, I would have taken a point from a fixture that looked very tricky, but looking back you wonder how we weren’t more goals to the good at the interval.
The first half was as good as I’ve seen us play for a while, with large amounts of possession. We created plenty up front, albeit with nobody able to put one away until Baptiste popped up with a cool finish.
Palace had a couple of decent efforts but Matt Gilks was equal to them – our goalie must be one of our top performers of the season so far.
The hosts cranked it up in the second half, as expected, and just like last week substitutions gave the losing team the impetus to go on and get something from the game.
Zaha and Murray gave them a little extra zip up front, and although the latter’s goal may well have been preventable it was deserved.
The equaliser resulted in a barnstorming ten minutes, in which either side could have won a memorable match which was a credit to the division.
It’s brilliant to see Pool still wanting to get the ball down and attack, and we will probably play worse than that this season and win.
Now we look forward to the joys of transfer deadline day! The general consensus is that we are tantalisingly close to having a squad capable of an assault on the top six. Ollie will have his targets – now we need to get them in.
Man of match: Alex Baptiste