Ten-man Blackpool left with mixed feelings after drawing with relegation rivals Hull City

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Ten-man Blackpool were left with mixed feelings after drawing 1-1 with relegation rivals Hull City in a rip-roaring Boxing Day encounter.
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Michael Appleton’s side were leading 1-0 thanks to Sonny Carey’s emphatic strike when they were reduced to 10 men at the start of the second-half.

Jordan Thorniley was the man to be shown a straight red just eight minutes after coming on as a substitute at the interval - the sixth red to be shown to a Blackpool player this season.

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The Seasiders were forced to play for around 40 minutes with 10 men after Jordan Thorniley's red cardThe Seasiders were forced to play for around 40 minutes with 10 men after Jordan Thorniley's red card
The Seasiders were forced to play for around 40 minutes with 10 men after Jordan Thorniley's red card

But despite Hull equalising through Oscar Estupinan’s header, the Seasiders remained a threat and squandered good chances to win the game, even with a one-man disadvantage.

The result, Blackpool’s third draw in a row since returning from the World Cup, keeps them in the bottom three when three points would have seen them leapfrog their opponents.

It also means their winless run now extends to seven games, something they will look to put right when they host promotion-chasing Sheffield United in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Thursday.

Ian Poveda’s good recent form was rewarded with a start having made an impression off the bench in his previous twoo appearances.

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The Leeds United loanee was one of three changes Appleton made to his side from the 1-1 draw against Cardiff City.

Marvin Ekpiteta came straight back into the fold after serving his two-match ban, while Jake Beesley was also handed his first start of the season.

The striker had previously made two substitute appearances since returning from a fractured foot, a setback he suffered at the start of pre-season. It was the 26-year-old’s first start since the final day of last season.

Rhys Williams, Kenny Dougall and Shayne Lavery were the three men to drop out of the side and down to the bench.

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They were joined by the returning Jordan Thorniley, who has recovered from concussion he suffered during the game against Luton Town in October.

Chris Maxwell, Jordan Gabriel, Liam Bridcutt, Kevin Stewart, Lewis Fiorini, Keshi Anderson and Theo Corbeanu all remain sidelined through injury.

The Seasiders began the game in a 4-4-2, changing from Appleton’s favoured system of 4-3-3, with Beesley playing out on the left wing with Jerry Yates partnering Gary Madine, who kept the captain’s armband despite Ekpiteta’s return.

After a fairly even start, the Seasiders were given a let-off in the 12th minute when they were cut open too easily down their right, leading to Alfie Jones firing wide via the aid of a deflection from Ozan Tufan’s pullback.

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The home side went close again when a powerful cross from the right was palmed away by goalkeeper Dan Grimshaw straight into his teammate Ekpiteta, but thankfully the ball ricocheted over the crossbar and away to the relative safety of a corner.

The Seasiders were set up to play in an aggressive manner, pressing from the front to stop Hull at source. But the Tigers simply countered this by playing over the top of Blackpool and into the channels, a tactic which was working pretty effectively.

It led to another chance for the home side inside the first 20 minutes, as Longman curled just wide from the edge of the box.

Blackpool finally threatened when Yates glanced a header towards goal from Callum Connoilly’s cross. The ball deflected off a defender but fortunately fell straight into the hands of keeper Matt Ingram, when the ball could easily have diverted elsewhere.

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Despite looking a little nervy when pressed, Hull continued to play out from the back even when the Seasiders hunted them down in packs.

It was no surprise then this is how Appleton’s men took the lead just before the half-hour mark, Sonny Carey slamming home in emphatic fashion after Ingram’s poor pass out had been charged down superbly by Beesley.

Great celebrations in front of the away end ensued, but Blackpool could easily have been pegged back a few moments later when Oscar Estupinan headed against the crossbar before Ekpiteta was forced to head off the goalline.

Hull maintained the pressure, Cyrus Christie blazing wastefully wide after getting the wrong side of Luke Garbutt.

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At the other end, Poveda forced Ingram into a good save with a vicious curling effort from just outside the box as restlessness set in among the home faithful watching their side persist with their patient build-up play.

Hull’s anxiousness at the back led to another Blackpool chance, as a poor clearance landed straight to Madine who curled straight at the keeper.

An eventful first-half ended with Blackpool squandering a good chance to double their lead as the unmarked Beesley header over from Garbutt’s whipped free-kick.

It turned out to be Garbutt’s last action of the game, as the defender was brought off at the break, replaced by Jordan Thorniley which allowed James Husband to shift over to left-back.

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But Thorniley’s afternoon lasted just eight minutes as the defender was shown a straight red card for bringing Estupinan down when through on goal.

Thankfully Tufan blazed the resulting free-kick over the bar, but it led to another defensive re-shuffle as Dom Thompson replaced the tricky Poveda, seeing Husband return to the middle.

Blackpool largely dealt with the setback well and even wasted a golden chance to double their lead just after the hour mark when Carey was denied a second by a strong save after being played through by Charlie Patino on the counter.

Beesley was the next man to be set free down the centre of the pitch only to be denied by a last-ditch sliding tackle from Lewie Coyle.

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Hull’s first big chance since taking a one-man advantage came when Tufan screwed wide of goal after Ekpiteta had made a hash of his attempted clearance.

Blackpool managed to see off Hull’s first wave of pressure, but they knew another one was coming during the final stages of this rip-roaring encounter.

With 13 minutes remaining, the home side got themselves level when the dangerous Estupinan managed to climb above Ekpiteta to head beyond Grimshaw.

It was all hands to the pump at this stage, as the Tigers hunted a late winner against the tired and weary Seasiders.

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With four minutes left on the clock, Hull were a little fortunate not to be reduced to 10 men when Jacob Greaves upended sub Shayne Lavery with an out-of-control challenge, which only received a yellow.

The drama didn’t stop there though, because two minutes later the Seasiders thought they had a strong shout for a penalty when Yates nipped the ball past Ingram in the area before being brought down, but the officials ignored the appeals.

Despite being down to 10 men, the Seasiders went all out for the win as Lavery’s right-wing cross deflected inches wide of the upright.


Hull: Ingram, Greaves, Jones (Smith), Tufan, Woods (Allahyar), Longman (Sinik), McLoughlin, Seri, Slater, Christie (Coyle), Estupinan

Subs not used: Lo-Tutula, Figueiredo, Docherty

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Blackpool: Grimshaw, Connolly, Ekpiteta, Husband, Garbutt (Thorniley), Patino, Carey, Poveda (Thompson), Beesley (Lavery), Yates, Madine

Subs not used: Moore, Williams, Dougall, Wright

Referee: John Brooks

Attendance: 19,170