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16:52 20th February 2010

Royals go down to Seasiders

Blackpool 2 (Campbell 41, Adam 74)
Reading 0

The Royals went down 2-0 to play-off hopefuls Blackpool as the home side scored a goal in each half on a quagmire of a pitch at Bloomfield Road.

Ian Holloway's men were the better side, and clearly more accustomed to the difficult conditions on their own patch.

But take nothing away from the quality of their two goals, DJ Campbell slotting home very well toward the end of the first half and Charlie Adam then turning home from outside the box to seal the points as the game drew to a close.

Reading lost Brynjar Gunnarsson and Simon Church to knocks, and overall it was disappointing afternoon - but pay credit to a Blackpool side that have beaten Newcastle, Middlesbrough and others on this pitch this season.

Manager Brian McDermott had refused to get carried away after a run of four straight League wins coming into this game, so similarly he will not be too downhearted after a loss against a team just one place outside the top six in the Coca-Cola Championship.

Blackpool (4-2-3-1): Gilks; Baptiste, Crainey, Butler, Evatt; Southern, Vaughan; Adam, Ormerod (Burgess 66), Taylor-Fletcher (Bouazza 22); Campbell (Dobbie 78)
Subs: Rachubka, Eardley, Husband, Euell
Booked: Southern (foul 27)

Reading (4-2-3-1): Federici; Griffin, Bertrand, Khizanishvili, Mills (c); Gunnarsson (Sigurdsson 32), Karacan (Rasiak 63); Howard, McAnuff, Kebe; Church (Thorvaldsson 54)
Subs: Hamer, Pearce, Tabb, Robson-Kanu
Booked: Bertrand (foul 22)

Attendance: 7147 (519 away fans)

Referee: C Pawson

First half
From the off it was clear that the Bloomfield Road pitch was going to make it exceptionally difficult for either side to play football, and the surface continued to deteriorate throughout.

Given the surface, and perhaps more pertinently their League position, it was no surprise that Blackpool settled marginally the better of the sides, Adam Federici palming away a David Vaughan shot on 15 minutes.

It was a game low on genuine opportunities but it was the Seasiders creating any of the half-chances. Charlie Adam shot well wide on 26 minutes after good play from sub Hameur Bouazza, on for the injured Gary Taylor-Fletcher.

Just before the half hour Blackpool's Keith Southern put in what looked a high tackle on Brynjar Gunnarsson in front of the 519 Reading fans, and our supporters were claiming a straight red card but referee Mr Pawson only saw fit to show a yellow; Gunnarsson hobbling off injured soon afterwards.

Given the pattern of the game Blackpool looked more likely to break the deadlock, and so it proved four minutes before half time. Charlie Adam slipped in DJ Campbell with a lovely pass, and the striker made no mistake from ten yards out.

Second half
The second period began in a similar vein, with Bouazza striking well over the bar three minutes after the restart.

Soon enough Reading had a decent chance to equalise, Ryan Bertrand's low cross headed by Brian Howard but a few feet wide of the far post. It was not a great chance by any means but the best that had come our way to that post.

We soon lost frontman Simon Church to a knock, Gunnar Thorvaldsson on his place. Not long after, Grzegorz Rasiak was also introduced to bolster our attacking options.

Down the other end Blackpool frontman Campbell looked lively in possession, and he jinked into space inside the area but could only shoot straight at Federici.

With Rasiak and Thorvaldsson working hard we were putting the home side under a bit more pressure, and if either of two nervy drops from home 'keeper Matthew Gilks inside his own box had fallen to one of our players it may have been different as we looked to get back on terms.

But Blackpool then made it 2-0 and effectively game over. A cross from the right was deflected out to 'Pool captain Charlie Adam on the edge of the box, and he finished with aplomb, finding the bottom corner from 18 yards out.

Southern then hit the post for the home side with another long-range effort, while Rasiak was close to a spectacular late goal when shooting just over on the turn from 20 yards.

We pushed for a late consolation and a few things flashed across the box but to no avail. So overall it was of course a disappointing afternoon but pay credit to a Blackpool side that have beaten Newcastle, Middlesbrough and others on this pitch this season.

Brian McDermott made sure our players applauded the loyal travelling support at full time, and we now move on to an FA Cup replay at West Brom on Wednesday evening.

    Data provided by Press Association