Blackpool vs Huddersfield Town. Sky Bet Championship.
Report and free match highlights from the Sky Bet Championship match between Blackpool and Huddersfield at Bloomfield Road as Josh Bowler scored in the 90th minute to earn a point for the 10-man Tangerines.
Wednesday 8 February 2023 11:41, UK
A late equaliser from Josh Bowler earned 10-man Blackpool what could prove a vital point in a thrilling 2-2 draw with fellow Championship strugglers Huddersfield.
Bowler pounced in the 90th minute to add to Andy Lyons' effort and cancel out goals from Matty Pearson and Josh Koroma, ensuring it finished honours even in a full-blooded encounter at Bloomfield Road.
The draw means it is now 12 games without a win in the Championship for Mick McCarthy's men, who at least ended a run of two consecutive defeats to remain 23rd in the table while the Terriers are 22nd.
The visitors had the better of the early exchanges, with the first real opening coming in the 18th minute when Martyn Waghorn's effort was well saved by Chris Maxwell in the Blackpool goal.
Just three minutes later it was Jonathan Hogg's turn to come close for Town, firing past the left-hand post after a set-piece routine.
It took the home side a while to grow into the game, who responded with efforts from Jerry Yates and Sonny Carey as they looked to hit their opponents on the counter.
But it was the Terriers whose dominance was finally rewarded when Pearson prodded the ball home after Blackpool failed to clear the danger on the edge of their own area.
The Tangerines rallied in the closing stages of the first half with Carey and Curtis Nelson both having opportunities to level.
Their job was made all the more difficult seconds before the break, however, when Gary Madine received a straight red card for what appeared to be an elbow on Tom Lees.
A goal to the good and with a player advantage, the Terriers looked to assert their dominance after the break and could have extended their lead with David Kasumu and Waghorn both missing good opportunities.
Scott High and Lees also had opportunities to double the visitors' lead while Kenny Dougall blazed his effort high and wide following a rare sortie into the opposition half by the home side.
And the visitors were made to rue their missed chances when Lyons found the bottom corner with a clever effort with the outside of his boot from the right-hand side of the box in the 82nd minute.
Huddersfield appeared to have snatched all three points when Koroma steered the ball home from the edge of the box with four minutes on the clock to send the travelling Town fans wild with delight.
But with the home side staring a third straight defeat in the face, Bowler popped up to force the ball home from close range and give Mick McCarthy his first point as Blackpool manager on his 64th birthday.
Blackpool's Mick McCarthy:
"It was a real dagger through the heart when they came back and went 2-1 up after doing what we'd done. But they showed great resolve and determination to get back again so it's lovely if you've got that energy and that willingness to work and stick together, then we've got a chance. They were brilliant, the lads, and went and pressed and deservedly got the point out of it.
"There are so many games left but you want to get something out of the game with your nearest rivals for relegation. We have not gained anything but we've not lost any ground on them. What we have got is fans that believe in the team, and they were awesome today. The fans couldn't have done any more and nor could the players, and we both deserved each other tonight. We deserved the response, and the fans got a performance; they were brilliant."
Huddersfield's Mark Fotheringham:
"It's a disgrace of a performance in the second half and I'm lost for words to be honest with you. There's a lot of angry, harsh words been said, and rightly so, because to get yourself in a situation to go pole position and take the three points then give it away is absolutely unacceptable.
"There's a real collective anger in there and hard words said to each other collectively as a group. We all know that's unacceptable, and we've let the club down. We couldn't come away from this game with any less than three points and there was real anger in there. The lads really care and it's unacceptable. We had unacceptable lapses in concentration defensively. There should be anger there, because we all care. We had to manage the situations better defensively late in the game."