FA Cup: Blackpool 1-1 Wednesday
Bloomfield Road, Blackpool
28/01/12 - 3pm
Wednesday came minutes away from progressing to the FA Cup fifth round but Kevin Phillips rescued a draw for Blackpool with a stoppage-time penalty to level Clinton Morrison's opener.
The former Sunderland and West Brom man enjoys playing against Wednesday and continued his goalscoring form to dramatically deny Wednesday another cup upset at Bloomfield Road.
A replay was the last thing both sides wanted, but they'll have to go at it again for a third time this season in a replay at Hillsborough, likely to be on Tuesday, February 7, but a date is yet to be confirmed.
Owls boss Gary Megson made a number of changes to his starting eleven with Tuesday's crucial league match at MK Dons in mind. Strike pair Gary Madine and Chris O'Grady were both rested, with Ryan Lowe and Morrison taking over in attack. David Prutton also replaced Jose Semedo in midfield and Mark Beevers came into defence.
Ian Holloway's side, who lost at Hillsborough on penalties in the Carling Cup earlier this season, were favourites for victory going into the clash and they made the stronger start, enjoying more of the ball and keeping Wednesday back in their own half.
It was through an unlikely source, however, that the hosts looked most threatening. Left-back Bob Harris twice had good opportunities to open the scoring but he failed to test Owls stopper Stephen Bywater as his two efforts drifted high and wide of the target.
Wednesday slowly started to carve out chances of their own and a flowing move resulted in Morrison pulling a shot just wide of the goal. Strike partner Lowe then forced Matt Gilks into a fine reflex save before Morrison shot wide from the rebound.
The game was nicely poised but both goalkeepers took the plaudits into the interval. Bywater denied Keith Southern with a a superb save before at the other end Gilks saved well from another Lowe shot.
Bywater had to be at his best to deny Billy Clarke just before the interval as neither side managed to find a way to break the deadlock.
Half-Time: Blackpool 0-0 Wednesday
It took Wednesday just seven minutes to open the scoring after the interval. Gilks came rushing from his goal to deny Lowe but the ball only fell to Morrison, who steered his effort into an empty net and give Wednesday the lead.
The goal gave Wednesday, and their 2,000-plus travelling fans that packed the away end, a big boost and they looked to hold on to their lead and hit their hosts on the break for the remainder of the match.
It was an approach that was going to plan for the majority of the second half as the Seasiders struggled to break through the stubborn Owls back line, led impressively by Rob Jones, who was passed fit to play despite concerns over his fitness.
Chances were few and far between after Morrison's strike, something that suited Wednesday, but as the game wore on Blackpool threw more men forward in a desperate search for a leveller.
Phillips fired a warning shot which flew just over Bywater's goal with ten minutes to go.
Wednesday could have secured their progression with a second goal but a Chris O'Grady effort that was dealt with by Gilks was the only real shot of note they managed to create.
And the visitors were hit with the equalising blow in stoppage time. Sedgwick was adjudged to have felled Gary Taylor-Fletcher inside the box and the referee didn't hesitate to point to the spot, despite ignoring calls for a foul on Jermaine Johnson in the lead-up to the penalty.
That man Phillips stepped up and drilled the ball into the back of the net to give Blackpool a second bite of the cherry back at Hillsborough.
Full-Time: Blackpool 1-1 Wednesday
Blackpool: Gilks, Southern (Taylor-Fletcher 52), Eardley, Clarke (Dicko 63), M Phillips, Basham, Cathcart, K Phillips, Angel (Ince 80), Harris, Wilson. Unused substitutes: Bruna, Baptiste, Halstead, Fleck.
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