Both teams came into this match unbeaten and in the top two positions in the league. This was more than just a local derby!
Unfortunately Blackpool yet again started slowly at home. Preston looked the more composed delivering quick passes, making dangerous runs and keeping Blackpool on the back foot. Their sustained pressure brought them several short corners and from one of these Preston scored their first goal after the Blackpool defence was forced out of shape.
The conceeding of early goals sadly isn’t an unusual situation for Blackpool but they consolidated and gradually started to counter-attack. Blackpool’s captain Andy Gerrard, side-lined through injury, decided to make a tactical substitution bringing on new recruit Warren Van Rensburg who immediately showed his class by making a solo run down the whole left flank and by being awarded a short corner. Blackpool began to upset Preston’s rhythm and dominated the end of the half resulting in an equaliser from a short corner when Paul Wareing drilled the ball home from a tight angle on the right.
The second half started with honours even and some hard tackling in midfield. Man of the Match Van Rensburg again made some great runs down the left wing but the Preston defence was too strong and kept cutting out the final ball to the forwards. Blackpool gradually lost their shape and attacked with too many long balls instead of using their normal width.
Preston increased their attacks, determined to win, and at times played with 3 forwards. Despite Blackpool’s defence making numerous saving tackles, they conceded several short corners. Rob Abbott blocked most of them with his quick running from the goal-line. However, five minutes from the end, he was finally eluded and a shot from the top of the D flew into the left corner of the goal past the diving keeper for what would be Preston’s winning goal. This result put Preston clear at the top of the table and left Blackpool mourning the end of their unbeaten run.