Date: 28th October 2012 at 10:31am
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Ashley Barnes put an end to Albion’s goal drought but it was not enough to halt the winless run as they were deservedly pegged back by a fired up Blackpool.

In truth, Poyet’s men were fortunate to emerge with a point, having been put under an almost continual barrage of attacks from the hosts, but a combination of wasteful finishing and heroic defending – from Adam El-Abd and Tomasz Kuszczak in particular – saw them hang in for a share of the spoils.

The Tangerines instantly shot onto the front foot, and Kuszczak was called into action almost straight away, firstly beating out a Tom Ince effort, after the gifted winger had sauntered down the right, and then managing to get something on a snap shot from Gary Taylor-Fletcher, to divert the ball over.

Again Taylor-Fletcher had the chance hand Blackpool an early lead, but his glancing header from the resulting corner just evaded the right-hand post. Isaiah Osbourne also wasted two half chances, before Andrew Crofts forged Albion’s only real chance of the half as he created space in the area but spooned his effort high and wide.

Blackpool continued their search for an opener as defender Alex Baptiste burst forward to unleash a 25-yard drive that went narrowly over. Another scare or two later after the half-time break, and the Seagulls somehow found themselves ahead, against the run of play – as Barnes found himself in the right place to prod his side ahead.

El-Abd lofted a free-kick towards goal, before Craig Mackail-Smith’s headed flick on made it into the path of Crofts who, after drawing Matt Gilks off his line, managed to get a stud on the ball, knocking it sideways for Barnes to tap into an empty net with no defender in sight – a true defensive muck-up to add to Blackpool’s frustrations as Albion looked to pull off a potential smash and grab.

Holloway’s men went in search of an instant response, and Ince somehow scooped over from close range after good work from Matt Phillips on the left. But they didn’t have to wait much longer for their equaliser, as Phillips delivered a cross of real quality from the right, finding Elliot Grandin on the edge of the six yard box, who powered home with a well-met header.

It sparked the home side to lift their tempo several notches further, and Grandin nearly notched a second, but his fierce 25-yard drive was brilliantly tipped over by Kuszczak in the Brighton net – one-handed and at full stretch. Stalwart Ian Evatt then headed agonizingly over from the following corner, as Albion wondered how much longer they’d be able to hold on.

As the home side threw men forward, however, spaces developed at the back for Albion to exploit, and they nearly did that when Will Buckley tore down the right before chipping the ball back for Mackail-Smith to nearly score a spectacular over-head kick, but Gilks was equal to it. Kuszczak then pulled off another fine stop up the other end, keeping out Angel Martinez’ low drive from distance.

During a frantic, end-to-end final 5 minutes, Andrea Orlandi also had a glorious chance to steal the points for Albion – after good-work again from Buckley, the Spaniard latched onto his low cross, but could only steer his weak right-footed effort into the path of Gilks. Regardless, a point was a very welcome one from a game of such one-sidedness!