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Holloway admits old club deserved a point


IAN Holloway admitted Blackpool deserved their point from Selhurst Park on Saturday, describing the match with his former club as a "war".

Palace were held to a 2-2 draw against the Seasiders, thanks to a late equaliser from substitute Nouha Dicko.

In a game where the Eagles looked to have just done enough to claim all three points, good work by Blackpool's man-of-the-match Wes Thomas set up Dicko to fire home from close range.

And the equaliser upset Eagles boss Holloway, who claimed someone on the Blackpool bench looked at him in a funny way, but he was happy his side came out better after a subdued first half showing.

"I recognised a lot of the stuff Blackpool did and how they were doing it and I wanted my new team to hurt them a bit more," he said.

"I had to wait until the second half until we managed to do that. We wasted the first 45 minutes and we didn't get at them so they deserved a point.

"They were delighted at the end but I didn't like the reaction of one of their men on their bench.

"One of them looked straight at me when they equalised. It's a war out there and I carried my shield very proud.

"It was not easy to play down the emotion, I was at Blackpool a long time and had great times, but you have to move on. The second half was much more like us. I took a risk of playing a centre-midfield player at right-back and it almost worked.

"In the end it's taken a wonderful save from one of my favourite Blackpool players Matt Gilks.

"If Glenn [Murray] would have left it, maybe it would have rolled on and been a tap-in, but it was a brilliant run from Bolasie to beat three players."

Michael Appleton's side took the lead thanks to Nathan Delfouneso shortly before the break, but Owen Garvan equalised with a header minutes into the second period.

And Glenn Murray continued his fantastic form at home with his 18th goal of the season, powering home a firm header to put the Eagles 2-1 up.

But in the final minute of normal time, Dicko was on hand to stab the ball home and keep Palace in second place, three points behind leaders Cardiff.

It was a bright start for the visitors as Craig Cathcart headed over from a corner, Isaiah Osbourne scuffed a shot wide and Thomas hooked an effort just the other side of Julian Speroni's post all within the first five minutes.

Palace got back into the game after 15 minutes, with Garvan, Wilfried Zaha and Yannick Bolasie looking particularly bright but without testing Gilks in the Blackpool goal.

Just before the half-hour mark, Zaha had Palace's first chance on goal when he burst into the box down the right and forced a good stop from Gilks.

However, Blackpool took the lead shortly before the break. Tom Ince did well down the right before delivering a dangerous ball towards the back post and Delfouneso got in front of Darcy Blake to head downwards past Speroni.

And they went close again on two more occasions in quick succession through the impressive Thomas, on loan from League 1 outfit Bournemouth.

The striker's first chance came when he beat Blake down the left, cut back inside and shot low towards the near post which Speroni did well to gather, while a minute later, a great ball in from the left found the frontman unmarked to head across goal.

On the stroke of half-time, a hard challenge on Garvan inside the box had the home faithful screaming for a penalty, but the referee wasn't interested.

However, it took just seven minutes to grab the equaliser on 52 minutes thanks to the attacking midfielder.

Zaha burst down the right and played the ball across goal, and with no one on hand to convert, Bolasie turned the ball back into the danger area and Garvan was on hand to head home.

And just 90 seconds later, Garvan nearly put Palace ahead when he clipped the top of the crossbar with a curling free-kick from the edge of the box.

Andre Moritz then came on for Blake soon after as Holloway went looking for a second, while Kagisho Dikgacoi switched to right-back.

On 64 minutes, Palace took the lead thanks to top gcorer Glenn Murray, who powered home an unstoppable header from Garvan's pinpoint cross.

Bolasie went close to adding a third with a free-kick on the left that Gilks looked to have tipped away for a corner, but the referee decided to give a goal-kick instead.

However, Blackpool grabbed an equaliser of their own in the last minute thanks to substitute Dicko.

Good play from Thomas on the right side of the box ended with the striker drilling the ball across the six-yard box and Dicko was on hand to stab home.

Blackpool looked for the winner in the five minutes added on, with substitute Kevin Phillips dragging a shot wide and Ramage intercepting well from Thomas.

Holloway admits old club deserved a point

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