Phil Clarkson fired in a late winner as Blackpool damaged Fulham’s pursuit of promotion from the Second Division by coming from behind to win at Bloomfield Road this afternoon.
Ray Wilkins’ side looked in complete control for much of the match having started the stronger with Paul Peschisolido and new signing Tony Thorpe both denied by home goalkeeper Steve Banks in the early stages. The big-spending Londoners did take the lead midway through the first half when £2.1m centre back Chris Coleman headed home Steve Hayward’s corner to score his first goal for the club since signing from Blackburn Rovers last December.
But Blackpool were enlivened by Nigel Worthington’s double substitution at half time that saw Junior Bent and Lee Philpott replace Chris Malkin and Jasion Lydiate. Philpott made both goals as the home side scored twice in the final thirteen minutes to stun a crestfallen Wilkins. First, the substitute swing in a right-wing corner that Andy Preece nodded home unattended at the near post and then he flicked on John Hills’ cross into the path of Clarkson who beat Fulham goalkeeper Maik Taylor from thirteen yards after taking a touch.
BLACKPOOL (5-3-2): Banks; Lydiate (Philpott 45), Hills, Hughes, Linighan, Butler; Clarkson, Bryan, Brabin (Carlisle 87); Preece, Malkin (J. Bent 45).
GOALS: Preece (77), Clarkson (85).
FULHAM (4-4-2): Taylor; Lawrence, Brevett, Neilson (Blake 68), Coleman; Bracewell, Hayward, Smith, Trollope; Peschisolido, Thorpe (Freeman 72). Subs (not used): Carpenter.
BOOKED: Trollope, Lawrence.
GOAL: Coleman (24).
REFEREE: Mike Dean (The Wirrall).