Early Fuller strike condemns Town to defeat
Ricardo Fuller’s fourth minute goal condemned Town to another defeat on the road in the Sky Bet Championship.
The Jamaican, who scored in the return fixture earlier this season, drove home from the edge of the area after Town had gifted the home team the ball.
Relegation threatened Pool, who had won just once in 20 matches before the game, kept Town’s attackers quiet throughout the 90 minutes.
Nahki Wells came closest to levelling with a 30 yard drive and also had the ball in the back of the net, but was deemed offside by the official.
Keith Southern returned to face his former employees; James Vaughan made his first start since a calf injury and Anthony Gerrard retook his place in the centre of defence as Mark Robins made three changes to the team that lost against Blackburn.
However, the Terriers’ solitary shot during the entire first half adequately summed up their efforts during the opening period.
And it was going to take plenty more than that after the Terriers had once again gifted their opponents a goal.
Southern’s pass to Adam Hammill was lacking purpose and David Perkins skipped clear before releasing the powerful Ricardo Fuller. The Jamaican took the ball in his stride before firing home left footed past Alex Smithies.
That was after Town had made a bright start to the contest though, with Hammill almost finding Vaughan in the box with a low cross.
It could have got worse for the Terriers with Tony McMahon seeing a free-kick turned around the past by Smithies just a few minutes after the opener. From the resulting corner, Smithies gleefully dived on a loose ball following a scramble in his six yard area.
McMahon’s set-pieces were causing Town headaches and had Kirk Broadfoot connected better with a header from six yards out, the task could have doubled.
A full away end at Bloomfield Road had to wait until the 30th minute before seeing Pool stopper Matthew Gilks called into action. The Scottish ‘keeper dived low to keep out fellow native Paul Dixon’s daisy cutter.
Calum Woods and Oliver Norwood came on within six minutes of one another as Robins reverted from 3-5-2 to 4-4-2.
As a consequence, Hammill was now on the left wing at the start of the second half and in the 50th minute he drove at Kevin Foley before picking out Vaughan at the far post. The striker’s header back across goal was into a good area, but Blackpool had plenty of men back and cleared well.
Town could sense an equaliser and went close twice on the hour mark through Norwood and then Wells, who forced Gilks into a decent save with a drive from 30 yards.
The Terriers did have the ball in the back of the net with just over 15 minutes to play, but Wells was deemed offside after tapping home Adam Clayton’s rebounded shot.
Even the introduction of Danny Ward didn’t inspire Town, who failed to trouble Gilks in the remaining minutes.
Town’s team (3-5-2):
Alex Smithies; Murray Wallace (Calum Woods, 39), Anthony Gerrard, Peter Clarke (c); Paul Dixon, Jonathan Hogg (Oliver Norwood, 46), Keith Southern (Danny Ward, 80), Adam Clayton, Adam Hammill; Nahki Wells, James Vaughan
Ian Bennett, Sean Scannell, Duane Holmes, Harry Bunn
Bookings Town: Nahki Wells 46, Adam Clayton 61, Anthony Gerrard 69, Calum Woods 82