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Wednesday, 16 May, 2001, 20:27 GMT 21:27 UK
Blackpool reach play-off final
Mark Tinkler (l) and Phil Clarkson battle for the ball
Mark Tinkler (l) and Phil Clarkson battle for the ball
Division Three play-off semi-final, 2nd leg

Hartlepool 1-3 Blackpool (agg: 1-5)

A Brett Ormerod double and a header from John Hills proved enough to send Blackpool to the Third Division play-off final where they will meet Leyton Orient.

Kevin Henderson scored the goal of the night for Hartlepool, to make it 1-1 on the night.

But Blackpool, leading 2-0 from the first leg, then took charge to win 3-1 on the night.

Hartlepool were also reduced to 10 men by a red card for substitute Jermaine Easter.

It was Hartlepool's second successive play-off semi-final loss after their defeat to Darlington last season.

Blackpool deservedly grabbed the lead in the 21st minute when Gary Parkinson whipped in a freekick from the left and Ormerod powered the header past Tony Williams in the Hartlepool goal.

The chances for a quick reply was lost when James Sharp's cross was weakly headed wide by Henderson.

Blackpool almost put the game out of reach four minutes later when Ormerod again burst clear but Chris Westwood made a last-ditch tackle to stop him.

Blackpool came out on the offensive in the second half. Parkinson swung the ball across to Richard Wellens who fed it into John Murphy's path but the big striker fired a low shot wide.


In the 48th minute the home side's faint hopes were lifted by a stunning goal.

Paul Stephenson swung in a pacy ball from the right, Tommy Miller missed the header but Henderson thundered the ball in on the volley for his 19th ball of the season, giving Blackpool goalkeeper Phil Barnes no chance.

But within a minute Blackpool restored their lead on the night and their advantage on aggregate when Hills headed in at the far post from Ormerod's cross.

Three minutes later the game would have been surely wrapped up but for an atrocious miss by Tommy Jasczsun who contrived to put the ball wide from a yard.

The home side then had Easter sent off for a reckless challenge on Brian Reid just outside the box.

Hartlepool's hopes were finally crushed in the 67th minute when Wellens fed a clever ball wide to Hills and his cross was met by Ormerod who claimed his 25th goal of the season.

Nothing was going right for Hartlepool and in the 69th minute Barnes made a great save to push Henderson's effort wide after the striker was released by a clever one-two.

Hartlepool: Williams, Barron, Westwood, Sharp, Knowles, Clark, Tinkler, Stephenson, Miller, Lormor, Henderson. Subs: Midgley, Lee, Easter, Fitzpatrick, Hollund.

Blackpool: Barnes, Parkinson, Jaszczun, Reid, Shittu, Hills, Clarkson, Wellens, Coid, John Murphy, Ormerod. Subs: Bushell, Hughes, Mike Milligan, Kennedy, Jamie Milligan.

Referee: U Rennie (Sheffield).

See also:

15 May 01 |  Football
Pressure grows on managers
14 May 01 |  Eng Div 3
McMahon's play-off pleasure
12 May 01 |  Eng Div 3
Ormerod raises Blackpool hopes
Links to more Eng Div 3 stories are at the foot of the page.


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