Blackpool made three changes after the disappointing result against Norwich. Coid - who played well in that game - had a hamstring problem, so Michael Jackson returned to the centre of defence, with Barker moving to right back. Taylor-Fletcher was replaced by Welsh on the wing, while up front Burgess came in for Morrell. The conditions were not good, a strong blustery wind making long balls difficult to judge.
The game kicked off, and immediately it was clear that QPR were a very poor team, far worse than Norwich who are below them in the league. Their individual skills were moderate, and their passing was slow and inaccurate. Nevertheless it was QPR who generated the first chance of any kind, as Rachubka tipped a shot over the bar, and then had to be alert to clear the subsequent corner. Blackpool were struggling to create any sort of concerted attack, and indeed throughout the game there were few occasions when they took the ball at the flanks of the defence. Certainly in the early stages the moments of excitement came when a long ball found its way to an attacker, usually Slusarski, who showed some good skills but was denied each time by a good tackle. Naturally enough Burgess saw a lot of action, winning a good number of the long high balls, but there was rarely anyone there to collect the knock-downs.
The referee had annoyed the home crowd by a couple of inconsistent decisions, but now had pushed them over the top. As QPR attacked, a Blackpool defender stepped in with a tackle on the edge of the box, which sent the ball rolling back towards Rachubka. The keeper stopped it with his foot then glanced at the referee. He apparently thought he had been given some sort of assurance because he bent and picked up the ball, but the referee immediately blew for an indirect free kick. Happily, after the protests had died down, the kick came to nothing - a pass was rolled back for a shot, but it was blocked over the bar.
There were no more real chances at either end as the game trickled towards half time, but Blackpool were standing back, failing to put pressure on QPR and generally making the visitors, a very poor side, look like the better team.
After the switch Blackpool were attacking the North end of the ground, their preferred end in the second half, and they began with a little more purpose than they had finished before the break. However before very long Slusarski landed awkwardly after jumping for a high ball on the wing, and had to be replaced by Morrell. The pressure was starting to come entirely from Blackpool, and in fact Rachubka did not have a serious save to make in the entire half, but the pressure was not being turned into attacking chances. Welsh in particular seemed entirely uninterested, failing to challenge for the ball and contributing so little that just before the hour Grayson was forced to remove him and send on Taylor-Fletcher. Welsh stormed off down the tunnel, but he can have no complaints - his performance was very poor and exactly what Blackpool did not need.
As time went on Blackpool's chances got better, and from one in particular there should have been no mistake. Hoolahan ran up the middle into the box, he was fouled on the edge of the area but advantage was played and he slipped the ball to Morrell, clear in front of the keeper. He tried to slide a shot into the corner but the keeper got a hand down and managed to parry. Taylor-Fletcher was onto it but could not find room for a shot, so he took it wide and hit a cross back into the centre but Burgess, on the far post, headed into the side netting.
A Fox free kick near the edge of the box struck the wall and went clear, and Crainey hit two very good free kicks from further out, swerving into the area at head height, but each time a defender managed to clear for a corner. Morrell broke free into the box wide on the left, but his cross was too hard and evaded Taylor-Fletcher in front of an open goal. Burgess had a close ranged shot saved from another cross, as the game moved toward added time.
This result should give Blackpool some confidence, which they will badly need with away games against Scunthorpe and Preston coming in the next week. They dominated a poor QPR, especially in the second half, and it appeared that their old failing to turn pressure into goals would cost them the victory. Happily they pressed right to the end, and this time they got their reward. Not a great game, but a great result.
Team: (4-4-2): Rachubka, Barer, Jackson (Capt), Gorkss, Crainey, Hoolahan, Southern (Fox 13), Jorgensen, Welsh (Taylor-Fletcher 59), Burgess, Slusarski (Morrell 53)
Subs not used: Evatt, Parker