Campbell 50, 90+1
Dudley [DJ] Campbell must love playing against Sunderland. Five years ago he used the Wearsiders as a stepping stone to a career in the Premier League by scoring Brentford’s two FA Cup winning goals in a fourth round game at Griffin Park. Yesterday in the more illustrious surroundings of the Stadium of Light he was again helping himself to another pair of goals to give Blackpool their fifth away league victory of the season.
To suggest however that the Seasiders deserved to win would be ridiculous, and a score-line of say 5 or 6-2 in favour of the home side would not have flattered them. Goals though win matches and despite at least twelve good scoring opportunities Sunderland managed to avoid hitting the back of the net throughout the entire ninety minutes.
Darren Bent and Asamoah Gyan have cost around £23 million between them but both were guilty of some truly terrible finishing, whilst Sunderland’s midfielders Lee Cattermole, Jordan Henderson and Ahmed Elmohamady all blew glorious opportunities to score. Bent was slightly unfortunate when his lovely 25 yard free-kick curled beyond Richard Kingston to hit the bar, but there was little excuse for the England international’s failure to twice hit the target when left with only the keeper to beat.
Kingston, signed twice by Sunderland manager when he was in charge at Birmingham and Wigan had a fine game, making a great diving save to deny substitute Steed Malbranque, but he should have had no chance when Gyan somehow conspired to head over the bar from just a couple of yards out.
Campbell showed the home forwards how to do it with two second half strikes. He might have got one in the first but Craig Gordon was out superbly, following a brilliant fifty yard run and cut back by substitute Matt Phillips, to push the ball from his toe-caps. However on 50 minutes Neal Eardley’s cross was flicked on by Ian Evatt and Campbell reacted quickly to drive the ball shot into the net from ten yards and send the Blackpool fans behind the goal into joyous celebrations.
His second in injury time came after Phillips, who had a fine game, tricked his way into the box and when his cross picked Campbell out he smashed the ball home off the inside of the bar. Victory for Blackpool, thus ensuring that Sunderland have played and lost to all three promoted teams in the first half of the season.