A LATE equaliser from Josh Bowler earned 10-man Blackpool what could prove a vital point in a thrilling 2-2 draw with fellow Championship strugglers Huddersfield.
Bowler pounced in the 90th minute to add to Andy Lyons’ effort and cancel out goals from Matty Pearson and Josh Koroma, ensuring it finished honours even in a full-blooded encounter at Bloomfield Road.
The draw means it is now 12 games without a win in the Championship for Mick McCarthy’s men, who at least ended a run of two consecutive defeats to remain 23rd in the table while the Terriers are 22nd.
The visitors had the better of the early exchanges, with the first real opening coming in the 18th minute when Martyn Waghorn’s effort was well saved by Chris Maxwell in the Blackpool goal.
Just three minutes later it was Jonathan Hogg’s turn to come close for Town, firing past the left-hand post after a set-piece routine.
It took the home side a while to grow into the game, who responded with efforts from Jerry Yates and Sonny Carey as they looked to hit their opponents on the counter.
But it was the Terriers whose dominance was finally rewarded when Pearson prodded the ball home after Blackpool failed to clear the danger on the edge of their own area.
The Tangerines rallied in the closing stages of the first half with Carey and Curtis Nelson both having opportunities to level.
Their job was made all the more difficult seconds before the break, however, when Gary Madine received a straight red card for what appeared to be an elbow on Tom Lees.
A goal to the good and with a man advantage, the Terriers looked to assert their dominance after the break and could have extended their lead with David Kasumu and Waghorn both missing good opportunities.
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Scott High and Lees also had opportunities to double the visitors’ lead while Kenny Dougall blazed his effort high and wide following a rare sortie into the opposition half by the home side.
And the visitors were made to rue their missed chances when ex-Shamrick Rovers player Lyons found the bottom corner with a clever effort with the outside of his boot from the right-hand side of the box in the 82nd minute.
It was the 22-year-old’s first goal since leaving the Hoops to move to the Championship in January.
Huddersfield appeared to have snatched all three points when Koroma steered the ball home from the edge of the box with four minutes on the clock to send the travelling Town fans wild with delight.
But with the home side staring a third straight defeat in the face, Bowler popped up to force the ball home from close range and give Mick McCarthy his first point as Blackpool manager on his 64th birthday.