The Game: Blackpool came out swinging, that's for sure, but it seemed that after their initial pushing the lads were able to settle everything down a bit and get them on their heels. And though Alan Smith's entirely ill advised tackle in the box that resulted in a walk to the locker room down 1 instead of even is what most will mark as the moment of the half, what the first half really boiled down to was missed chances. At this level of play every team from the bottom of the table to the top will eventually come calling for cash on your missed chances. Not to take anything at all away from a Blackpool squad that stayed disciplined and a Keeper in Gilks that indeed kept a clean sheet, but too many times we beat the man, without beating the post or booting it out of play all together. Those chances have to be on target, in this league you must work the Keeper. Out of twenty-two shots, seven were on target. Seven! Too many times in that first half we were thinking: it should be 1-0. Instead Alan Smith's gaff in haste puts us down 0-1 in the 45th minute of all times. And it was a gaff, wasn't it? We'll have none of this speculation that he may have gotten a piece of the ball, it was a stupid tackle, ill timed and ill fated as it turned out. It doesn't matter one bit that Lee Mason's interpretation of the rules seemed, well, liquid to put it mildly.
The Takeaway: There are a couple of ways to look at this match going forward. You could decide at this moment, that this team is doomed to relegation again, like I've heard from a few already. If you do I dub the nottruefan. You could also dispense with all the panic and overreaction and realize the following: this is a lost game. Singular. To a side that is playing well above their level. We've 4 points from 4 games. We've showed great poise at times and great promise. We've also shown areas in definite need of improvement.
NUFC Side: Harper, Perch-Booked 47, Williamson, Coloccini-Booked 72, Enrique, Routledge (Ameobi, 81), Smith (Lovenkrands, 63), Barton, Gutierrez (Ben Arfa, 73), Nolan, Carroll
Unused Subs: Krul, Campbell, R Taylor, Tiote
Blackpool Side: Gilks, Keinan, Earley, Evatt, Crainey, Vaughan-Booked 25, Adam-Booked 71, Ormerod (Harewood, 65), Grandin (Carney, 85), Varney, Campbell-Booked 90
Unused Subs: Halstead, Euell, Phillips, Edwards