Nottingham Forest 0 - 0 Crewe Alexandra
Last game of the season, everything to play for. Brizzle win and they are up. Brizzle draw and we win and we are up. Brizzle lose and we draw and we are up. Unless Brizzle lose, we draw and Blackpool win. In which case they are up. Not too complicated really.
Same line-up as usual: Smith, Curtis, Chambers, Breckin (c), Wright, Prutton, McGugan, Perchio, Commons, Lester, Grant (POY)
The first fifteen minutes saw an almost full-house making as much noise as I have ever heard at the City Ground. Until news of Brizzle's lead. Then everything went sombre and stayed that way. Can't fault the players - Crewe came to give Dario Grady a good send off and we tried everything to get a goal. (Incidentally I have seen some reports on the web calling us negative. I presume that these people are blind, deaf and somewhat stupid cos the only way you could call us negative is in the zero goals for).
But it didn't happen. Brizzle extended their lead and rightfully claimed second place. Blackpool went through a rollercoaster of a game and beat Swansea 6-3. We hit the post and had two cleared off the line but just had one of those days. Nothing fell for Grant, Commons was having an off day, Prutton was a headless chicken and Jack picked up his fourteenth booking of the season. That last point worries me - what if he gets booked in the first leg of the semis? Isn't that an automatic three match suspension for fifteen bookings?
So a fourth place finish and the play-offs it is. If we get past Yeovil (I'm taking nothing for granted) then it's likely to be Blackpool at New Wembley. I would put us as the third best side in the division (I did not see all of our opposition this season but I did see most of the home games) - not fourth as the table states. But, unfortunately, every division has its own characteristics: to win the Premiership you need skill, determination and cash. To win the Championship you need organisation and defence. To win League One you need unity and momentum. Blackpool have tons of it. Ours has appeared to fizzle out.
I really don't want to play Leeds next year. Just for once, don't let me down Breckin and co.
PS: Highlight of the game: as the players did their "lap of honour" and a few fans invaded the pitch - the black police dog thought all his Christmas's had come at once. Proper straining at the leash to get his teeth in to some Garibaldi ass.