Blackpool’s fairytale start to life in the Premier League continued on Saturday as goals from Charlie Adam and DJ Campbell secured a 2-0 win at Newcastle.
Ian Holloway’s side were widely tipped for an immediate return to the Championship after their surprise promotion via the play-offs last season.
But Holloway’s collection of cast-offs and journeymen have defied the odds to win two of their first four matches and they sit proudly in fourth place after a gutsy display at St James’ Park.
The Seasiders took the lead through Adam’s penalty and, after several fine saves from Matt Gilks, Campbell grabbed the second goal in the final moments to hand Newcastle their first home defeat in 27 matches.
However, the victory was bitter-sweet for Blackpool as it came in the week youth team coach Gary Parkinson was left critically ill in hospital after suffering a stroke.
Newcastle’s defence was carved open by Adam’s 12th minute through-ball and Steve Harper had to block Campbell’s effort at point blank range before turning Brett Ormerod’s follow-up around the post.
The hosts responded through defender Mike Williamson, who met Joey Barton’s 25th minute free-kick with a looping header which evaded Gilks but came back off a post.
Gilks then denied Kevin Nolan after the midfielder had run on to Andy Carroll’s flick-on.
Blackpool were always willing to commit men forward and they took the lead on the stroke of half-time.
Luke Varney surged into the area and Alan Smith conceded a penalty with an untidy challenge.
Adam beat Harper with the resulting penalty and then unveiled a T-shirt bearing the message “4 Parky” in tribute to the club’s ill youth coach.
Newcastle were back on the attack early in the second half and Nolan helped the ball on to Carroll, only for Gilks to make a brave save at the striker’s feet.
When Barton muscled his way into the box the midfielder looked certain to score until Gilks threw out a hand.
Peter Lovenkrands then fired straight at Gilks, who also saved Carroll’s looping header as Newcastle started to take control.
Gilks preserved his side’s lead again when, after Carroll had played Lovenkrands through, he got down well to palm away his firm drive.
However, Gilks saved the best for last when he blocked Carroll’s goal-bound shot with his foot two minutes from time.
His heroics were crucial as Adam found Campbell in the 90th minute and the former Leicester striker fired across Harper into the bottom corner.
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