John Smith's PNE Fans' Panel verdict: Paying the price for lack of options for manager

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A few weeks ago a bronze sculpture of comedian Ken Dodd was unveiled in Blackpool's Grand Theatre in recognition of his 60 years service to the town as a musical entertainer.

Having endured almost as lengthy a time following our club I should be more than used to disappointment, but to coin the punch line of his upbeat signature tune "Happiness " it is true to say I experienced less than my fair share of it in what was definitely not a tattyfilarious day out at the seaside.

Twice during this game our defence were made to look like "diddy men" when they were out jumped in our own penalty area, with one of the two headed goals conceded in this manner being the killer third which virtually ended our hopes of taking anything from this game.

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At half time the teams left the field level to the sounds of "That's Entertainment " and although I had seen better games it was fairly appropriate as it had been a typical blood and thunder derby which had seen my emotions change as the pendulum swung from one end to another.

Blackpool's Jerry Yates’s header beats Preston North End's Freddie Woodman to score his team’s third goalBlackpool's Jerry Yates’s header beats Preston North End's Freddie Woodman to score his team’s third goal
Blackpool's Jerry Yates’s header beats Preston North End's Freddie Woodman to score his team’s third goal

In the second half we continued where we had left off from the back end of the first on the front front having managed to silence a partisan home crowd who at this point in the match seemed to be a little nervous.

We now looked the more likely team to score although we failed to create anything meaningful but we were then felled by a sucker punch from the home side’s Charlie Patino.

This really was a humiliating experience and one on a par with our visit to this same venue a year ago.

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If we had won this game we would have probably been deemed as world beaters on the message boards of social media, instead of posts by disgruntled fans calling for everybody to go.

However this is just one game in a 46- game season and for me it was a case of a mediocre Championship side being beaten by a less-than-average one who upped their workrate and rose to the occasions.

The game illustrated our lack of effective striking options with Emil Riis operating as a lone forward when I thought that if we could have played with two. It would then have put more pressure on the home sides vulnerable defence.

The goals leaked also exposed the lack of quality cover options for injured defenders available for Ryan Lowe at this moment in time.

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In my opinion the foundations for this dismal result were firmly laid at the start of the season after not recruiting at least another striker in the summer transfer window.

Over the last few seasons nothing has really changed at the club in terms of major investment and we have basically just been treading water in the division.

By the time the January window comes round we might even need a rubber ring thrown in the pool just to keep us afloat.

If before this game the derby bragging rights were in the middle of a field of the M55 stuck on barbed wire leaning slightly towards the white side of the fence, by the end of it the equivalent of a huge gust of wind had blown them as far as the Central Pier, and I for one needed more than one of Ken Dodd"s tickling sticks to raise a smile on Saturday night.