Blackpool see off Southend
Michael Jackson's late extra-time winner saw Blackpool beat Southend 2-1 in a tense game at Bloomfield Road.
Last Updated: 25/09/07 11:09pm
Michael Jackson was the hero for Blackpool after coming off the bench to seal an extra-time victory over Southend.
Simon Grayson rested six players for the clash and almost paid for it when Southend took the lead with Matt Harrold's seventh-minute penalty.
But Blackpool striker Scott Vernon struck on 81 minutes to spare the Championship side's blushes and take the game into extra-time.
With a penalty shoot-out looming, defender Jackson entered the fray to stab home the winner three minutes from time.
Southend began well when Charlie MacDonald was brought down in the box by goalkeeper Rhys Evans. Harrold stepped up and he buried his shot straight down the middle.
Southend full-back Adam Barrett denied Blackpool an instant reply when he cleared the ball off the line
Blackpool took time to find their feet but midway through the half they eventually began to dominate possession.
The impressive Andy Welsh exchanged passes with Vernon to get to the by-line in the 27th minute, but Keigan Parker somehow managed to side-foot over from six yards.
Parker then picked out Welsh at the far post but the former Sunderland winger's volley rolled agonisingly wide.
Blackpool failed to keep the pressure on heading into the break but showed greater urgency following the restart.
Grayson threw on midfielder Wes Hoolahan and it was a superb run by the substitute that finally unlocked the Southend defence.
Hoolahan skipped past Lewis Hunt, and although his shot was blocked by a covering defender on the line, Welsh squared for Vernon to side-foot home and take the game into extra-time.
Substitute Jackson looked to have put Blackpool in front when he met a Welsh cross but the Seasiders skipper glanced his diving header across goal.
However, the veteran defender made no mistake in the 117th minute, stabbing home at the back post after Southend failed to clear Welsh's corner.