FA Cup trail begins against Blackpool

Last updated : 08 December 2003 By Alex Dale
Second Division Blackpool may have a glorious past, but in recent years, Matthews and Mortensen must have seemed centuries ago. Since dropping out of the top flight for the final time in 1971, the Seasiders have hit the bottom division three times - as recently as 2000!

Blackpool fans must have feared the worst this as they were demolished 5-0 on the opening day of the season by title favourites Queens Park Rangers, before falling two goals behind to Wycombe Wanderers in the next match. A revival lead to a 3-2 turnaround and since then 'Pool haven't looked back as they surged up the table, currently loitering just outside the play-offs - in 11th, yet only a point behind Bournemouth, who are sixth. A key player has been in-form Scott Taylor who hit his 20th of the season in the 5-2 demolition of Oldham at Boundary Park.

Taylor's hat-trick plus goals from Keith Southern and and Leam Richardson meant Blackpool eased through to the third round with their second big win of the Cup campaign - they had previously rolled over Borehamwood 4-0 at Bloomfield Road.

Can Blackpool cause Portsmouth problems? They have built their success this season largely on their defence - and at the moment Portsmouth would have problems hitting the side of a water buffalo.

If only, then, Rowan Vine wasn't cup-tied. The striker scored a wonder goal for Colchester United as they edged past Hampshire's own Aldershot.