Lee Peltier goal seals away point for United...
BLACKPOOL 1 (Ince 65), UNITED 1 (Peltier 25).
Blackpool: Gilks, Cathcart, Broadfoot, MacKenzie, Robinson, Basham, Ferguson, Gosling (Delfouneso 63), Bishop, Ince, Chopra (Davies 82). Subs. Warner, Blackett, Angel, Dobbie, Barkhuizen.
United: Kenny, Lees, Zaliukas, Pearce, Peltier, Pugh, Brown, Tonge, Austin, McCormack, Smith. Subs. Cairns, Wootton, Warnock, Byram, Ariyibi, Poleon, Varney.
Referee: S Mathieson
Booked: Broadfoot (Blackpool)
Sent Off: Broadfoot (Blackpool)
Att: 15,552 (1,696 Leeds)
United manager Brian McDermott made two changes to his team for the Boxing Day clash at Bloomfield Road. Midfield duo Michael Brown and Michael Tonge came into the starting 11 for Alex Mowatt and the suspended Luke Murphy.
There was a return to the matchday squad for the fit-again Scott Wootton and there was also a place on the bench for the first time for Gboly Ariyibi.
The opening 15 minutes saw little in the way of goalmouth action for either side and it was a fairly even start to the contest.
The game continued in the same manner until the 25th minute of the match when United took the lead. Good hold up play from Tonge left time for Danny Pugh to get in an advanced postion on the left, he crossed the ball and Lee Peltier's looping header at the back post evaded the goalkeeper and gave United the lead. The goal was Peltier's first for the club.
The home side had a good chance to level just minutes later when a corner was headed towards goal but good defending by Pugh blocked the effort.
Another corner for the home side brought the next chance just after the half-hour mark. Tom Ince was the man with the delivery and Kirk Broadfoot met the cross, but smashed his header over the crossbar.
The United defence dealt with everything that the home side had to offer in the first half with Marius Zaliukas and Tom Lees thwarting the Blackpool attackers. United had a half chance to double their advantage with minutes of the half remaining when Ross McCormack was put through. The Scot was up against two defenders and he was eventually crowded out.
A chance came United's way early in the second half when Jason Pearce clipped a Tonge corner towards goal, but his effort went just wide of the mark.
There was chances for both sides with the hour mark approaching. First Jack Robinson struck a superb effort from distance that went over Paddy Kenny's crossbar, then Rudy Austin latched onto a poor clearance but his shot went wide.
On 65 minutes the home side were awarded a free-kick just yards outside the box. Barry Ferguson floated the ball into a packed penalty area, which United cleared but Ince pounced on the clearance and smashed the ball goalwards. The shot took a deflection and hit the back of the net.
Moments later United had a free-kick of their own on the edge of the box when McCormack was brought down by Broadfoot. The Scot stepped up and took the deadball but the wall did its job and the ball went over the bar.
With 15 minutes remaining Blackpool's goalscorer threatened once again when he cut in from the wing, but the attacker's strike went just wide of Kenny's left-hand post.
As the game went into the final 10 minutes it was the home side doing most of the pressing but it was United who had the best chance. McCormack was close to nicking a soft backpass but Gilks just managed to clear the ball.
In the 90th minute the home side were dealt a late blow when defender Broadfoot was shown a straight red card for a bad challenge on Zaliukas.
The sending off proved to be the final action of the match as United reamain unbeaten in the month of December.