THE third round of the FA Cup is still a special day in the football calendar for me, the day when the big boys join in.
Dreams of a giant-killing run to Wembley and of playing unfamiliar teams or a cracking local derby like this one, all begin on this day.
It is also a relief for players and fans alike from the pressures of a disappointing league campaign so far. The good news started with the announcement of the team, with Neil Danns being welcomed back and two forwards named up front.
Medo Kamara came in to allow Jay Spearing a much-needed rest, and it all worked from the start as Wanderers tore into Blackpool, creating chance after chance. David Ngog scored a great individual goal to put us in the lead and it was unbelievable that we were level at half time after Tom Barkhuizen scored an equally good goal and Blackpool won the debate as to whether Ricardo Fuller was interfering with play. We began the second half on the attack and soon restored our lead after some good work by Ngog who squared it across for Beckford to poke in.
After that the match developed into a rousing cup tie with chances at both end and Wanderers keeper Andy Lonergan earning his keep. The result and the performance must give everyone a boost.
Everyone played well. Zat Knight and Alex Baptiste kept Fuller and Tom Ince quiet all afternoon.
In fact, restored captain Knight never put a foot wrong. Well done big fella!
Medo and Danns ran midfield with Jermaine Beckford and Ngog looking like a partnership in attack.
The whole team looked more comfortable in this formation. Everyone knew what they were doing and the movement and support was there for all to see.
This must give food for thought to Dougie, especially for home matches.
The 4-4-2 formation might be old fashioned, but it works.
It ended the Tangerine dream and lifted the gloom a bit for us after all the bad news recently.
Now let’s look forward to the next round.