ANY point away from home is not to be sneered at, but Town know they let Blackpool off the hook.

If first-half chances and dominance had been hammered home, Peter Jackson and 1,900 travelling fans would have been celebrating a fourth away win of the season.

Instead, they allowed big John Murphy to wipe out Andy Booth's 15th-minute header just six minutes after the re-start and had to defend like demons just to return with a point.

Jackson - who takes his team back to Bloomfield Road tomorrow night in the LDV Vans Trophy second round - was disappointed at the outcome but remains optimistic about how the campaign is unfolding.

"We are still building and we are still in a great position in the table," he said.

"Obviously we would have liked to have won, especially after the quality football we produced in the second half, but at least we didn't lose after letting Blackpool back into the game.

"It was important, without playing particularly well, that we came away with something for our efforts and that's at least one thing to be pleased about.

"The lingering frustration is that we know we should have had it all sewn up by half time.

"Boothy took his goal outstandingly well and, from the sort of delivery that Tony Carss provided, you would back him to score all day long, but we could easily have been two or three goals up and it would have been game over.

"We talked at half time about the importance of keeping things tight and not allowing Blackpool to score, but the break - which couldn't come fast enough for Blackpool - disrupted our pattern, the equaliser gave them a massive lift and, after that, we didn't really create anything at all.

"That was disappointing, but we know we are a good side for 30 and 40-minute spells, we just need to produce it for longer."

Blackpool are still without a home win all season and they must have feared another defeat when, with 14 minutes and 20 seconds on the clock, Booth timed his run brilliantly at the near post to head in Carss' inswinging corner.

It was the ideal way to mark his 250th League game for the club and he should have had another goal to his name only four minutes later.

This time, excellent build-up play by the dangerous Chris Brandon and hard-working Anthony Lloyd led to a shooting chance for Pawel Abbott which keeper Lee Jones could only block.

Booth's headed follow-up was then booted from the line when the goal was at his mercy, but Blackpool still didn't tighten up at the back.

Jones was lucky to escape when dropping the ball at Lloyd's feet from the Worthington cross, while Booth shaved the crossbar with another powerful header from Carss' free-kick and Abbott lobbed the ball over the keeper and bar as the half drew to a close.

At that stage, Phil Senior had barely been called into action - fielding just one weak shot from Peter Clarke as Colin Hendry's side looked a pale shadow of the one which trounced Brentford 3-0 on their own patch the previous week.

His half-time team talk worked a treat, however.

And while in the first half it was Blackpool who were standing off and Town who were playing fluent, attractive, attacking football, in the second period the roles were reversed.

Roared on by their support, Blackpool upped the tempo, took control of midfield and put Town under plenty of pressure once Murphy had put them level from Danny Coid's deep but looping back-post corner.

If the defending should have been better on that occasion, it could not be faulted for the rest of the game as Efe Sodje and David Mirfin came up with brave and valuable blocks while Nathan Clarke again caught the eye with imperious covering.

Senior saved well from Robert Clare and then produced a breathtaking one-handed block from Simon Grayson, who was being flagged offside.

Senior also held a fierce Coid left footer with 14 minutes to go while Town sent on Akpo Sodje in an effort to snatch it, but weren't passing well enough.

Man of the Match: Nathan Clarke

DID as much as anyone to thwart Blackpool when they were on top in the second half. Jacko is confident of him signing a new contract this week. Fantastic news.

Next: How they rated >>>


Phil Senior Solid show on his 22nd birthday. Unbelievable save from Grayson when he was offside and caught the ball well Rating: 7/10

Andy Holdsworth Put in some good crosses first half and had a couple of shots deflected off the target. Kept close watch on the dangerous Burns Rating: 7/10

Anthony Lloyd Unlucky not to score after following in a Worthington cross and worked hard against the threat of Danny Coid Rating: 6/10

Nathan Clarke Always seemed to be there when Town were stretched defensively and read the game superbly. Top class Rating: 9/10

Efe Sodje Excellent first half and pretty solid throughout, he marked Murphy well and will be annoyed the striker equalised Rating: 8/10

David Mirfin A tremendous block to prevent Coid testing Senior at the end summed up another committed display Rating: 7/10

Tony Carss Quality corner for the Town goal and some exquisite set pieces, but he struggled to get into the second-half mix Rating: 6/10

Jon Worthington Put in a couple of early strong tackles to make his mark, but Blackpool held the midfield sway the longer play went on Rating: 6/10

Chris Brandon Terrific in the first half, it was a shame Town couldn't get him on the ball more in the second. Tricky and dangerous Rating: 7/10

Andy Booth Marked his 250th League game for the club with a trademark near-post header and used the ball splendidly Rating: 8/10

Pawel Abbott Missed a couple of good chances in the first half and suffered from poor service in the second. Came off Rating: 7/10

Blackpool: Jones, Richardson, Evans, Clare,Clarke, Coid, Wellens, Grayson, Burns, Taylor, Murphy. Subs not used: Ilic, Southern, Parker, R Edwards, Doughty.