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Gary Madine nets equaliser as Blackpool claim Championship draw with QPR

Blackpool v Queens Park Rangers – Sky Bet Championship – Bloomfield Road
(Image credit: Richard Sellers)

Gary Madine bagged a precious equaliser as Blackpool earned a well-deserved Championship point in a battling 1-1 home draw with QPR.

Midfielder Chris Willock fired the visitors into a welcome 26th-minute lead against the run of play with his third league goal of the season.

But striker Madine levelled from the penalty spot nine minutes after the break to secure a point for the hosts.

QPR goalkeeper Seny Dieng felled midfielder Jordan Gabriel in the penalty box and Madine made no mistake with the resulting spot-kick to claim his second goal of the season.

However, it could have so easily been a victory for the Seasiders who had a Madine goal ruled out for offside early in an absorbing contest at Bloomfield Road.

Madine prodded the ball home in the sixth minute from Kenny Dougall’s header, but referee Josh Smith chalked the goal out.

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley rang the changes for his side’s televised clash with The R’s, with four in total from Wednesday night’s frustrating 1-0 defeat to Stoke.

On-loan Crewe forward Owen Dale was handed his first start for the hosts, while Madine replaced fellow centre-forward Jerry Yates.

Injured defender Richard Keogh missed out and Reece James got a chance in his place, while Josh Bowler returned to the starting line-up.

QPR manager Mark Warburton opted for two changes to his team which claimed a commendable 1-0 midweek away win over Cardiff.

Skipper Stefan Johansen was sidelined with illness and Watford loan striker Andre Gray also missed out for the visitors for their trip to the Lancashire coast.

That allowed Willock the chance to shine and also Luke Amos, who made the starting XI as well.

But it was the home side who started the brighter and Madine thought he had given the Seasiders the lead, only to see his effort ruled out.

Dougall had a good chance just a minute after Madine’s chalked-out goal, but his shot was blocked as Blackpool forced the pace in front of a crowd of 11,769.

And then the visitors took a surprise lead with the first shot of the half.

Gabriel was guilty of letting Willock cut inside on his right foot and his sweet curler flew into the far-right corner.

James Husband headed the ball over from close range just before the break as the hosts came close to equalising.

But they were back on level terms early in the second half and it was Madine who had the ball in the back of the net for a second time – only this time his fine finish from the penalty spot was not ruled out.

The striker rifled the ball into the bottom left-hand corner for his second goal in four games.

Madine fired an effort wide with a left-footed shot shortly after the hour mark and substitute Sonny Carey struck the outside of the right upright with a fierce strike.

However, the hosts had to settle for a well-earned point as they stayed within touching distance of the play-offs.

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