Walsall?s teenage goalkeeper Dean Coleman won?t forget this game, but playermanager Paul Merson will not have such fond memories of a frustrating defeat, which could have serious repercussions.
Coleman, who only signed professional forms at Bescot last month, came off the bench in first half stoppage time after Joe Murphy was red carded for violent conduct.
The rookie saved a penalty with his first touch and kept out a second spot kick after the break ? but Coleman was unable to prevent a defeat which drags Walsall back into the cluster of teams battling against relegation.
Furthermore, Murphy?s dismissal now leaves Merson with a goalkeeping dilemma as he must either stick with Coleman or get someone more experienced in to deputise during Murphy?s three-game suspension.
Coleman believes he can fill the void, but that would surely be too much of a gamble ? even for Merson.
He said: ?It is a great debut for young Dean but we are in a bit of dogfight and I have an 18-year-old keeper.
?The lad has done well but I don?t want to be putting him in that situation. It is nice to come into a team where you are flying along but now we are scrapping.?
But, in the aftermath of this game, the manager was more concerned with the way his team self-destructed.
When the visitors won a penalty in the 45th minute after Richie Wellens was sent off for handling Julian Bennett?s header on the line they were in complete control.
However Walsall?s leading scorer Matty Fryatt saw his effort saved and, astonishingly, Blackpool then went down the other end and won a penalty of their own.
Keigan Parker?s theatrical tumble under Bennett?s challenge sparked a huge mIl>e in which Murphy grabbed the Blackpool striker and was sent off leaving Coleman to face the music.
Coleman impressively saved Parker?s spot-kick but he was eventually beaten by John Murphy?s right-foot shot in the 57th minute.
And although the teenager saved another penalty from Keith Southern in the 70th minute ? after Neil Emblen fouled Parker ? Southern scored from the rebound to seal Colin Hendry?s team?s victory.
The result was harsh on Walsall who played some decent football and created numerous But it was not a match Coleman will forget in a hurry and the goalkeeper was still smiling afterwards despite the defeat.
He said: ?It was a shock to come on but luck was on my side really saving two penalties. The lads gave me a lot of advice and encouragement when I came on which helped me a lot.
?I?m ready for it, I felt relaxed and enjoyed it when I came on.?
Scorers: Murphy (57), Southern (70).
BLACKPOOL (4-4-2): Lee Jones, Richardson (McGregor, 45), Clarke, Butler, Coid, Bullock, Wellens, Southern, Burns ( Grayson, 55), Murphy, Parker (Paul Edwards, 72). Subs: Edge, Shaw.
WALSALL (4-5-1): Murphy, Wright, Roper, Emblen, Bennett (Coleman, 45), Leit?o, Surman, Daryl Taylor, Standing (Merson 66), Kris Taylor, Fryatt. Subs: Willetts, Atieno, Broad.
Referee: E Ilderton (Tyne & Wear).
Bookings: Blackpool ? Coid (foul); Walsall ? Roper (foul).
Sendings-off: Blackpool ? Wellens ( deliberate handball); Walsall ? Murphy (violent conduct).
Attendance: 6,844. Walsall man of the match: Dean Coleman ? heroic debut from the youngster.