Brighton & Hove Albion 3 Blackpool 0

Last updated : 04 October 2003 By Footymad Previewer

Brighton’s players did their best to persuade manager Steve Coppell to stay put with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Blackpool to move to the top of the table.

Coppell has been offered the job at Reading and will make his mind up over the weekend.

His injury ravaged side made sure that, what could turn out to be his last home game in charge, ended on a high note.

The Seagulls, missing seven senior players, chalked up a hat-trick of wins at the Withdean Stadium without conceding a goal.

They were handed the perfect start when Danny Coid gifted them a lead inside two minutes.

The Blackpool defender, under no real pressure, inexplicably headed a right wing cross from Leon Knight into his own net.

Chris McPhee doubled Brighton’s advantage on 38 minutes, thanks to more poor defending by the visitors.

Simon Grayson was robbed by Knight mid way inside his own half and Brighton's leading marksman provided a perfect cross for his young partner McPhee to convert with the outside of his right foot from close range.

Blackpool controlled much of the second half without looking threatening.

Scott Taylor came close to reducing the arears when keeper Michels Kuipers blocked his toe-poke and Taylor’s subsequent effort was cleared of the line by Guy Butters.

McPhee killed Blackpool off 17 minutes from time, racing onto another pass from the influential Knight before out pacing Steve Davis and slotting past Lee Jones.

It gave McPhee, 20, the first double pf his career and Brighton have now taken 13 points from the last 15.

It remains to be seen whether Coppell stays after signing a new one year contract in the summer.

Brighton chairman Dick Knight said: "I expect Steve to make his decision in the next few days. I will not have this club destabilised as Reading have been in the last few weeks. Steve knows I want him to lead us into the future because I offered him a longer contract in the summer.

“I am beginning to think it is about time there should be a transfer window for managers to stop other clubs attracting other manager during the season."