Goals either side of the break from Charlie Adam and Luke Varney secured the Tangerines’ victory on a rain swept night but the course of the match was all but decided when 25-year-old Michael Oliver, the Premier League’s youngest referee, sent-off Baggies duo Pablo Ibanez and Gonzalo Jara inside the opening half hour.
However, a superb solo effort from West Brom’s Youssuf Mulumbu, who scored five minutes from time with a brilliant shot into the top corner after beating several Blackpool defenders, set up a dramatic finish.
Austria international Paul Scharner then went close to an equaliser for Roberto di Matteo’s side, who remained sixth despite this defeat, when he headed narrowly wide from a free-kick before Steven Reid blasted over the top.
Both promoted sides had chances to score further goals and, in the final minute of the four added on at the end of the game, West Brom forced a corner only for Blackpool to catch them on the counter-attack.
But DJ Campbell shot wide to fray Blackpool manager Ian Holloway’s nerves.
Oliver’s decision to show red card to ‘last man’ Ibanez, who brought down Campbell in the box in the 11th minute, was questionable as Jara was still in close attendance.
But Oliver had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Adam scored from the ensuing penalty, despite former England goalkeeper Scott Carson getting a hand to the ball.
“I think the game as a spectacle, with the rules the referee has got to apply…I’d prefer a yellow card (to Ibanez) and the penalty,” Holloway told Sky Sports.
“It’s a great move, probably the best of the game, a great ball from Charlie to DJ Campbell, who has turned him. But is it really a sending off?
“I thought that really ruined the game as a spectacle.”
Holloway added: “We are trying to learn to play at this level. I’ve never had that (playing against nine) as a manager before but I’m delighted we’ve won at home, even though we’ve had only four home games this season.
“That’s 13 points we’ve got now and 13 points at this stage of the season, I’d like to say to the people who said we’d only get 10, ‘you are wrong again’.
“We are going to improve and get better.”
West Brom have won plaudits for their passing game this season but there was no denying the brutality of Jara’s two-footed challenge on Varney near the corner flag that saw the Chilean defender sent off in the 29th minute.
“It would have been nice to see a good football game but that was destroyed by the events on the night,” said West Brom boss di Matteo.
“The first incident was a penalty but, in my opinion, it was not a sending-off as we had a player who was close enough,” the former Chelsea and Italy midfielder added.
“The second one, he got it right the referee, it was a sending-off.
“Our player (Jara), he lost it a bit in the head with the first decision and he made a terrible tackle. Then we just had to try not to concede another goal and hit them on the break.”
Despite their seemingly insurmountable handicap, West Brom continued to press and there was a sense of relief among home fans when Varney turned in a cross from Elliot Grandin past Carson just after the hour mark.